A personal philosophy for work

As you may know, just over a year ago I made the transition from entrepreneur to employee. It wasn’t as smooth as I first thought it might be and I continue to learn a lot about myself.

I’ve been slowly developing a personal philosophy for how to be a great team player at work, all while staying true to myself.

As you’d predict, I’ve been working it out over a series of lists 😉

Have a peek at these five lists and see if there’s something here for you…

One: How to turn up at work

This is the mindset that helps me to work well with others:

  1. We are all smart and intelligent
  2. We all have good ideas
  3. We all want to shape the work we do
  4. We all want to feel in control of our destiny
  5. We all want to do work that matters
  6. We all want to feel that our work shapes the organisation
  7. We all have good intentions
  8. We are all doing the best we can
  9. We were all born to work together

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Two: How to transition from entrepreneur to employee

This is the mindset that helps me to be part of a team: 

  1. My ideas aren’t always the best ideas
  2. Once shared, my ideas are no longer mine
  3. I won’t be included in every decision
  4. I can’t fix every problem
  5. I can’t do everything on my own
  6. I’m not the smartest person in the room
  7. I might be wrong
  8. I don’t need to speak
  9. Let people do what they are good at
  10. It’s not about me

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Three: How to deal with change at work

This is the mindset that helps me to work in an ever-changing environment:

  1. While a few things are changing, most things stay the same
  2. Everything is born from change and most change will be good for me
  3. I get to choose how and when change affects me
  4. Most change happens slowly over time – It’s not as immediate as I first think
  5. Don’t act and behave like the change is actually happening when it’s simply ideas that are being discussed
  6. If I try to protect myself I will stifle good ideas
  7. Some change won’t affect me at all, and certainly not as much as I think
  8. I have more control over how change affects me and my work than I first think
  9. I only have control over how I respond. I cannot control everything
  10. It’s not about me
  11. There’s always the possibility that I could be wrong.

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Four: How to have a good day at work

This is the mindset that helps me to focus on what I can control:

  1. Don’t make it about me
  2. Have in mind what I’d like, and accept what I get
  3. Let go of perfectionism so I can move forward
  4. Respond with kindness, politeness, understanding and compassion
  5. Don’t get defensive
  6. Don’t take things personally
  7. Let go of the need to be right
  8. Let go of the need for recognition
  9. See beyond the surface level of what’s happening
  10. See people as complex individuals – I don’t know everything that’s going on
  11. I won’t be physically harmed
  12. I can only control my own thoughts actions to events that happen today
  13. Find the good in every situation

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Five: How to do your best work

This is the mindset that helps me to do my best work:

  1. Let go of perfectionism
  2. Don’t let fear control you
  3. Lean heavily into your strengths
  4. Strive for better, rather than best
  5. Make mistakes and learn from them
  6. Be strict about who and what gets your energy and attention
  7. Get really good at saying no with kindness and integrity
  8. Get clear on the conditions for doing your best work
  9. Focus on what you have complete control over
  10. Accept that you can’t do everything well
  11. Know and respect your boundaries
  12. Remove pointless distractions
  13. Take control of your schedule
  14. Ask for help quickly and often
  15. Measure your work on inputs
  16. Embrace constraints

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What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

The first draft of these lists were written out on index cards and they live in the inside pocket of my bullet journal for work. When I can feel myself slipping, I can slide them out and get my head straight for work.

In her books, Brené Brown calls these ‘permission slips’, and my challenge to you today is to write your own permission slips: 

  1. What permission do you need to give yourself to do your best work?
  2. What permission do you need to give yourself to be happy at work?
  3. What permission do you need to give yourself to be the best version of yourself at work?