#SoG132 - A VP and a Janitor

#SoG132 - A Janitor vs a VP

Lemme start with a disclaimer [1]. I intend no disrespect to any profession or any individual.

This one has an anecdote from Steve Jobs, my hero!

So, apparently, at Apple, when Steve Jobs was around, every time someone got promoted to the level of a VP, Steve Jobs gave them a spiel and that had this section about the difference between a Janitor and a VP.

[Quote] Source: Inside Apple. And as quoted on Macstories and Business Insider.
Jobs imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: The locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn't have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. Senior people do not. "When you're the janitor," Jobs has repeatedly told incoming VPs, "reasons matter." He continues: "Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering." That "Rubicon," he has said, "is crossed when you become a VP."

What's the point?
The point of this is that as someone who is supposed to get things done, you have two choices.

A. Wait.
Be the lazy bum, allow others to dictate things.
Make excuses even if you could fix things.

B. Take charge.
Roll up your sleeves and do shit!
Take ownership.
Of your failures and successes.

Lesson for you?
Either you can look for reasons and excuses. Or you can get things done. You need to be aware of that when you work.

More importantly, you need to be able to spot this with your colleagues. When they say, "the internet was down" or "the phone was on silent mode" etc, they are making reasons. They are being Janitors. If you are mindful and open-eyed, it's so easy to spot these Janitorial comments. You know in an instant who do you want to keep engaged.

And no, don't mistake reasons for no. They may say, "I am aware of this but I don't have the bandwidth to do this". This is a "No". Not an excuse.

In the end,
As I end this, I am reminded of yet another quote that is often ascribed to Steve Jobs - "Real Artists Ship".

Do you ship?
Or do you hide behind an excuse?
That's it.
Have a great weekend!

Thank you for reading,
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Tags: Steve Jobs, Work.

Streak: 1
I could've sent a letter yesterday but was too lazy to work on it. Blame it on all the heat in Mumbai. You know, Janitorial excuse ;P

1. If I need to add disclaimers to what I send, I need to find a better audience.

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