1. Own Your Work Ethic
What makes work ethic so powerful is that you are 100 percent in control of it. You get to set the bar and get to decide how much hustle, focus, and diligence you inject into your work...and no one can take it away from you. A poor work ethic is only a reflection of the individual, no one else.
2. Consider Your Employer Your #1 Customer
A strong work ethic should be defined by the actions that create the best results for customers. How would your work ethic change if you were to consider your employer (or your manager or teammates) as your #1 customer? (Read this for more details on this strategy.)
Consider your work ethic as the product you are delivering. Will the customer be happy with their purchase? Will they be a repeat buyer? Will they recommend your services? Will they upgrade their purchase (aka give you a promotion)?
3. Tech Should Supplement (Not Replace) Work Ethic
Has work changed in the 21st century? You bet it has.
Thanks to technology and the Internet, the tools, rules, and pace of work have forever changed. But the effort, zeal, focus, and respect we inject into work should never change. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Leveraging technology to work smarter by automating and streamlining often takes hard work on the front end but allows for more time on the back end. Leveraging the saved time to pursue new endeavors or solve long-standing and complex problems for your organization or customers will demonstrate a strong work ethic.
4. Patience, Patience, Patience
Work ethic is a muscle that takes time to grow and strengthen. It's a personal value that takes time to cement in one's soul. Don't try to microwave it, instead marinate in it daily because it's a reflection of your character and integrity, and ultimately your personal brand. Commit to developing a strong work ethic that will withstand the long, demanding, and high-flux career ahead of you.
Be satisfied but never content with the work ethic you offer to the world.
Looking for a scalable way to instill a strong work ethic into your Millennial workforce? Check out 21Mill, the first ever micro-learning platform designed specifically to help Millennials develop work ethic, overcome entitlement, and more. (Full disclosure: I am a proud partner of 21Mill.)