My daddy planted a large garden in our backyard.
No, let me correct that. My daddy turned our backyard into a garden.
During World War II, most of the folks in our neighborhood planted a “Victory Garden.” It was the patriotic thing to do, and for our large family, it was the economic thing to do.
Daddy was a farmer at heart. He loved to plant seeds and watch them sprout and grow. He grew so much food that my mother canned vegetables in the summer for us to eat the following winter. He was a good and productive farmer.
My younger brothers and I were assigned the task of taking care of that large garden. I hated the job, especially the weeding. It was our toughest responsibility.
Weeds grew so fast that we could never get ahead. They sprouted out of nowhere overnight and multiplied faster than rabbits.
My daddy had unreasonably high expectations of his boys. He expected perfection.
Every day when he came home after work, he inspected that large garden. If he found a single sprig of green weed, he would have us do the weeding over again, saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”
I hated those weeds. I hated the garden. I hated the discipline.
It took time for me to appreciate the lesson he taught me. Later, I would treasure the lesson and the memory of him saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”
My Daddy had taught me at an early age one of the Principles of Creative Followership.
Do It Right!
As I grew older, the many people I encountered who either did not know or chose to disregard the Principle dismayed me.
Often, they semi-apologized and excused themselves with statements like these. “Nobody will know the difference.” “I’m not paid enough to worry about getting it perfect.” “My boss does not appreciate me. Why should care.” Of course, there is the classic statement which is, “This is close enough for government work.”
If I left a task poorly executed, I would know and not be able to forget that I did not do my best. I knew if I wanted the boss to increase my pay, I had to convince him that my work was so well done he had to pay me more or someone else would. I knew the best way to earn my boss’s appreciation was to exceed his expectations.
When I finish each day, I want to reflect on what I have done and be able to honestly say, “I did my best today.”
Surely, you also want to say, “I did my best today.”
Do It Right!
“Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” Horace S. Collins
PS: If you found this article helpful, check out my new book, Jimmy’s Stories: Preaching What I Practiced at Chick-fil-A.