When I worked inside a CPA firm, during the early years, one thing that really bugged me was the fact that the majority of the team members could walk up the sidewalk, into the front door of our office building and walk past a fast-food sack that had blown onto our sidewalk.
We had a broom in a closet right inside our front door (we occupied the entire building – a small, historic office building). Rarely, if ever, did any of the partners or team members grab the broom and sweep the leaves from the entry-way in the fall.
In the winter we kept a snow shovel in that same closet. Did anyone use it? Yes, I did.
The only other people who picked up random trash, swept the walk or shoveled the walk was one long-time manager and the firm’s Managing Partner. Yes, it always bugged me.
I bet in your CPA firm office there are many people who leave the coffee pot empty, never fill the paper tray in the printer, cut things with the paper cutter and leave the scraps behind and even spill something on the counter in the lunch room and simply walk away.
For all of you who actually do the “extra work,” who clean up messes, go out of your way to make sure that your firm presents itself well to the public, restock the printers and copiers and make coffee when you take the last cup – your are my heroes.
Does something need to be delivered to a client? – - Step-up and volunteer. The firm sponsors a Lunch & Learn session and the admin team has purchased and served pizza. Why not stick around afterwards and help clean up?
I said all that because I wanted to share a blog post by Seth Godin, it follows:
Do the (extra work)
Do the extra work not because you have to but because it’s a privilege.
Get in early.
Sweep the floor without being asked.
Especially when it’s not your turn.
Not because you want credit or reward. Because you can.
The industrialist wants to suck everything out of you. Doing extra work as a cog in an industrial system is a fool’s errand.
For the rest of us, the artist and the freelancer and the creator, we know that the privilege of doing the extra work is the work itself.
The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice. And the habit is priceless.