Work ethic is a term one may hear over and over when searching for a job, seeking the right employees to hire, or even while amidst a journey to self-improvement. Here at Diamond Strategy Group, we seek to empower organizations through more than simple definition. True understanding of work ethic as an ongoing practice is crucial to the long-term success of any company, no matter the size. It is a character trait that helps us to achieve the goals and objectives we seek to accomplish. Work ethic takes drive, heart, stamina and the ability to produce at the highest level possible. Let’s take a look at work ethic and the influence it has on different aspects of your organization. 

Work Ethic & Leadership

No matter if your company has thousands of employees or just one, work ethic begins with the leader. The work ethic of an organization’s leader sets the tone, production, proficiency and standards of that organization. Most good leaders started with and continually portray a really good work ethic. There’s an adage that goes like, “one must be true to themselves if they want others to be true to them”. If you watch organizations that change leaders in a systematic pattern, you get to witness how the organizations modify their behavior as well as other intrinsic values with the work ethic and other character traits of the leader. 

Work ethic within a leader must be consistent. However, it is never too late to begin setting the pace and being an example to your employees. Allowing your subordinates to witness your growth as a leader is an excellent way to nurture a healthy work relationship. For example, if you have had a history of being late to work, this can reflect poorly on you as a leader and in turn set a low standard for punctuality within your employees. If you begin to make a great effort to arrive to work on time, that can begin the process of amending and heightening the standard in the workplace. Very simply put: everyone can always improve. 

Pause: If you are a leader and you are seeking ways to improve work ethic within yourself or your organization, come back and click here when you are finished reading this blog for your FREE copy of The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People!

Work Ethic: Focus & Organization

The maintenance of existing work ethic is also vital for your company. For a work ethic to be effective for an organization, it must be well-focused. The better the focus, the more proficient and efficient the organization will be. Another part of having a proper work ethic is being well-organized and disciplined. The better a leader’s ability to focus the work around the key drivers of the organization, the more efficient their organization will be. 

For each individual, this means finding what works for you and having the self-discipline enough to keep it consistent. Example:

Deborah is a mother working full-time in a civilian organization. Deborah can be forgetful, but is a hard worker and proves to be an asset to her company. She succeeds because she is focused. Deborah accepts her forgetfulness, and remedies this by creating lists and setting alarms. She sets an example to her co-workers as well as to her family that drive and focus can increase work ethic and line things up for success. 

 Work Ethic & Work/Life Balance

A leader’s work ethic is optimized when it fits into the balance of their life as a whole. This is true just as much when a leader lacks in drive as when a leader has too much. Leaders that tend to be workaholics often also lose balance in their lives. In turn, their organization stays out of balance because their workers feel that they need to follow suit of their leader, and work and work more. They feel that they cannot do enough to please the boss. They end up not spending enough time with family and other priorities in life, and eventually they just do not feel happy about their job and the organization they work for. 

It is important for a leader to understand the influence they have on their business. Work ethic begins within the leader and flows to every part of the organization. A leader must carefully schedule benchmarks on what is to be done and be realistic in timing and expectations. All eyes are always on the leader. This means at times making the active choice to do what is right, and not what is easy. If a leader expects change, this may also mean making a few changes as well. 

Do you feel like your organization is lacking balance? Take a moment to review last month’s blog.

How can I help my company improve its work ethic?

Diamond Strategy Group uses battlefield tested methods and techniques that will bring balance, harmony, structure and results to your organization. Lead and developed by CEO Major General (Ret.) Mike Diamond, our strategies have time and time again proven to improve leadership in organizations of any size. If you are ready to take your leadership to the next level, please visit us online at If you have any questions or comments about what we do, or are interested in booking Major General (Ret.) Mike Diamond for a speaking engagement please send us an e-mail at

Published by Mike Diamond

MG (Retired) Mike Diamond is CEO and founder of Diamond Strategy Group. Diamond Strategy Group is a leadership development and consulting company. We focus on improving the quality of leadership within organizations by utilizing the same methods Mike and his consultants have used in both military and civilian sectors.

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