Aug 1, 2014

When in Doubt, Sweep

About This Video

Howard Butt, Jr. of The High Calling shares a story about a grocery manager with an easy axiom for ambitious young workers. Sometimes it is our willingness to tackle routine tasks that best reflects our character.

What does "sweeping" mean in your workplace? I suspect that in every job, there are tasks that, while not particularly engaging or exciting, just need to get done. We can choose to see these tasks as unimportant, or even as a sort of punishment, or we can choose to see them as necessary to the purpose and success of our work. 

Workers who dive into these "trivial" jobs demonstrate more than that they are "go-getters"; they demonstrate that they really care about the success of their organization. Paying attention to the small details, working humbly and attentively, we can't help but catch a glimpse of the high calling of our daily work. 

Want to hear more? You can find this video (with transcript), and dozens more over at the High Calling YouTube Channel

TRANSCRIPT: A grocery manager gave a young man his first job. Eager to please, the new employee would rush through every task. Then he would say: "What can I do now?"

After a while, the manager let out a deep breath. He wanted to critique, not criticize. He said, "Son, come here. I want to show you the rule in this store." Leading the young man into the storeroom, he pointed to the back wall where a large sign said: "When in doubt, sweep."

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Some routine tasks always need to be done. Beginners wait to be told to do them, but a rising employee accomplishes the routine and anticipates what comes next . . . in the high calling of our daily work.

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