Your Work, Your Self-Portrait

Just like art is a reflection of the artist, work is a reflection of the worker.

“Probably 30 more minutes,” the man supervising the rotisserie chicken station at Costco told me when I inquired how long until the fresh, hot chicken would be done.

“I’ll wait,” I told him as I sat down across the aisle from his station working email.

As the 30-minute time clock ticked down, several more customers stopped to ask him the same question.

“Are they almost done?” an older woman asked.

“They look ready to me. Are you pulling those out soon?” a young mother asked while she juggled a toddler on her side.

“A watched chicken never cooks,” a man with a toothless grin said as he stopped for the second time. “I know that’s not a real saying, but it’s close.”

As the glorious, appointed hour of THE CHICKEN IS DONE drew nearer, more and more people milled around the counter. As I sat watching people from behind, I thought that they looked a lot like dogs catching a scent of a squirrel in the air. They tilted their heads from side to side, and I’m pretty sure if they had tails, there would have been a lot a wagging going on when finally the chicken got removed from the oven and placed in plastic containers.

Once the more-hungry crowd grabbed their fresh, hot chicken from the heating racks, I walked up to the counter and took a container for myself. I smiled at the man behind the counter and said,

“Must be nice to work in front of such an attentive crowd, huh?”

He shook his head and said, “I wonder how they would like to work in front of an audience all day!”

And then it hit me: whether you work in front of an audience all day or not,

Your WORK goes before an audience. And the quality of that WORK demonstrates your value as well as what you value!

  • That email you just sent your team, a coworker, or client. What does that say about your value as well as what you value?
  • That follow up you didn’t get around to because you were busy or something else came up. What does that say about your value as well as what you value?
  • Those deliverables that you did halfheartedly. What does that say about your value as well as what you value?
  • That promise you just made that can’t be met. What does that say about your value as well as what you value?

What does the quality of your work say about your value as well as what you value? Does it fill you with pride at the end of your day because you know that you did your best? If everyone followed you’re example, would your organization be more profitable, your customers more satisfied, and your coworkers more engaged?


 

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