No matter where you work, some people are offensive. But the word offensive has many meanings. Usually, when it comes to work, offensive refers to the person who reheats leftover fish burritos in the microwave or yells in meetings every day. Being offensive under this definition will guarantee that you are well known in the office. Just not the way you want.
A friend introduced me to a better way to be offensive. I asked him why he gets into the office so early every day. He usually arrives before 6:00 A.M. He said, “When I get in early I can be on offense. I can send out my raft of emails before others get in and be ready for the day. If I get in later I am finished before I can start. I play defense all day.” Well put.
On reflection, those who are most successful are always on the offensive. They are always a step ahead and putting a plan in place each day. They are the ones that people follow. No big secret is involved and it is just common sense. The reasons why you should consider going on offense are simple:
1. You set the agenda. What is most important to you and your group’s success becomes the focus when you set the agenda. The things that get done are the things you want to get done.
2. You get things done. You can plan. You can be organized and most importantly, you can check things off the list. The work world admires people who are known for implementation.
3. You enjoy your work more. When you are on defense you are always back on your heels waiting for the next thing to come along. What can be more satisfying at work than to be setting the agenda and getting things done? Not much.
Of course, there are intervening variables like the boss who is also playing offense and setting a different agenda or the customer who needs immediate responses. Being on offense doesn’t necessarily mean you are in the office at 5:00 A.M every day. You can find your own way of getting onto offense depending on your style and the culture of the workplace. The world isn’t perfect when you are on offense but being out front can make work more satisfying.
Just stay away from the other definitions of offensive.