There are many, many tests that must be passed in order to achieve success in the workplace, or success in general. This brief article will address specifically those tests that relate to the workplace: what some of them are and how they determine the career progress of all workers and businesses. Failure to pass these tests almost always spells failure for one’s career in the form of being passed over for promotions and the accompanying pay increases.

One of the most important tests is the Responsibility Test. This happens whenever you see a job that should have been done but wasn’t. You can react in either of two ways. If you ignore it, thinking “that’s not my job,” you have failed the test. Such an attitude undermines career advancement like no other; it’s an automatic promotion disqualifier. Passing the test, on the other hand, involves taking responsibility for the job not done and seeing that it gets done—either by the one who should have done it in the first place, or by you.

Then there is what I call the Example Test. To take this test, examine your work habits and think of how they may impact your co-workers. The question to ask yourself is: “If everyone were to follow my workplace example, would this be a place that brings pleasure to its workers and delivers quality products to its customers?” If you know the answer is No, you have failed the test; if you can honestly say Yes, you have passed. If you’re doubtful, then you need to improve your work habits until you can answer the question confidently with a Yes.

To be promoted, these two tests absolutely need to be passed, because promotion is a reward for those who contribute to the advancement of the business and the well-being of its workers, and these are the tests that measure that. Failing them spells career stagnation and workplace dissatisfaction; I’ve experienced both. But once I became a responsibility-taker and an example worthy of being followed, my life changed: I was able to build a successful business and enjoy 40 years of workplace happiness.

The price of greatness is responsibility.
—Winston Churchill

Example is leadership.
—Albert Schweitzer 

My Father constantly does good, and I’m following his example.
—Jesus