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In this short section, I have summarized the rules of my work ethic. They are deduced from multiple working relationships I was a part of and had a chance to observe closely.

Colleagues.

There is one mindset that can be recognized as the hallmark of all healthy relationships — a mindset of service to others. Nothing will establish a deeper trust with your colleagues than seeing that you are a reliable person who knows how to carry the weight of responsibility. Being reliable in a working environment means being likable.

However, do not let others mistake your readiness to serve for an opportunity to abuse it. There will be enough people who will try to take advantage of your willingness to help. Cut these relationships without hesitation.

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Never participate in rumors. Spreading rumors is like building a time-bomb under your chair. Sooner or later it will blow you up.

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Keep your relationships professional. Teambuilding and collaboration will bring you closer to others. Some colleagues will want to be your friends. It is worth noting that friendship in the workplace has its pitfalls. Misunderstandings that may arise in the friendship will be taken personally but will surely affect you professionally resulting in a big mess. Keep people on respectful distance — be amiable and ready to help but draw the line in your relationships from day 1.

Employer.

A relationship with your employer is an important part of your working environment. Established in an intelligent way it can significantly catalyze your personal growth or hinder it if done otherwise. There are some notions regarding this relationship that are worth mentioning.

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Keep the relationship with your employer professional. In this relationship, letting your boss too close is associated with even higher risks than in relationships with colleagues. If your relationship goes sideways the damage can be collateral.

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Work hard. Your boss has the highest interest in the success of his business. He is invested in his venture much more than anyone else in the company. Above all else, he values your performance. Do your best to make a positive impact that would expedite his business and you will win him as a person.

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Honor the hierarchy. Even if your relationship with the boss is rocky stay respectful. He is the employer, you are the employee. Accept the status quo. All arguments can be resolved by means of a respectful attitude.

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Follow the leader. Distinguish between true leaders and dictators. Dictators delegate their work to employees pushing them from behind. Leaders stand in the front of the team pulling the load harder than everyone else. Appreciate good management. A good manager is someone who not only effectively communicates his vision but also facilitates the execution of his vision for everyone. Do not follow blind leaders. This is true both in work and in life.

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Settle the money. Regardless of whether you have a contract or not always negotiate the terms and conditions of your employment. Never hesitate to settle the financial aspect of your agreement. The dynamics between you and your employer should be clear from the start. Not negotiating money is again especially risky when your relationship with your boss becomes too friendly. Some bosses may even say that you are like family to them but then use your relationship as leverage for manipulations or giving you excuses to withhold your pay. This is unacceptable. Get your last paycheck and cut this relationship forever.

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Find a mentor. At one point in your career you might hold a management position yourself. Learn what you can where you can. Stay open and be ready to receive knowledge as sometimes the teacher you need the most is found in the person you least expect. Even from examples of extremely poor management, we can extract valuable lessons about the practices that simply don’t work.

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I do not owe you anything. You do not owe me anything. This mindset should be clearly communicated by you for the duration of your business relationship. As soon as your employer starts to make attempts to inculcate the idea that you owe him it’s time to put him in place. Know your worth.

Employees.

In case you don’t have a boss but you are the boss then there are also some things to consider.

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No one is interested in the success of your venture more than you. This is crucial to understand because there will be moments when you’ll wonder why people don’t work as hard and as passionately as you do. It only makes sense. This is your company. No one cares about it more than you do.

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Put yourself in their shoes. A good manager is simply a person who lets good people do their job. Give your employees a sense of purpose. Constantly ask yourself how can you help them achieve their personal goals through the work in your company. Their personal mission must be in alignment with the mission of the company as well as their values must resonate with the values that the executive instills in the company culture.

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Lead by example. Be the gold standard for the workers in your company. Embody an intense work ethic. Serve as a role model by being the hardest worker in the room disregarding your status. Seeing that the chief himself never shies away from hard work is more than impressive. It is inspirational.

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Be just. Evaluate the quality of the delivered result and reward good performance. It is important to let your team know that their input is valued and work is being acknowledged. Maintaining employees’ productivity is a process of fine calibration of certain motivating factors, with some of them being, appreciation and recognition, adequate compensation, and career advancement opportunities.

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Care about them. The relationship between you and your employees doesn’t have to be personal for you to genuinely care about them. You can be thoughtful yet remain professional. Loyalty from management promotes the evolvement of loyalty to the company.

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Make tough decisions fast. An employee doesn’t deliver? Let him know. Changes don’t happen? Let him go. Don’t let a relationship with one employee jeopardize the relationships with others.

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Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.

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