Stay Above the Line for Success

Members of my site get two interviews a month.  One is with a senior executive at a large company, or a successful entrepreneur.  I call this series of interviews “C Suite.”  The other interview is with a career coach.  I call this series of interviews “Experts Corner.”

I interviewed R J Lewis for a recent C Suite.  R J is the 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.

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

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 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.




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