Basic Minimums Part II - 4, 5 & 6

A few posts back I delivered to you the first three Basic Minimums. They were basically: be clean, be clear, and be on time. By way of brief review, Basic Minimums are the most foundational behaviors expected in a thriving culture (especially in a work culture). Doing the Basic Minimums (with a good attitude I might add) make the work culture fun, exciting, profitable, enjoyable, and overall delightful. If you don’t do them, the work place isn’t fit for human existence. Ok, that’s harsh, so I’ll rephrase that a bit and say, if you don’t do any of the Basic Minimums no-one will want to work FOR you or WITH you. It’s pretty serious stuff, so let me get to Basic Minimums 4, 5 & 6, which will complete the Basic Minimum list.

4 – Be Kind.

One very popular book puts it this way, “So whatever you wish others would do to you, do also to them….”. You might have heard this. Some call it the “Golden Rule”. It’s actually a command. Now, imagine if all people followed this command. The world would be a safe and wonderful place! Everyone wants to be treated with kindness, because kindness is an expression of love, and love, as one famous singer once crooned, “is all you need.” (Not sure if it’s ALL we need, but you get the point.) Kindness, although a noun in this instance, is really an action verb. It’s active. If you are kind, you smile at people. If you are kind, you help others. If you are kind, you say encouraging words to others. If you are kind you make wherever you are BETTER. If you are kind you listen. Those all seem quite obvious. But it’s also true that being kind is about telling the truth, standing up for what’s right, and steering people in the right direction. True kindness edifies, corrects and connects.

5 – Be Proactive.

Yes! This is a Basic Minimum. Imagine you walk into work and when you get there you see 3 or 4 people standing in the kitchen, and you look down to see a huge mess on the floor. You ask the people, “How long has that been there?” One replies, “I got here about 15 minutes ago and it was there when I stepped over it.” Another says, “Don’t know. I wish the cleaning people would clean it up though. It almost got all over my new shoes.” The last one chimes in with, “I’d clean it up but it’s not in my job description.” How would you feel? What would you think? What would you do? Well, after I KINDLY slapped (see above about kindness and correction) the last guy, I’d clean up the mess. But I’d wonder why the others didn’t and it would make my delight in my company (and certain employees) diminish. People who say, “That’s not in my job description,” or people who expect others to do things that need to be done and are capable of doing them, are NOT proactive people. Here’s another way of saying “be proactive”: “Deposit more than you withdraw.” That’s one of our Core Values here at VeracityColab, and everybody here knows what it means. It means give a little more than your job description requires. It means think of the company and your other teammates more than you think of yourself. It means when you see something that you know you can do and you know that it will help, you do it. So please be proactive! You’ll be happier, the company will profit from it, and others will benefit greatly.

6 – Be Collaborative

Nobody likes a dictator. No one wants to come into work only to have a list of orders in front of them and a whip cracking behind them. That’s not what brings out the best in people. It’s not an environment that fosters growth, excellence or happiness either. No, people enjoy and thrive in a collaborative culture; and it only helps the company and the culture when it’s a collaborative one. Lots of good, smart, selfless people working together toward a common goal in order to make a product or service better, smarter, stronger, more efficient, safer, etc. seems like it’s a good thing – maybe even the best thing. A collaborative environment is where great ideas emerge. It’s what makes the workplace exciting and meaningful. Sure, there has to be a place where the “buck stop” so to speak. There has to be a leader. But good leaders fostercollaboration. They want it to happen because they know it’s best for all. And believe it or not, collaboration is pretty easy if you apply these 3 simple tactics:

  1. Listen. Then when you have something profitable to say, speak up with confidence.

  2. Remember. It’s not about winning, it’s about working together to make something better.

  3. Encourage. When you hear something that you believe will make something better, give a thumbs up, or a head nod, or even say something like, “Love that!”

There ya go! Basic Minimums 4, 5 & 6. Read the previous Basic Minimum blog, then print both of them. Post them in your break room. Shout them from the conference room! Email them to everyone!!! Or AT LEAST read the two blogs for yourself, apply the Basic Minimums, and live happily ever after.

Casey Williams