No theft stealing focus business successWhen we spend time doing things that don’t add value and pretending it is work we are stealing. The only question is from whom?

The Law of Value states:

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”

Bob Burg and John David Mann – The Go-Giver

Stealing From Your Employer

As an employee you are paid to deliver value to your employer that far surpasses the amount of money you take in payment. The more value you deliver through what you do, the more you are worth to your current or future employer.

When we look at profit per employee we see a wide variance. Negative numbers are really bad. They are not sustainable. Walmart has small margins and lots of employees. They make $3K in profit per employee. Apple makes a whopping $600K of profit per employee.

It should be obvious but the companies that can pay and treat their employees the best are the ones with the highest profit per employee. It is truly a win-win.

The biggest things you can do as an employee is be clear on how you deliver value to the organization. It does not matter what other people get paid if you are under-delivering yourself; you are a below average performer. If you don’t know, ask! This is one of the most important career success questions there is.

On average, employees waste 2 hours per day goofing off. Online activities are the worst culprit but the list includes:

  • Checking social media,
  • Texting friends and family,
  • Making personal calls, and
  • Excessive chatting with coworkers.

It is not just about the time you take to do these things. When you interrupt work that you need to concentrate on it can take another 5-30 minutes to be fully engaged again.

Leave these things to your breaks and stay focused the rest of the day.

Larry Winget sums it up in his video (one of my favorites) that really brings it home.

Cheating Your Customers

If you are not delivering the full value that the client is expecting or you promised you are cheating your customers. Give your customers your full attention and best work. All of the points that applied above apply here.

Cheating Your Own Business Future

If you are a business owner and you not performing at your peak potential, you are cheating yourself, your shareholders, your family, your customers and your employees. You are also an employee in the business (so guess what?).

Leadership is by example so if you are not focussed on your business who will be?

After you take care of yourself you need to make sure your organization is focussed on the same thing for your customers and your employees.

You Can’t Escape Reality

This quote (via Steve Penny Eanes) sums it up in all three cases.

“Economic disaster begins with a philosophy of doing less and wanting more.” — Jim Rohn

In a competitive world (and it is) if you don’t constantly strive to deliver maximum value you will eventually be replaced.

The market ultimately decides where value exists. You can only decide to create as much value as you can.