I thought I would break away from the normal tech tip today and write a short post on something I feel strongly about. In fact, this is something that I have felt strongly about for most of my adult and professional life. It's a concept that, to a certain extent, has defined who I am and who I strive to be.
The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said:
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
It was while researching this topic recently that I came across this quote for the first time, but it summarizes nicely my thoughts on doing your absolute best in every way possible, regardless of what it is we're asked to do. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing so well that you exceed all expectations set forth when the task was assigned to you.
The other day, I was asked to help with a specific project. That task could have taken me 30 minutes to complete based on the requirements. Instead, I decided to take an extra 15 minutes to not only ensure that the solution was rock solid, but to ensure that the client had the best possible experience with that particular engagement.
Did I meet the expectations? Yes. Did I exceed the expectations? Yes. Was I financially compensated more than I would have been otherwise? No. Sometimes, it's not about the compensation or the thanks. It's about knowing that I did everything possible to ensure that someone else was taken care of. Really taken care of. In the end, we're all just trying to do the best we can.