In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, you've likely tried various AI tools in your workplace. As a marketer, I wholeheartedly acknowledge the advantages of these tools in enhancing efficiency and conducting research. However, in a leadership role, I firmly believe you can’t use ChatGPT or other AI tools to install good work ethic traits.
Having good mentors, comprehensive training (including failure and mistakes), and individuals eager to learn from the ground up remains unparalleled. Before the AI Champions interject, I’m not encouraging the Rise of the War With Machines (or am I?)
Forged in the fires, I give you the Era of the Hustlers
I grew up in the era of Hustlers, where we embarked on our work journey at a tender age, as early as 15. We had minimum-wage jobs, striving to earn enough money for cassette tapes (yes, that's how old I am), Z-Cavarrici jeans, and gas needed to fuel our beat-up cars. Our parents instilled in us the wisdom that respect is earned, not freely given and to make sure that every dollar counts from a hard day of work.
Additionally, as latchkey kids, we learned to fend for ourselves upon returning home from school until our hardworking parents (both with jobs) arrived after 5 p.m. This environment fostered a sense of independence from an early age, ingraining within us a work ethic that no AI tool can automatically generate.
Because of this background, I firmly believe that work ethic traits should be instilled as the foundation, serving as the bedrock of professional growth. AI tools are not going away. In fact, they will be leveraged in every tool, hence the importance of keeping up with technology advancements.
Let’s Look at Some Examples of Work Ethic Traits You Can’t Get From an AI Tool
1. Work Ethic Trait: Hustle
When it comes to the trait of hustle, there is an undeniable value in having individuals who possess this quality as part of your team. Consider this: do you want someone working for you who can hustle? The answer is a resounding yes!
Hustlers are the ones you can rely on during times of tight deadlines or when all hands are needed on deck. They thrive in high-pressure situations and are masters at turning challenges into opportunities. When clients come in with special requests requiring a tight turnaround, you can trust that your hustler employee will rise to the occasion, going above and beyond to deliver exceptional results. Their ability to hustle reflects their drive, ambition, and dedication to their work. They possess a relentless work ethic, pushing themselves to achieve their goals and exceed expectations. They are the go-getters, the ones who don't settle for mediocrity and are always seeking ways to improve and make a difference.
So, here's to the hustlers, the individuals who bring their A-game every day and inspire others to do the same. They are the catalysts for success, propelling your team forward and contributing to the growth and prosperity of your organization.
2. Work Ethic Trait: GRIT
This one makes me think of John Wayne — the truest “Grit” man out there. They possess a tenacity that pushes them to roll up their sleeves, metaphorically and sometimes literally, to get the job done.
Like the cowboy heroes of old, they embody resilience and a no-nonsense approach to achieving their goals. Gritty individuals have a deep-rooted inner strength that drives them to persevere in the face of obstacles and setbacks. They don't shy away from difficult situations but thrive in them, rising above the challenges and demonstrating their indomitable spirit. Their actions inspire and motivate others, showing that true success often lies on the other side of hard work and a never-give-up attitude.
In a world that often glamorizes instant gratification, these grit men and women stand as beacons of perseverance and adversity, reminding us of the enduring power of determination and hard work.
3. Work Ethic Trait: Integrity
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching - C.S. Lewis
The moral compass guides your actions and decisions, rooted in the core values that define your character. The silent force shapes your behavior, ensuring that honesty, fairness, and ethical principles prevail in every aspect of your life.
Integrity means standing up for your beliefs, even in adversity or temptation. We call these folks the FREE thinkers. It is a pillar of trustworthiness that builds strong relationships, fosters a culture of transparency, and establishes a foundation of respect.
The best analogy I can give is this, say you go into a bathroom and the sink is covered in water- do you walk out or wipe the counter and clean the mess up? Which are you? I also think the shopping cart return works here as well.
4. Work Ethic Trait: Accountability
Sadly, this is becoming a lost trait. Accountability is a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.
Own it. Solve It. Do It.
That magical quality that transforms excuses into action plans and finger-pointing into problem-solving. It's the power to say, "I've got this," when others shy away, and the strength to own up to mistakes and turn them into valuable lessons.
5. Work Ethic Trait: Proactiveness
In the dynamic realm of the workplace, being proactive is like having a secret weapon in your professional arsenal. It's the ability to anticipate, adapt, and take the initiative, even before the need arises.
Proactive individuals are the architects of change, constantly seeking opportunities to make a positive impact. They don't wait for tasks to be assigned; they proactively identify challenges and devise innovative solutions. These people are rare; if you work with one, keep them.
By being proactive, you stay one step ahead of the game, demonstrating your resourcefulness, resilience, and commitment to excellence. So, in the ever-evolving world of work, don't just wait for things to happen—be the driving force that propels your team and organization toward success.
If you like a good read, I highly recommend reading Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Proactiveness is his #1 trait!
Embracing the Best of Both Worlds: Uniting a Good Work Ethic with AI Technology in the Modern Workplace
While AI tools can assist in certain aspects of work, such as research and data analysis, they may not inherently possess these work ethic traits or be able to teach them directly. Developing these traits often requires real-world experiences, mentorship, and personal growth.
Recognizing the value of technology and human qualities in the workplace is essential. Technology can enhance productivity and efficiency, but the human element brings the "extra WOW factor" to our interactions and achievements with its unique abilities and work ethic traits.
What is it that makes us Human? It’s not something you can program. You can’t put it into a chip. It’s the strength of the human heart. The difference between us and machines. - Marcus Write
Do you agree? Change my mind.
What other traits would you add? Share in the comments!