Adolfo Moran (this week’s guest blogger) joined SoapBox as a project manager in our first year. His height, stature, quiet (and I mean very quiet nature) coupled with his long, scraggly beard caused me pause at first. But, I soon learned that Adolfo is truly a gentle giant. He’s super smart, cares about his job and his clients, and has overcome some insane personal obstacles.
My favorite part of my job is getting to know the SoapBox staff at a personal level. It makes a lot of people uncomfortable at first, but I find each time someone is willing to be vulnerable in this way, I have the privilege of experiencing people at a level I love most — their true, authentic selves. Cool stuff.
Earlier this year I had an opportunity to go hiking with Adolfo in Oregon. He picked the spot. He made sure it was easy for me to get to, brought me water and was an awesome conversationalist. He did not seem the least bit nervous to be hiking around with the “COO” and confidently went along with my “let’s go this way,” seemingly fearless of getting lost.
His tough-looking exterior and reserved personality hide a genuinely compassionate heart. In other words, his mama raised him right. (Thanks Adolfo’s Mom.) I was so excited to read Adolfo’s guest BLOG about the impact of his Mom on his life — learning what I did on our hike, and seeing Adolfo through a different lens makes me want to meet his Mom and give her a great, big hug.
Thank You Mom
by Adolfo Moran, SoapBoxSample Project Manager
I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. My mom provided a roof over our heads, food, clothing (not brand name clothing), guidance, support, love, and a strong work ethic. Anything else we wanted (materialistic things); we had to buy with our own money. I’ve been working since a young age partly to help out around the house, but mostly to buy the brand name clothing I thought would make me cool – I blame market research and advertisers for that, JK. Back then, and to this day, when it comes to work, my biggest pet peeve is the phrase “that’s not my job/responsibility.”
This reminds me of a little story.
“THAT’S NOT MY JOB!”
This is a story about four people named: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized the Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. — Anonymous
A “that’s not my job” attitude does not create value. On the contrary, it prevents things from getting done, like in the story above. I am not here to say what management can do to change this type of attitude. To be honest, it’s not my field of expertise. I just hope that talking about it helps motivate and inspires others to create value whenever possible.
Thinking back to my college days, I took a class on grant writing for the nonprofit sector, my altruistic days. It was an early morning intimate class, about 40 students (trust me; this was intimate compare to the 200 student lecture halls). The professor liked conducting the class round-robin style, meaning all the students were facing each other in a circle. Being the morning person I am, I would always get to class early. I started arranging the desks in a circle prior to anyone else showing up. The professor was always impressed that any student would show such initiative. Mind you, I never took credit for arranging the desks prior to class. Midway through the term, the professor showed up early to find me arranging the desks. He said to me, “The sign of a good leader is someone who creating value when no one is watching” and he expressed his gratitude.
We can all do a little something to create value; it doesn’t have to be something huge. Here are three small things that you can do around the office to create great value.
- Say a new employee has joined the team; everyone could help train and answer questions. Not only will it help speed up training, but you could also make a new friend.
- Helping to keep an area clean, adds value and benefits everyone.
- Moving furniture or lugging around 5-gallon water bottles because you are the biggest guy in the office also helps create value.
The professor’s words have inspired me and I still believe in working to create value when no one is watching. I still believe in doing a job or task without being prompted, it’s just something in my nature and probably instilled in me by my mom. Most teens don’t want to work from a young age, I know I didn’t, but I’ve grown to appreciate the work ethic she instilled. Thank you Mom