425 | Beyond Tasks: Excellence As a Work Ethic

Today we’re going “Beyond Tasks” as we examine the higher good that’s waiting in our work, and excellence as a work ethic.

I’ve got a question for you: what’s your motivation for getting up and going to work everyday? 

Whether you’ve got a commute across town, or just down the stairs and into the home office, there’s something that’s propelling your work and your work ethic. So, what is it exactly?

Well, what if I told you that there’s a deeper layer to working than just doing the work itself? 


excellence, people, life, serving, worship, bust, day, leader, experienced, fulfillment, business, god, ethic, chris, natasha, love, butt, work, job, rabbi


Joel Fortner, Chris LoCurto


Chris LoCurto  00:00

Why your dead end job, or even your dream job may be keeping you from fulfillment, that is coming up next.


Chris LoCurto  00:18

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. Today we're looking at the attitudes and the motivations that drive how you do what you do. Now, we're talking about work ethic. And for me, if you've been with me for any decent amount of time, you probably understand that is something that I appreciate greatly. Work ethic for me, is not somebody who goes and does the hustle and works 23 hours a day. That is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the absolute ability to bust it when you need to bust it. I love watching, when people see that something needs to get done, they get it done. I feel like we are raising a generation of folks who sit on the sidelines and watch other people work. You know, the old joke, what's the old joke? I'm probably going to screw this up. "I love watching you work." Or, "My heart rate goes up when I watch you work." I don't know. There's a joke in there somewhere that I've just screwed up. I think you get the point that I'm making. I used to work with a guy when I was in my early 20s. And there was a group of us that just you know, worked hard, busted, things got things done. And then there was this one guy, and he always had this statement, he said, "Give a lazy man a hard job, you'll find an easy way to do it." He embodied that statement. Listen, I'm big on work ethic. My brother and I grew up, our mom absolutely instilled in us work ethic, we busted our butts, even when we didn't like it. You know, we were shoveling snow before school, we were dropping trees, you know, and splitting them by hand in the summertime. There's all kinds of stuff that we did that I'm so grateful for, you know, my work ethic is why we are where we are with our business with, you know, our stuff, you know. So, we're taking a look at work ethic, how it impairs or empowers your success and enjoyment. But before we do that, let's get some perspective from some scriptures. And some people we're gonna say are sages on the subject of work. Ecclesiastical 9:10; "What ever your hand finds to do, do it with your whole might." Folks, if you're gonna do it, do it with your whole might. I'm not saying hurt yourself. I'm not saying overextend yourself, I'm not saying cover you know your time with your family with your work. That is not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is, is when you're doing something, do it. Put every bit of you into it that you can. Right? Get it done. It doesn't mean that you have to go beyond what you're supposed to do. You're never going to find me being the person who says you should go work 20 hours a day. Now if the ox is in the ditch, get the ox out of the ditch, no matter how long it takes. That's the emergency. When the emergency happens, get things done. But the rest of the time do a phenomenal job while you're supposed to. And then if you're a family person, if you're a mom, a dad, a child, who's working, when you go home to your family, do that with all your mind, right? If you're gonna put your hands to it, do it with all your might. Colossians 3:23; "Work willingly, wholeheartedly, at whatever you do as though you are working for the Lord, rather than for people." We talk about this a lot. And what we do here in Next Level Life and the business side, do your work as unto the Lord. What does that mean? The day you recognize that God has blessed you to do what you do. Some of you out there like, "I don't know if you bless me, I hate my job." Does it put food on your table? Like Zig Ziglar said to somebody in a book signing line who was complaining about their company like, "Do they give you an opportunity to work?" "Yeah." "Do they pay you?" "Yeah." "Are you able to go buy food?" "Yeah." "Can you pay for your bills?" "Yeah." "Well, it sounds like you got positive things to say." Right? The day you recognize that God has blessed you to be able to put a roof over your head, that he's blessed you to be able to put food on your table to have stuff to buy things, that's when you start realizing that you actually have a call to do your work for him.


Chris LoCurto  05:07

What I tell my team for years, do not come to work for Chris LoCurto. Don't you dare. Because if you do, then I got a manage you. I got to make sure everything's right. You have eight hours today, to do work that God has put into your hands. Choose the next eight hours to do work for him. If you're doing work for him, oh my gosh, the difference of how you will bust it is incredible. Do your work as unto the Lord. Seth Godin says, "Do what you love is for amateurs." I completely agree with this. Rabbi Lapin who I'm gonna quote here in just a second completely agrees with this. Love what you do is the mantra for professionals. So this concept of, "Go do what you love." You know, if you can, fabulous, that's great. I'm happy for you. But rarely do we set out to do the thing that we love and make it into a career. The things that we do here, we love, we are passionate about, but you know that it took a bunch of life and a bunch of different jobs and things and experiences in life to create inside of me, the expertise that this business now has, that our team is growing in, that we've got experts doing stuff because of things that I had to experience in life that sometimes I just didn't like. There are jobs that I hated. I didn't love it. I did it because it put food on my table, right? But I busted my butt. I have great work ethic. Thank you mom, right? And so because of that it allowed me to grow. And instead of sitting there being a victim, instead of sitting there looking at as a j-o-b, just a paycheck. Instead, I did it with great excellence. Maybe great was an exaggeration on some of the jobs, but I always did it with excellence. Right? So think about it. Do what you love is for amateurs love what you do, is the mantra for the professional. Steven Pressfield in the War of Art says, "We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune, or attention or applause." Folks, here's the deal. Work is good. It's good to do. Because it's good for you. Right? Take a look at folks who do not work. Take a look at folks who don't have anything important to focus on in the day. Take a look at those who sit behind a video game console. Sit at home watching TV. All that crap. Oh my gosh. What is happening to their contribution to their life and to society, right? It's a good thing to actually be working. Another thing is by working it keeps me away from doing stupid stuff. Right? The old adage, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." Think about that. Right? Rabbi Lapin says Daniel Lapin says, "Work is not about doing what you want to. It's about serving others business is a spiritual endeavor. And it brings us closer to one another, and to God." I believe. Geez, almost 20 years ago, I learned this from Rabbi Lapin that worship to the Jew, to the Israelite is an offshoot of the word workship. Right? As you take care of people, as you serve people, you're also serving God, as you love his creation, as you love on his people, as you serve them well. You're serving Him as well, you're worshipping Him in the process. In a Western culture, we usually think worship is that three songs that we sing in a church on Sunday. And yet that is such a small portion of what worship is. By putting your heart and soul into the thing that you do to help other people be successful. You're worshiping God, right? And for those of us who are again, believers, that's a powerful way for us to fulfill the great command. Love your God with your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. So beyond the j-o-b take a moment to consider your motivation for doing what you're doing right now. Work is more than getting things done. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. And it's not just for ourselves but for the benefits of others. So why work? Three levels of fulfillment in your work is coming up right after this.


Joel Fortner  09:57

Hey, it's Joel Fortner here. I'm the Vice President of leader development on Chris's team and I oversee our Next Level Mastermind business coaching program. Most business owners and leaders lack a clear path to succeed in business. They question whether they're making the right decisions, if they're focusing on the right things to really grow their business. If this is you, you need a coach in your life. Coaches help you make better decisions, navigate uncertainty, lead more effectively, and grow your business without sacrificing your life and your family. In their first year, our clients typically see an average of 67% increase in gross revenue, and an average of 138% increase in net profit, and regained hours of time. Our clients stay in the program for three and a half years simply because of the results they get. So if you're ready to run your business at the next level, and see the growth you've been wanting, then visit chrislocurto.com/mastermind. Again, chrislocurto.com/mastermind today.


Chris LoCurto  10:58

So I have a question for you: is what you do, work that really matters? That's how we approach it. We always ask that question, most people would say that they want to do work that matters, not just the j-o-b for the money, right? But somewhere along the line, we settle for mediocrity, or just getting by. I'm again, not against you having valuable work to do and making money, I want you to make money. It's very important to make money. It makes it difficult to put food on your table without making money. Well, I mean, unless you're gonna go steal it from somewhere, or shoot a deer, I don't know. But what I want for you is to be fulfilled in your work. I want you to be able to show up and be fulfilled every day. Seth Godin in Linchpin asked the question, "Are you indispensable? The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting specs, and being managed. Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people." Now if you missed the interview with Seth, that was a couple of months ago. You, gotta watch it. It was it was fun and powerful, good stuff. So why work? We're going to talk about now three levels of fulfillment in your work. And the first one. And each one of these gets better, we got good, better and best, right? Number one is, we work for ourselves. We work for the personal enjoyment. "Oh, Chris, I don't love what I do." Okay. Do you have the opportunity to change it and do something that you don't hate? Otherwise, are you thankful for the job that you have? Are you thankful that you have somebody who's willing to give you their hard earned money? Right? No matter what it is that you do. At 14 years old, I worked as a cashier at a tire shop and gas station. And I also wash dishes in the best restaurant, The Hickory Pit, no longer exists. Oh, gosh, hickory smoked chicken, ribs, steak, oh, gosh, it was fabulous. Anyways. Because I had a great work ethic from my mom-and so those were the jobs that I got paid for. Right? I've been working a long time before that for my mother. At home, doing legit responsibility. You know, like I say, shoveling snow before school, dropping trees and splitting by hand, things so that we can make money. That's something we did in the summertime to make money for our family. Right? Those are things that I loved to do. Why? Because I loved not sitting on my butt and doing nothing. I don't understand. And I'm sorry if I'm stepping on your toes here. But I don't understand how people can sit for hour after hour after hour, day after day after day and play video games. It just it is beyond me. Right? It's beyond me. Maybe it's just because I'm too old to understand it. I don't know. I don't think so. I want to do stuff. I want to create things, I want to make things happen. If I can do that, then I can enjoy it. We do honor the rest that God tells us to honor and so when it's time to rest, we rest. And boy I love it. Because it sets up the next week for me, right? So we actually do that. Ecclesiastes 5:18 says, "I have seen what is best for people here on Earth. They should eat and drink and enjoy their work because the life God has given them on earth is short." That is coming from the wisest man ever to live at least that's still what we believe. That Solomon was incredibly wise because of how much wisdom God gave him. And what is he saying? Listen, too many people are looking to the future. Too many people are looking for the if then, if I do all of this over here, then I will be happy, then I'll be rich, then I'll be whatever, right? Stop doing that. Plan for the future, prepare for the future. Bust your butt today, and enjoy today.


Chris LoCurto  15:24

When you get into work, no matter what you do, no matter what you do, we had a fantastic discussion with our daughter the other day, where people sitting around are slacking and she's working. And she's frustrated. And she's sitting there talking to us, and she's like, "I can't believe it. They don't do anything. And it frustrates the daylights out of me." And I said, "Why are you frustrated?" She goes, "Because they're not working, they should be working." And I said, "Does your boss pay you to work?" "Yeah." "Okay, then don't worry about what the other people are choosing to do. Don't worry about them. If they're not going to work, they're not gonna work. You keep doing what the person is paying you to do." And then I asked her, "Think about it." Because eventually she wants to be an entrepreneur. And I have no doubt that someday she is going to be, she has such great desire. I said, "If you were paying somebody, and they were busting it, but then they dropped their work levels, because somebody else was slacking, would you be happy?" And she's like, "No." "Great. Recognize that, go bust your butt." So work for yourself is a great level of fulfillment. Number two, this is better. Trust me on this, working for others. Rabbi Lapin says try to move your focus off yourself. Turn your attention from yourself to the people you are serving. Why? Because it is fulfilling to actually help people. To serve people. Zig used to say, you help enough people, everything else will fall in place. I've screwed this up so many times, "You help enough people get what they want. You'll get what you want." It's somewhere in between those two statements right there. I've quoted Zig for decades, and I'm sure I screw up every single time. Rabbi Lapin says, "Money is the proof that you have served another human being well." So if you're doing a good job, serving people, guess what? They're gonna pay you. They're gonna give you more money. Why? Because it's great service. It is amazing to me, I switched a pharmacy. Because the one I moved to had better prices. The one I moved to is a pain in the butt. However, there's this fantastic lady, Natasha that works there. And she knows my name when I show up. She's super sweet. She serves me super well. And I've thought to myself, I need to switch back to this other pharmacy because it would be so much more convenient for me. And I have not done it. Why? Literally, because of Natasha. Literally, because she's a sweetheart. It was great, the other day I came in and she always calls me "Mr. LoCurto." And I'm like, "Natasha, the name is Chris. You can call me Chris." And she goes "Well, since we're friends. My sister's having twins." And I'm like, "Oh my gosh, that's awesome." I love that she says, 'Well, since we're friends, my sister's having twins..' she talked to me about her personal life and how excited she was for a sister. Ah, I loved it. So I stick with the pharmacy that I have a hard time getting prescriptions refilled sometimes and it's just, it's ridiculous. Why? Because I'm being served incredibly well by an amazing gal, right? And the other people in there do a great job serving as well. But wow, I really look forward to stepping in and seeing Natasha. If you're doing a great job, people will continue to give you money. Think about that for the team members that are listening. If you're doing a great job, people want to give you more money for what you're doing. Right? One of the things we do around here is we do profit sharing and I'm excited on the months that we get to take our money, the money that my wife and I, it's ours, and dish it out the team members. Why? Because I love sharing with people who are busting their butts to fight alongside with me to help you change your life. To help you change your business. Right? This last Next Level Leadership Live Event that we had, we're doing a Q&A and a question came up, and I turned the question around. I'm like, "What have you experienced for my team? Now have you experienced them serving?" And people applauded. Because they've experienced that.


Chris LoCurto  20:05

And that's an intentional effort from my part to make sure that we have the kind of folks who want to serve. But when my team serves you really well, you want to get more stuff from us. You want to do more with us, right? Because it's not just about the dollar. So a very important thing is, number two, do work for others, recognize the fulfillment of not focusing on you, but on focusing on serving other people. All right, when we come back the best and highest form of work that we could hope to attain in this life.


Joel Fortner  20:44

Hey leaders, this is Joel Fortner, VP of leadership development at Chris Locurto's company. I have some questions for you. Do you as a leader feel like you are caught up in a crazy cycle of stress and tasks that never ends week to week? Do you ever have to deal with tough conversations with team members, and you sit at home the next day, the night before, worried about how's it going to go, what am I going to say, what are they going to say, can I think fast enough on my feet, is it gonna be a total failure? Are you experiencing culture problems, or that stuff just breaks down trust in unity on your team? Well, if you can relate to any of this, this is a pretty typical leadership story and situation. Here's the thing though, it doesn't have to be that way. And we can help you solve these things, we can help you become the leader that solves these problems and leads their team to greater success. I want to introduce you to the Key Leaders Program. This is an ongoing leadership development program. That gives you the lesson track, coaching, and accountability you need to become the leader you can become to actually implement what you're actually learning in this program. Things fall apart without great leadership and intentionality. If you want to solve the problems that are holding you back from being a great leader, we can help you with this program. Get in touch with joel@chrislocurto.com.


Chris LoCurto  22:10

Okay, we are talking about three levels of fulfillment, for your work, or in your work, I should say it that way. And we are at number three. So number one was for ourselves, which is good. You need to be working for you, obviously. Number two is for others, which is better. But number three is the best, and that is working for God. Yep. You knew I was gonna say it didn't you. Folks. Understand. So let me talk to believers and unbelievers. This life is short. It's a short life. I know it seems incredibly long. And for some of you, it seems like it's been an eternity. But it's actually short. What happens after this one is the important thing. Here's what I want you to understand, no matter what you've experienced in life, no matter if you've experienced horrible people and you think God is a horrible God, he is not. He's an incredibly loving God who is redeeming you as we speak. Who has a process for your redemption. It's a process of love. It's the process of forgiveness. It's the kingdom of forgiveness. It's after this life, right? That's important. This life sets up that one. No matter what you've experienced. Understand that if you believe or don't believe, there still is a God that you have to stand before. There still is a God who owns you. He owns you. What does that mean? He created you. He's the Creator. We are the created. Many times we tell ourselves that we own our own lives. No, you do not. He does. And how you live this life is going to depend on how he blesses you. If you're obedient in this life, guess what you get? Blessings. If you're disobedient in this life, guess what you get? Curses. He's very clear about that. So think about it when it comes to work. What you do for a living, if you want the greatest fulfillment in your work, period, do your work as unto the Lord. Come in every single day. Yes, I know that there's some of you out there who are non-believers that don't like me talking about this, but guess why I am? Because my heart is for you to experience God, not because I want to piss you off by talking about God. Not because I want to throw a wrench in your day. Instead, my heart is that you experienced the living God. That you grow to love him and know him, and receive salvation from him. That's my heart. And I love you no matter what. Right? So understand that. So our mission statement here is, worshiping God, by loving people and getting individuals and organizations to greater perspective. That is the purpose for this business's existence. Worship God, love you, and guide you to greater perspective. Now for people always say, "Chris, you guys have changed my life." No, we actually haven't. We've guided you to the greatest perspective, you chose to change your life. That's a powerful piece of understanding there. You are the one taking the responsibility to change life, we will do everything we can, we will take the responsibility of getting you the best information that we can, but you change your life. And when we do that, when we help, when we guide people, when we love on people, guess what we're doing? We're worshipping God. We worship God by taking care of you. We worship God, by not being fearful of speaking about him to you. We worship God, by loving on people. We worship God by helping people in incredibly difficult times in their lives, of just being here. Just being here for them. We worship God by showing up every day, and doing our work as unto him. So since you're going to follow all of my advice here, since you're going to do these things, since you're going to find fulfillment, in the way you do work, I have one last suggestion to you. And that is something that is incredibly important to us here. And that is, if you're going to do work, if you're going to do whatever, do it with excellence. Do it with excellence. Folks, that is something that is incredibly important to me, it's incredibly important in this business. It's important to our team, that we do things with excellence, do it well. Right? Do it with quality, even if nobody ever sees it, experiences it, knows about it, any of that. That's another one of my pet peeves is when people don't care to do their work well. Work matters. I don't care if you're a barista. I don't care if you're a person putting stamps on envelopes. I don't care if you pour concrete. It doesn't matter, if you are thinking that excellence doesn't matter, you're wrong. Pour concrete without excellence. What happens? Right? Every one of us has experienced that barista who's made that bad drink. They didn't do it with excellence, we've experienced that, it ruined our day. Yes, coffee can ruin the day of somebody who's addicted like myself. So, right? Do it with excellence. Now, a statistic that I find is incredibly interesting. And we talk about it all the time, that everybody has excellence is one of their core values, because it's very corporate-y way of saying a core value. Next to integrity and respect, excellence is the third most popular core value at fortune 500 companies. Here's the deal. How many of those companies actually deliver on excellence as a part of their service, or part of their product? Think about it. Now ask yourself the question, how much do you deliver on excellence? Whether you're the business owner, whether you're one of the leaders, whether you're a team member. Are you delivering on excellence all the time? The more you focus on doing things right or doing things well, doing things with excellence, the more fulfillment you will get. So if we go back to the first level, the good one, the doing it for ourselves. I love being able to walk away from my work day, knowing that I did things with excellence. You know what makes me even prouder? Watching my team members walk away from their work day, knowing that they did things with excellence. So folks, there you have it, our goal is for you not to just show up and do a j-o-b. Doesn't matter if you're the team member, the leader, or the business owner. There's so much fulfillment that can be had when you change your perspective, change your mindset on what your day to day should look like, what your work time should look like. Focus on gaining fulfilment by busting your butt with excellence by serving other people and by worshiping God. Well, hopefully this has helped you today. Take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.

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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.