5 28 11 A Work Ethic Shaped at an Early Age

5 28 11 A Work Ethic Shaped at an Early Age - By ADAM...

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A Work Ethic Shaped at an Early Age By ADAM BRYANT Published: May 28, 2011 This interview with  Liz Elting , president and C.E.O. of TransPerfect, a translation service, was  conducted and condensed by  Adam Bryant Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times Liz Elting is president and C.E.O. of TransPerfect, a translation service. “I look for people who have a very strong work ethic,” she says, “and I think a big indicator of that is whether somebody has worked from a very young age.” Corner Office Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. In his new book,  " The Corner Office " (Times Books), he analyzes the broader lessons that emerge from his interviews with more than 70  leaders.  Excerpt » More ‘Corner Office’ Columns » Subscribe to Corner Office via RSS »         Q.  What were some important lessons for you early on?   A.  I worked from an extremely young age — everything from babysitting to newspaper  deliveries to walking a child to school to working in a dry cleaner to telemarketing.  And  now when we hire, that’s one of the key qualities I look for.  I look for people who have a  very strong work ethic, and I think a big indicator of that is whether somebody has worked  from a very young age, and ideally has never stopped.   Q.   Were your parents pushing you to take these jobs?  
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A.  Absolutely.  My parents encouraged me to work from the day anyone would hire me.   They said, “You need to be a hard worker.  We want you to have experience, and you should  be able to be self-sufficient financially when you’re older.” And I was in a situation where I  had a lot of advantages.  I was able to travel.  I lived and studied abroad a number of times.   But they made clear I needed to work.  When people have that kind of upbringing, either out of necessity or because their parents  chose to bring them up that way, they’re likely to be the best employees.  And it’s not only a  strong work ethic. Adversity is important, too. And people who play competitive sports also  have that desire to win that’s so crucial in employees.  It’s also a good sign when people  come from entrepreneurial families — where the mother or father ran a business.   Q.  When you started the company with your partner, did you have discussions about the culture  you wanted to create?   A.  Meritocracy was always a big concept to us — making sure that the best people were 
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5 28 11 A Work Ethic Shaped at an Early Age - By ADAM...

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