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4 Ways Gum Wrappers Can Change Your Leadership

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Oct. 26, 2014

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." John Wooden Twitter icon

Walking into work on Monday morning, you notice a gum wrapper on the floor in the lobby. What do you do?

If you want to be a leader:

Pick it up.

If you want to be a leader:

Pick it up even if your superiors are watching.

Show that you are willing to take care of even the smallest of details, that no task is too small. You're not demonstrating weakness or some tacit admission that you left it there yourself on Friday. You're demonstrating what you notice you'll resolve.

Leaders must have an eye for detail.

Pick it up even if your colleagues are watching.

Show you're willing to work. Picking it up does not condemn you to a lower place in the pecking order. Just because you were the first to stoop doesn't mean you're lower. Rather it places you in their minds as one who does not exhibit opportunism or self-exaltation over a team.

Leaders must have team spirit.

Pick it up even if your subordinates are watching.

This is no show of weakness. This will cement you in their minds as one who finds no job too lowly. Leaders who are willing to get their hands dirty, even with a clean gum wrapper, win great loyalty from lieutenants, sergeants and corporals.

Leaders must be willing to serve.

And pick it up even, especially, if no one is watching.

Good leaders do what needs to be done, no matter how small or demeaning, because it has to be done. It is a matter of integrity without which you cannot and will not lead.

Leaders do the right thing regardless of who is watching.

People who seek to stand out should be prepared to bend down, and pick up gum wrappers.

Is that you?

Rev. David Davis writes a weekly leadership series for new ministers to help them transition from the academic environment to the realities of work.

Are you interested in reading more insight from David Davis? Take a look at these Evoke posts:

Selective Neglect Selective Neglect

Do you hear me How NOT to Listen: 1 Habit that's NOT Helping You

Get it done The Fallacy of Trying

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The Heat UnleashedPhoto/The Heat Unleashed by Sheila Steele, on Flickr

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