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When Ordinary People Are Extraordinary Employees

We Have Extraordinary Employees:

Otherwise Viewed as Ordinary People 

‘I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.’ ~Charles Schwab

Many organizations have some type of recognition system for top performers or ‘Employee of the Month’. I appreciate the effort – especially when delivered in a genuine way. We all know that the culture of an organization is going to impact the way such recognition systems are received. In other words, if the company’s culture – the aura and atmosphere, the level of cohesiveness, and the way we lead is already strong, authentic recognition systems can be effective.

Yet I’ve worked with far too many organizations whose leader thought the culture was strong – but, truth be told, the employees didn’t see it that way.

A vast majority of people want to find some degree of pleasure and fulfillment in their work. When we have created a positive culture where people want to come to work, find their role fulfilling, and know there is a strong system of support and opportunities for growth, chances are we might see an otherwise ordinary individual executing extraordinary work.


Ordinary people can do extraordinary work. A lot of people take pride in the work they produce. Whether we’re leading a small, family-owned  bakery or own and operate a major franchise, our people are performing tasks that we need; that we value. Those people who are passionate about their position with our company are worth their weight in gold. Our hostesses and receptionists will should feel as important as our top executives.

When our staff chooses to make a positive difference, it should be noticed. Martin Luther King once said, ‘if a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo 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”’.the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well”’.

Why? Because when they are doing extraordinary work, it doesn’t matter their title – they are inspirational. Where some leaders go wrong is when they label some jobs as unimportant or worse – apply that attitude to their people who perform those jobs.