The small things. // #leadership


Earlier this week Caley and I were walking into Target when we noticed there was trash everywhere as you entered the store.

After I dropped Caley off at the front door I noticed two employees, one sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette and another walking in. I took my time because I wanted to see if either one did anything about it.

Neither did. 

As I waited in the customer service line to return some stuff I was going to say something because it really was that bad.  But as I waited in line, I could see the cart guy in the refection of the front doors and I wondered would he be the guy to break the mold and do something about it.

He was. 

The other employees simply didn’t see it as “their job” to pick up trash.

Nobody achieves anything great by giving the minimum.- John Maxwell.

No matter our role in our companies, no one is too important to do what is necessary. If that means trash needs to be picked up or the restrooms are filthy, you do what needs to be done for the greater good of the company or organization.

We all have those small items of importance when it comes to our jobs and positions. There are parts of our jobs we were specifically hired to do, but how we lead in the small things is just as important.

We are all leaders. We all have someone we lead and somebody is always looking to see what we will do next. No one is perfect, heck as I wrote this my wife reminded me I forgot to take out the trash, but as long as we remember the small things matter and try we’ll be better set to lead by example.

So what kind of example are we?

For your position it may not be trash in the parking lot, it may be something else, but the next time you throw something away in the overflowing office trash can and you think “that’s not my job” or you’re too busy to even notice it, what does that say? It shows something larger is being missed. Every time we miss an important small item we are giving more and more permission to the people we lead that it’s okay to not lead by example.

Our life says more about our leadership than our speech – no matter how great it may sound.

Leaders do what needs to be done.
Our greatest leadership tool is our example.
So what do we do?
We do the small things.


So be honest how are you doing in this area?

What’s one small item you have struggled to do well?

What’s something you’ve seen your leader do well? Or not so well when it comes to the small things?

What’s an example you noticed lately?

Let’s hear it…

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