The word “karma” gets breezily tossed about in pop culture. However if we go back a few millennia, things were different. The word karma wasn’t followed by “is a bitch” on bumper stickers.
Before karma showed up in trendy yoga shops, it showed up in ancient religious texts. Here’s an excerpt. (In case you haven’t brushed up on your sanskrit, I’ll translate.)
Harm we cause in this life will come back to us in the next. The universe is relentless. It will not let us get away with anything.
That’s some pretty righteous mojo.
My 13 principles aren’t quite so extreme, but no less important in the workplace.
1) In the long run it, a trusted reputation is your career’s greatest achievement– and the one over which you have the most control.
2) Be nice. Play fair. Do what you say you’re going to do. Being a good person matters. A lot.
3) In most industries, everyone knows everyone else by .5 degrees of separation. Burn bridges, and you’re toast.
4) Trust your gut. It’s smarter than you are.
5) Think carefully before you complain about anything right now. Many people are fearfully hunkered down in survival mode, more concerned about their own employment than others’ wishes.
6) There is no shame in failure. The same cannot be said for lack of effort.
7) Don’t aim to avoid negative feedback. Disapproval is inherent for anyone involved with new thinking. Unless you’re creating spreadsheets, your work won’t always add up in neat columns. Learn as much you can from negative feedback, and move on.
8) Likewise, don’t base your self-image on positive feedback, because no matter how good you are, you can’t count on it. Find other sources of confidence.
9) Your work can have attitude. You, on the other hand, cannot. Step it down a notch (or three), and leave your prima donna feathered headdress at home. At every opportunity, make others feel better about themselves than before they encountered you.
10) Go to great lengths to be stress-free and pleasurable to work with. This is true at any time, but even more so during a recession, or any time of great uncertainty. Clients and employers have an extremely low tolerance for moodiness or impetuousness.
11) Don’t allow your ego to get in your way. People will see through the pretense and figure out your motivations pretty quickly.
12) Competitive is okay. Cut-throat is not.
13) Integrity is unsexy. It can also be difficult, painful, and even expensive. So is dental care. Neither are wise to shortcut.
So, what about your karma? How do you bring good karma into your work? Where are you seeing the most damaging breaks in respect and ethics at the workplace?
(Of course, if you don’t comment, that’s okay too. No bad karma from me.)