Do You Know Who Cleans Your Streets?

by Frank Roche on October 27, 2011

in Leadership, Management

I work in the Old City section of Philadelphia. Ben Franklin lived across the street from our office. The Declaration of Independence was signed two blocks from here. The oldest church in the city, founded in 1695, is at the end of our block. There’s a lot of history here. Tourists, too.

Know what’s missing? Dirt.

There’s a team of street sweepers who are constantly cleaning. They keep the place tidy. And they’re invisible to most people.

I talk to the guy in this picture every day on my way into work. Sometimes it’s just a quick hello. Other times we talk about sports. Last week he showed me his cool new phone that has some pretty amazing streaming video functionality. I “met” him by saying hello one morning. I try to do that with people I don’t know. Like bus drivers. Police officers. People who run the little shops around here.

Which doesn’t make me a better person than anyone else. It just means I pay attention. But it does make me think about work and HR.

And it’s this: Do you know who cleans your streets? Want to have a great place to work? Don’t let anyone be invisible.

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