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Make Up Your Bed

Making my bed is a low ranking task of daily duties. My preference is to lie in it. However, I have recently gained a new appreciation for making it up. Excellence in small things opens doors for bigger things. Making up a bed shows discipline needed in doing the small things well. I always make up my bed, but usually I just pull the sheets, the comforter, and fluff a couple of pillows. Now, I make up the bed, making it look photo ready, with all the pillows (11 in total) neatly in place.

Leaders are challenged with finding employees willing to upskill to add value to their organizations. Many team members are comfortable in just doing enough to get by. They want raises and promotions without earning them. They want other team members to do their work for them. They don't realize that excellence in a little means you can be trusted with much. Doing little does not mean they are lazy. It means they do not understand the effort required to be great.

I grew up in a house the size of the average two-car garage. My mother made sure that it was clean and a place of love. She taught us to respect what we had, little or much. We did not have a vacuum cleaner, but swept the carpet, mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors, washed windows, and ironed our clothes. No one knew we were poor because we were taught principles of self-respect, and dignity. My father taught me this proverb, "once a task is first begun, never leave it till it's done. Be a labor great or small, do it well or not at all." Of course, we had to do it whether we wanted to or not.

There is much to be said about employees who lack respect for themselves and the companies that employ them. Business casual dress codes have lessened the need for employees to purchase a wardrobe of professionalism. Working remotely has added less importance as many employees only dress from the waist up for Zoom or Teams meetings, allowing everything to be seen in the background, pets, spouses, children, not muting sound while they have sidebar conversations, with the television and music glaring. We have become lazy workers, not making the extra effort to do our assignments well.

Perhaps some of you and your team members struggle with doing the small things well. Maybe you don't make up your bed, leave dishes in the sink at night, or wear clothes to work with wrinkles. Whatever, the challenge, be reminded that the way up is down and you will gain more respect in your assignments if you are known for doing more than what is required to earn your paycheck.

Do the small things well.

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