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A Good Work Ethic Can Be Taught

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The definition of “work ethic” has not changed much over the course of the past 90 years. Work ethic is part of our history. A strong work ethic is easily spotted. And while some people don’t have it, the good news is it can be taught.

Some of us learn it by putting hay out at 4:30 a.m. every morning in the cold at the age of 10. Some learn it by saying, “I want a job and don’t care what it is as long as it is not bailing hay in the 105-degree June heat of Texas.” Maybe it is a combination of both. Either way, work ethic is not natural; sometimes, it has to be drilled into us.

Many times when looking around three to five different stores within a group of 10, it is apparent who had to earn it and who had it given to them. Folks do not inherently set out to do a bad job. I honestly believe that. However, folks come to our little “parts world” and find that we do not have it as easy as they think. That in turn translates to: “I took an $8-an-hour job and you really expect all that of me?”

That is the attitude that sets the winners and losers apart. Here’s a good question: “Do you really think that is all you will ever make working for this company if you prove your place?”

Part of the problem is that too often too many are sitting around watching another person do what is “not my job; it’s theirs!” The best example is when you have a long-term employee who feels they’ve paid their dues and “deserves” the opportunity and the new employee who feels they have to “earn” theirs.

Here you have two opposite ends of the stick. One has become comfortable and the other is striving to be
that next store manager or get the pay raise they deserve. Again, “I took an $8-an-hour-job and you really expect all that of me?”

Work Ethic — the Gerald Version: Take the job at hand for what it is worth. You took the job, do it to the best of your ability. If that is not recognized, then point it out to whomever needs to know. Even when you know you are doing your supervisor’s job for them, let it ride. The truth will come out sooner or later.


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