To get the best out­comes, care about what you do

New Straits Times - - Business - The writer is man­ag­ing con­sul­tant and ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship coach at EQTD Con­sult­ing. He is also the au­thor of the na­tional best­seller “So, You Want To Get Pro­moted?”

YOUR work will be av­er­age, at best, if you don’t re­ally care about out­comes.

The re­al­ity is that your work sup­ports your lifestyle choices. Your personal growth is pri­mar­ily fu­elled by your work. When you ap­pre­ci­ate this fully, you will learn to care about what you do.

I love the free­dom that I have. The free­dom to travel and the free­dom to en­joy some of the finer things that life has to of­fer. And, I am work­ing to free my­self from debt. My vo­ca­tion pays for my free­dom. But, I recog­nise the fact that this free­dom can only come when I care about my work.

The key to suc­cess is to cre­ate and de­liver as much value as you can.

This past week, I have ex­pe­ri­enced, once again, the ef­fect of car­ing about what you do.

I am writ­ing this col­umn from Stock­holm, Swe­den. I have not come here for any of­fi­cial busi­ness. I am nei­ther train­ing, nor coach­ing any­one here. And, it’s not ex­actly a va­ca­tion.

I am here as a labour of love, and be­cause of a leisurely pur­suit that I re­ally care about.

Truth be told, and I am not shy about this pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion; I have been an ar­dent sup­porter of Manch­ester United Foot­ball Club since 1979.

I have tried to think about why I started to sup­port this foot­ball club, but there does not seem to be any real sci­ence be­hind my fan­dom. I was not fol­low­ing in any­one’s foot­steps. None of my fam­ily mem­bers sup­ported this team when I was a kid. It just hap­pened for me.

I must have been around 8 or 9 years old when I watched a Manch­ester United match for the first time on tele­vi­sion. I liked what I saw, and I was hooked.

I came to Stock­holm, 9,000km from home, to watch the team win the Europa League. It was a mag­nif­i­cent and glo­ri­ous evening at the Friends Arena foot­ball sta­dium, if you were Manch­ester United fan.

Peo­ple think I am very lucky to be able to do things like this. But, I know it has more to do with mak­ing ac­tive choices, rather than prov­i­dence.

I have re­alised that life op­er­ates se­quen­tially by fol­low­ing the laws of cause and ef­fect.

Of­ten, I travel to sup­port my foot­ball team. I can do this be­cause I have the fi­nan­cial re­sources to do so. I have the re­sources be­cause I earn enough. I gen­er­ate enough rev­enue be­cause I have regular work. I have steady work be­cause I add value. And, I add value be­cause I care about what I do.

My abil­ity to have the free­dom to do what I like is founded on this prin­ci­ple.

Here is an­other ex­am­ple if this, from this past week.

I trav­elled on Bri­tish Air­ways from Kuala Lumpur to Stock­holm, via London.

In London, as we waited to de­part, the cap­tain made an an­nounce­ment that he had no­ticed some fluid be­low the air­plane while do­ing pre-flight checks.

The amount of fluid was large enough to alarm him. There­fore, he had asked for en­gi­neers to inspect it. He told us that he would come back with more in­for­ma­tion as soon as he knew what was go­ing on.

Ten min­utes later, Cap­tain Wilkin­son an­nounced, in a rather grave voice, that the en­gi­neer­ing team had con­firmed that it was, in fact, leaked hy­draulic fluid from the air­craft’s brak­ing sys­tem.

He in­formed us that the en­gi­neers were eval­u­at­ing whether the leak­age was within the per­mis­si­ble range, and that he would come back to up­date us very soon.

Not more than 10 min­utes later, he was back on the tan­noy to let us know that the leak was not within ac­cept­able range. He ex­plained that the re­place­ment parts were be­ing lo­cated, and gave the pas­sen­gers his es­ti­ma­tion on how long the work was go­ing to take.

He came back soon with news that the parts were lo­cated, but that they scat­tered all over the very large Heathrow air­port vicin­ity, and that he was li­ais­ing with the air­line’s man­age­ment to de­cide if there was a bet­ter op­tion.

Shortly there­after, he came back to tell us that an al­ter­na­tive air­plane had been lo­cated. It was en route to Heathrow, and would land in 15 min­utes. He con­tin­ued ap­prais­ing us on the sit­u­a­tion ev­ery five to 10 min­utes. Even­tu­ally, we moved to a new air­plane, and took off ap­prox­i­mately two hours af­ter our orig­i­nal sched­uled de­par­ture time.

When we landed at Stock­holm’s Ar­landa Air­port, the cap­tain stood at the en­trance of the air­craft to bid each pas­sen­ger farewell. He had made what could have been a ter­ri­bly frac­tious and testy flight into a man­age­able one, purely through his thought­ful­ness in keep­ing us in­formed through­out the en­tire process. I know many pi­lots who should take a leaf out of his book.

Is Cap­tain Wilkin­son a valu­able em­ployee for his air­line? I would give a re­sound­ing yes! Should he get paid hand­somely for his job? Again, a re­sound­ing yes!

Why? Be­cause he truly cares about what he does.

The ques­tion is, do you?

Of­ten, I travel to sup­port my foot­ball team. I can do this be­cause I have the fi­nan­cial re­sources to do so. I have the re­sources be­cause I earn enough. I gen­er­ate enough rev­enue be­cause I have regular work. I have steady work be­cause I add value. And, I add value be­cause I care about what I do.

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