Don’t Overlook This!

Happy 2020!

As the New Year dawns, I am bidding hail and farewell to an old friend. After 42 years of virtually uninterrupted service, my old Kenmore clothes dryer finally let me know it was retiring.

Yes, you read that correctly – 42 years for a frequently used appliance. Unheard of these days. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Sears no longer has its doors open. Building something that never breaks is not the best strategy for an ongoing appliance retailer!

This dryer was around before the birth of my first child, who today is 37 years old. For four decades, it was there for all of the messy kiddie birthday parties, school sports, all the holidays and vacations, and just everyday life. I own nothing else that even comes close in longevity. Too bad it did not come with an audio/video recording device to capture activities and comments being made over the years. It would have provided a truly memorable family history.

There is a point to my tribute. What would your life be like, if all the people around you at work did their jobs, just as they were supposed to, every single day? No unnecessary drama, just the expected solid performance which you could count on! Would that not be a good thing?

Well, they do exist, and like me, you have probably come across many of them in your career. Although they have the same challenges in struggles in life as everyone else, they manage to consistently do the work necessary to help keep the doors open, and the business running smoothly. And for all of that, they are often overlooked for the value of their contributions.

One of the jobs a kid will say he wants when he grows up is to be a fireman. Now, have you ever heard one say that he wanted to be a fire inspector? Probably not. The men and women who put themselves at risk fighting fires are viewed as heroes. They receive a lot of praise, and absolutely deserve every bit of it. On the other hand, we should not forget – or ignore – the efforts of the people who painstakingly identify and rectify the potential hazards before they turns into destruction. They too, save a lot of lives and property from catastrophe.

All my dryer needed to do its thing was a steady shot of electricity and lint-free vents. I have found that all that those consistently solid performers need, is a steady shot of appreciation and validation. Being recognized for the work, compensated fairly, and genuinely respected and appreciated provides the sustaining power for them. But taking advantage of them, or becoming numb to the impact of their contributions, that is what proverbially clogs up their vents with lint, and saps their energy and desire to keep producing as needed.

So if you have not already, make it a committed resolution this year to personally encourage and praise all of your “non-squeaky, steady eddies,” for whom you are so grateful. They do deserve it, and will repay you with that consistent performance you have come to rely on.

Best Wishes for a remarkable and fulfilling year.

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