I was recently asked again why we do what we do.
Growing up, I was fortunate to have a lot of teachers that were unapologetically demanding. Assignments had to be in on time and had to show full effort. My first couple of bosses were like that too. Don’t even think about coming in late or phoning in sick, and when you step through the doors, you better hit the ground running. On one of my first days as a stock boy at Woolworths, somebody threw up in a stairwell. My first real boss, Mr. McBride, told me to come with him. We got to the offending mess and he told me to stand there and hold his jacket, then got on his knees and proceeded to clean up the disgusting mess. When it was all done, he calmly looked me in the eye and said ”Rick, I will never ask you to do something I wouldn’t do myself.” Think I ever thought twice about following orders?
My dad was similar – he worked his ass off every day, then came home and did work around the house or the farm. I suppose I could have faked homework to get out of helping, but it was actually fun to be out with him fixing or building something and building a work ethic without even noticing.
In the end, it wasn’t so much that these influencers taught me how to do a good job. They taught me what it feels like to have done a good job. When I go the extra mile for a client, sure – they’re happy, but first, I put in the effort to satisfy that part of me that needs to do a good job. Not everybody gets that, and for staff, those that do get it – they get to stay.