There is no way to over-value the people who work all around you.
The Osama bin Laden story has intrigued the entire world. An icon for evil who eluded the searching eye of American military forces for so long is no longer a threat. Though I will not go into political discussions here, a simple principle can be pulled from the story on bin Laden’s demise: the often-overlooked people in every work context play major roles in outcomes and ultimate results.
A courier by the name of Sheikh Abu Ahmed, not a military guru or some high ranking official in Osama’s subculture, was the link the CIA needed to ultimately locate the elusive fugitive. Though authorities knew of Ahmed’s connection with bin Laden, the courier was thought to have possibly been dead…until they picked up his voice in a phone call. Tracking him from then on, Ahmed ultimately “led” U.S. intelligence to the Pakistani compound were bin Laden was hiding. The rest is history now. A simple phone call, perhaps a careless or minor slip up by a courier, and the guy at the top was ultimately taken out.
Hopefully you are not working for any thing that resembles al-Qaida this morning! But your workplace shares one thing in common with the late bin Laden’s operation: everyone matters in the big picture of any operation. As go the ideas, behavior, methodologies, practices and daily steps of each and every person in any organization, so goes the ultimate direction of that organization itself. For example, it is easy to think the janitorial or cleaning crew of a business doesn’t count. Think again. Their honesty and integrity on site is essential from a security perspective. Then there’s the appearance of the front office or facility itself and the way customers, clients, and patrons evaluate or perceive that organization from a physical view. Examples can easily be cited for the person who picks up your mail everyday. Consider also the receptionist, the administrative assistant, the landscaper, new hire at the bottom of the “totem pole,” the invisible supplier or vendor, and the list goes on. These people are critical to your mission, bottom line, reputation and the ultimate outcome of your business or organization.
Do you value them? Appreciate them? Train them? Inform them? Last week National Administrative Assistant’s Day was observed. I didn’t point this out as I have done other years. Perhaps I should have.
Ensure you are not overlooking the value of those who work around, beside, in tandem with you or for you. It is easy to do so because most of them work under the radar screen, almost invisibly. They normally don’t demand a lot of attention. They are content to work in your shadow. Gather your leadership team for a brief meeting to identify these people in your company and look for ways to keep them better informed, up-to-date, well-trained and highly appreciated. If they cannot articulate the mission of your organization, you probably have little hope of achieving your bigger picture goals. It is critical that they know what you are trying to achieve so that they can understand the extreme importance of their role. Make sure you! remind them constantly of their vital contribution. Don’t get “taken down” at work because you overlooked the little people. The truth is, there aren’t any little people. Everyone is HUGE in meeting stated and implied workplace objectives. Have a great Wednesday and make it count for Christ!