A Rubbish Start To Your Day?
OK – I need you to be honest. Really honest. How would you react if you arrived at your office especially early on a Monday morning determined to start your week with a flourish of positivity only to be confronted by endless bags of household rubbish strewn across your car park entrance? Not only that, but a number of your fellow early bird Recruiters had already arrived and simply driven over the stinking, rotten, dripping piles of garbage!
A) Follow the lead of your colleagues and plough through the mess cheerfully assuming that it was beneath you to clean it up OR
B) Reverse your car and nip off to Costa for a coffee hoping some other sucker would do the dirty work OR
C) Stop, get out of your car, get down on your hands & knees and clean it all up...
I am sure that just like me, you would be a big ‘C’ (so to speak).
Initially through gritted teeth and seething with resentment, I explained to interested bystanders what had happened. I chatted to my office neighbours as they watched me dust off rotten food from my suit & I agreed with the Council street cleaners that it was probably just kids messing about who did it. ‘These things happen & never mind, it won’t take long to get the job done’ I was reassured.
But incredibly, rather than it ruining my day I actually began to enjoy my growing sense of self righteousness. With every dripping Burger King wrapper & disgusting used tissue that I scooped up, I realised that I was doing my bit! – being a team player, just all alone. I was proving to the World that I was humble enough to be literally down in the gutter and was obviously parading my virtue to anyone lucky enough to witness my silent, selfless act.
Of course, this act of rubbish heroism is really just a metaphor for the way I want to approach my job. To be really successful is not about the big ideas, the fantastic moments or periods of momentary brilliance – it is about being prepared to get things done, to do stuff that other people don’t think that is necessary. In fact, the better we are at the really ordinary stuff the more we improve our chances of being outstanding.
So, come on my fellow ‘gutter people’ – when you are faced with what seems the worst, most irritating & demeaning of tasks, take pride in how well you can do it and let that sense of ‘David-esque’ self righteousness permeate the rest of your day. Be proud, be conscientious and mentally always be prepared to be on your hands & knees, leading the way.
Be great, be unusual and become super successful simply by being the very best person in the World at the very, very, very ordinary stuff.