“Don’t just walk by that trash, pick it up!”
As a kid, my dad would yell at me for walking past a piece of trash on the ground in the yard or the house. I’d argue that it wasn’t my trash, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t being mean, he was teaching me to take responsibility, even if it wasn’t my mess. He wanted me to care about putting things right, even the small things, even the things that weren’t my fault.
We need this same sense of responsibility in our work. We might not have created the mess. It’s probably a small thing. It might technically be someone else’s job. But if we have the ability to put something right today, to pick up that trash, why don’t we? Why don’t we take responsibility?
Our teams and our companies will be stronger and better for it if we take my dad’s approach to the little bits of “trash” we pass by. Take responsibility, fix it, make it better. Pick it up!