We’ve all heard a lot of talk (and screaming, and shouting, etc) about Right To Work. It’s a contentious issue because it touches on a raw nerve for everyone: our jobs. Those jobs are usually more than just the profession or skill that we practice—they’re core to who we are, and they’re part of the way we define our very place in this world. And most importantly, they’re how we provide for our families. Like I said: raw nerve!
We’ve got jobs so we commute in on Monday mornings, and we participate in some weekly prep meetings, and then the week starts rolling, and the financial report gets finished, and our boss gives us a pat on the back, and we get a nice thank-you note from a customer, and before you know it, it’s Friday afternoon. We’ve worked a good week, and we can go home satisfied.
But hang on a second. That was work. Where was the awesomeness?
Let me introduce you to someone I think about every morning when I walk into Skidmore. His name is Sonny, and he works for Bedrock as the Building Manager for The M@dison. At least I think he’s the Building Manager…but to be honest, I don’t really know, and it doesn’t really matter because Sonny doesn’t do work. Sonny does awesomeness. Check it out…
Sonny Owns It. As far as I can tell, Sonny has fully bought and paid for the entire M@dison building out of his own pocket. He treats this building as if it’s his own piece of property, caring for every handrail, every step, every chair, every piece of carpet like he would care for the same things in his own home. He’s not just doing his job, he’s taking complete ownership of what’s been entrusted to him and he’s hell-bent on a mission to make sure his building is better because he had his hands on it.
Sonny Is Ready. One day I asked him what time his shift starts, because I was chatting with him at like 6-something in the morning. And he waved me off with, “Oh, not for a while.” So of course I wanted to dig in deeper and find out really why he was in so early. “Because when everybody is in the building, they need me to take care of other things. And I got things I want to get done around here, too, so I gotta make sure I’m finished and ready to help when people need me.” Put simply, Sonny does whatever it takes to be prepped and ready to jump for whoever needs a hand.
Sonny Makes My Life Easier. Skidmore’s a busy place. Lots of creative action, and client presentations, and design thinking happening all day long. And it takes a lot of coffee and snacks to keep this many Creatives energized! By the end of the day, there’s usually a small assortment of empty coffee mugs and dishes scattered around the studio. And do you want to guess who picks it up? Yup. Sonny. I’m pretty sure it’s not in his job description to pick up after us, but Sonny does it anyways—gathers it up, loads the dishwasher, runs it. He’s looked around and seen a little bit of what makes this place run, and he’s found a way to make our lives easier.
So forget about Right To Work. That’s nothing special. You want to get past just having a job and getting to Friday afternoon merely satisfied? Take a lesson from Sonny, and try reaching for your Right To Awesomeness. Own it. Be ready. Make your coworkers lives easier. If we all pursued awesomeness, this city, this county, this state would be unstoppable.