Commentary: Hard work: a highly effective business leader trait

Algenon Cash

Commentary: Hard work: a highly effective business leader trait
August 16
10:09 2018

By Algenon Cash

In my second installment on “How to Become a Highly Effective Business Leader,” I want to focus on ways to motivate you to work hard.  Anyone who has achieved success in their life will attest to the simple fact that hard work was a primary driver.  You may be the smartest person the room, but if someone has more passion, they will easily out work you.

However, working hard does come with real costs; the process can be hard on your body.  I know from self-experience it’s tough on your closest relationships.  The key is to work hard at your most important goals while not being crazed.

Check out these helpful tips for working hard, without working crazy.

1. You are human – Stress contributes to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, depression and a range of other diseases.  Big goals will require you to work hard, but they also require good physical health.  Be careful not to set unreasonable expectations for yourself in your pursuit for success.  It’s also critical to get a healthy amount of sleep nightly – the appropriate dose of rest will make you more productive, smarter and creative.

2. Guard your mind and heart – You may be tempted to work longer hours to fill up a sense of worthlessness, inadequacy or inferiority, all of which are symptoms for a low self-esteem.  Feeling unworthy may cause you to keep working and working in order to make yourself feel good – but it will do nothing to help you achieve the large goals that you have set for yourself.  Check your mind and heart to ensure you have a positive self-image, which will enable you to be mentally and emotionally healthier.

3. Work smarter, not harder – I firmly believe that quality supersedes quantity every single time. You don’t have to check every box to be successful, but instead train yourself to be strategic.  Select tasks that meet more than one objective or goal, which allows you to better leverage your time and maximize results.

4. Don’t forget you need people – Love and companionship are a fundamental human need.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my goals and convince myself that I don’t need people, but in reality that’s not humans stay motivated.  Since the inception of the human race, our ancestors sought out others for support, protection, and fellowship.  Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can do much to boost your motivation.  Plan a regular time to be with friends and family.

5. Success requires time – There is no deadline or expiration date for your success, it simply requires time and patience.  You do not have to do everything yesterday.  I often remind people that Colonel Sanders did not start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 65!  Give yourself plenty of time to try out different jobs and industries until you find that perfect fit.  Likely you will gain new skills and experiences whenever you spend time in a new position.

6. Develop passion – The definition of passion is to have an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.  Too often the barrier that prevents individuals from achieving success is a lack of passion for whatever they are doing.  If you have no passion, then you will find it difficult to work long hours, stay focused on goals, and practice self-discipline.  Passion is the energy that enables you to give up other enjoyable activities to focus on the most important activities.  Passion can separate winners from losers.

Becoming a leader in anything requires a good set of habits that enable you to be self-disciplined; hopefully my insider tips will be helpful as you work to expand and gain new skills in your own life.  I’ll discuss what it means to have powerful relationships, and give you strategies on how to gain friends and influence other people.  Contact me with questions and feedback, good luck!

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

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