Return of the Work Ethic

What do the following Hollywood superstars have in common?

  • Bill Cosby
  • Kevin Costner
  • Robert De Niro
  • Clark Gable
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Bob Hope
  • Michael Landon
  • Sophia Loren
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Tom Selleck
  • Suzanne Somers
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • John Wayne
  • Marilyn Monroe

ANSWER: They all began their film careers at the bottom as “extras.” They started at the entry level of their chosen field and earned stardom which many would describe as “overnight success.” For the majority of those listed above, that “overnight success” took years and, in some cases, decades. They gained knowledge and experience, sought mentors, learned the rules of the game, and demonstrated perseverance against all odds.

The same scenario has been witnessed in most every field of endeavor … politics, sports, manufacturing, sales, military, finance, technology, health care, and the list goes on. This path to foundational strength is essential for success in today’s very competitive and ever-changing environment. And yet, sadly, it’s seldom discussed, much less encouraged, in high school and/or college classrooms across the country.

By the time an entry-level employee reaches his/her career battlefield today, most employers assume this traditional work ethic is well understood and about to be eagerly executed. Sadly, that seldom, if ever, occurs.

At a time when employment is difficult to secure, far too many applicants are ill-equipped to compete. When can we expect to see the re-emergence of the traditional work ethic that built this great country? I’m afraid it’s going to take a concerted effort by many — parents, teachers, employers, mentors, and leaders in every field. Until that happens, we will continue to struggle.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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