We’ve all read those words, maybe heard them, or for that matter, spoken the words, ourselves.
It’s rare, nowadays, to enter into a position, without signing and adhering to some sort of contract, drawn up as your Job Description. A job description usually contains the duties you’re required to perform, the purposes of the job, and the employees essential responsibilities, accompanied with your job title, whom the employee reports to, etc, etc. A Job Description typically customises the basis of that specific job’s specification.
Most likely, anything out of the sphere of the specific requirements, employees refrain from doing, simply because it is not in the job description that they signed up for.
I recall being in a position, quite some years ago, I saw a few things around the o
ffice that required attention. One was emptying the bins, and the other was cleaning some coffee mugs. I saw these necessary items being unattended to and I really didn’t like it. I believe a working environment needs to be in order for the productivity of that environment. Therefore, I proceeded to empty the bins and clean the coffee mugs. In fact, I was more than pleased to tackle these little things, for the comfort and productivity of the office. Well, the manager saw me doing these tasks and was aghast, to say th
Happy to go that extra mile
With firm resolve and decisive conviction the manager called out to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “What are you doing that for? Don’t touch that. That is not in your job description.”
I continued to clean the coffee cups, turned to the manager and explained, “I’m more than happy to do this, whether it’s in my job description or not. I cannot be in an office that is out of order and quite dysfunctional. I’m not concerned whether it’s in my job description,
or not. I think it’s important that we all work together for the success of this office.”
The life of the Ant
Which brings me to the topic of ants. I wonder whether any one of you have followed the life of an ant. Absolutely fascinating creatures! Ants, like humans, are social beings. They love to be around their own kind and work with their own kind. Ants do not compete. They are happily agreeable to work within a team, for that team, accomplishing anything towards the objective, of that team.
Ants lay claim to their territory, or working area together, as a team. Colonizing and commuting in small or large numbers, aspiring to the trustworthiness of unity, one towards the other. Ants are known for tapping into resources that will better their colony and community. When ants work, they work cooperatively, not competing, one towards the other, nor shrinking back from working in the lowliest of jobs. Their aim is to get the job done, as a team, and be successful in doing so.
Ants are extremely active and do not buy into laziness. If ants see a job that requires to be done, they do not look around for the person that is supposed to do that job, they do the job themselves, as part of the team. They are not ones that would slumber or slack off in their work. Ants tirelessly work towards the end product. Ants are known for overcoming obstacles.
Ants are visionary, plan ahead, innovative creatures. This is crucial for them and provides a guarantee for those rainy days, that come along. Therefore, if something is at hand, that may be required for future purpose and future productivity of the colony, ants tackle it with enthusiasm and determination.
The benefit of the Colony
Finally, everything that the ant does is for the benefit of their colony.
The challenge to all of us, as leaders in our field, managers, or employees is whether we are we willing to work like ants? Are we prepared to aspire to the trustworthiness of unity, refusing to bicker, one towards the other, arguing who’s job description it is, and whom should be doing what?
As employers and employees can we raise a mantel, as an example, contributing to the lowliest of jobs to help get the objectives done, and successfully so? Can we, as dedicated leaders and workers, decide to put aside sluggishness, spouts of laziness, or pride, to achieve the optimum objective for the good of the team?
Most importantly, will we lay claim to the vision in sight, planning ahead in enthusiasm and determination, knowing that eventually this too will pay off, for a successful and happy team environment?