Sweeping the Dirt Under the Rug

I remember it like it was yesterday. One of the jobs my mother asked me to do when I was a little girl was sweeping the floor. I was a typical kid, meaning I didn’t really want to do it all the way through.

So I swept the room fair enough…but I swept the dirt under the rug.

I still remember the little monologue that went on in my head: It’s not that big a deal. Out of sight, out of mind. Mom will never even notice.

And she didn’t notice—for a while.

Then one day I heard her call my name in That Way. You know the one. She’d found a basket of formerly clean white clothes in the basement COVERED in grey dust. She looked up to see a fine column of that dust filtering down between the floorboards from the living room, landing smack dab on her clean laundry. When she investigated, she found the mound of dust and dirt—a pretty large mound by this time—forming a bump under the rug.

It had become a big deal. Out of sight didn’t stay out of mind. And Mom noticed.

I subsequently learned that many people sweep dirt under the rug—not so much real dirt, but the dirt of the workplace. When they’re not doing what they are supposed to be doing, they kind of pretend like it doesn’t really matter or say, “Oops, was I really supposed to be doing that?” PLEASE. Or they take shortcuts in established systems, convinced that no one will notice.

This is inauthentic and dishonest. If you’re not hitting all of the critical drivers of your job, you’re not hitting all the expectations. If you’re not hitting all of the deadlines, be authentic by sharing exactly where you’re at so there are no surprises along the way.

Remember that you’re sharing a workplace with a lot of colleagues, and the work you do affects the lives of countless customers and others. How you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING.

So don’t sweep dirt under the rug. It’ll keep the room looking a whole lot nicer—AND it’ll make your career look a whole lot better!

4 Responses to “Sweeping the Dirt Under the Rug”

  1. It’s a joy to find someone who can think like that

  2. I thought I’d have to read a book for a discovery like this!

  3. Instalei via wubi a versão de 64bits. Tá funcionando legal, mas como instalar o Java para acessar, por exemplo, o site do Banco do Brasil ? Entrei no Windos 7 para fazer isso.Usando Internet Explorer 7.0 em Windows 7 x64 Edition

  4. Sandy says:

    This is a great example of the ‘importance of everyone’ from beginning to end! Your role may seem minor, but using this example shows the first person to the last is key to success!

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