3 Behaviors You Should Embrace — and 3 You Should Avoid

Periodically, I do interviews with senior executives and post them in the premium section of my career mentoring site. A while back, I interviewed R J Lewis, CEO of eHealthcare Solutions. During our conversation he mentioned that in his company they have a short hand way of discussing positive and negative behaviors – above the line and below the line.

According to RJ, above the line behaviors are positive and make a contribution to the company and its goals, and are reinforced by his managers. Below the line behaviors are negative and hamper the company’s ability to meet its goals and are confronted and redirected by his managers.

eHealthcare Solutions has three above the line behaviors:

  • Ownership
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability

They also have three below the line behaviors:

  • Blame
  • Excuses
  • Denial

While you don’t work at eHealthcare Solutions, you would be wise to adopt their three above the line behaviors and avoid those below the line.

Let’s take a closer look at the above the line behaviors.

Ownership – Ownership is the opposite of entitlement. When you take ownership you make things happen, you don’t wait for them to happen because you’re entitled.

Responsibility – Personal responsibility is an important key to life and career success. When you take personal responsibility for your success, you don’t whine about problems. You fix them. You respond positively to negative people and events.

Accountability – Accountability is the willingness to take responsibility for your actions – and their consequences. Sometimes you’ll screw up. Accountable people admit it right away, and then do their best to fix the problem they have created.

Now, below the line behaviors you should avoid…

Blame – Blame is the opposite of accountability. People who blame look everywhere but to themselves to assign responsibility – especially for problems.

Excuses – Coming up with reasons to explain why you didn’t come through on a project takes almost as much time and energy as getting things right the first time. Admit it when you screw up. Don’t look for reasons to justify the mess you made.

Denial – Denial is a great way of avoiding personal responsibility. If the problem doesn’t exist, you can’t be blamed for it. The problem here is that when a real problem exists, denying that it does only creates bigger and bigger problems in the long run.

The common sense point here? Stay above the line. Your colleagues and bosses will like and trust you. And that is a great way to give your career success a boost.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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