top of page

Seven Deadly habits

Be proactive
Get in there and act,
Don’t wait for the cue.
If you do it’s a fact,
That someone will do,
The things you’d thought of,
And you’ll be too late
Irrelevant now -
Redundancy, mate.

Begin with the end in mind
Retirement’s the end
Of the journey for me.
I’ll begin with my ‘package’,
How large will it be?,
If I creep and I crawl,
Through this corporate life,
And the money’s okay,
Then it’s worth all the strife.

Put first things first
I want a big room
With a pleasing aspect.
And a PA with whom
There is mutual respect.
But first thing I must know,
That my money will be,
An amount which will show,
The value of me.

Think win/win
First I’ll win this
And then I’ll win that.
Losing’s not in the plan
I won’t be a doormat.
If I win, you will lose,
There is no other way,
Don’t feel bad about that,
I’ll give you a say.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood
I just don’t understand
Why your proposition
Will help this business
Strengthen our position.
Write another report,
Make it SMART, make it clear.
Set the figures out for me,
3 o’clock, meet in here

One plus one equals three,
So they say in the books,
But the stats don’t add up.
If you ask me it looks
Like the sum of the parts
Should still equal two,
Where’s the other one from?,
I’m not working with you!

Sharpen the Saw
Well it needs to be sharp,
For cutting dead wood.
No axes to grind,
Severance must be good.
My manager’s toolkit
Is serving me well.
I seem to have picked up,
Some habits from hell.

Dr Jenny Knight


Makes me think that ...

Habits are good and habits are bad. It depends what they are and what you do with them. Habits will serve you well and serve you ill. It depends on the balance of focus and flexibility in attitude and behaviour.


Dr Jenny Knight

More people are writing and thinking about work-based poetry. Does this poem make you think of anything? Send your thoughts to

Send a poem you've written or one you like and we'll share it with other WorkInWords readers.

Screenshot 2019-02-08 16.18.01.png

If you would like to make a recording of this poem, click here to find out how.

bottom of page