I looked up and saw that look of disappointment.
My 8-year-old self was staring into the face of my father. I had badgered him for weeks to let me cut the grass to earn the same allowance my older brother got for the same chore. My early activism in equal pay for equal work.
His look communicated that I had not met his expectations. He sat me down and gave me — the talk. The talk about how the quality of the work will build up or destroy my reputation.
He boiled it all down to a simple maxim that I have shared more times than I can count with my kids and my grandkids.
A job worth doing is worth doing right.
This maxim became my guiding light whenever I take on a task or role. At the end of a project, I will think back to my Dad and ask myself — did I meet his expectations — did I build up or destroy a part of my reputation?
? What task in the past do you wish you could get a “do-over”?
? What checks can you put in place to ensure a reputation building result?
Do not misinterpret this as requiring perfection. Perfection is impossible. After my Dad gave me that first talk, I apologized and fixed my mistakes. I learned and made sure to not repeat them.
As a nod to this life lesson, I shared the following on the dedication page of my book, Beyond The Obvious:
To my parents Bill and Arlene McKinney, for teaching me the rule of success: “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” I wish you were here to see this.
A normal post on this blog is 1,000 words. Anything less than 300 words is a “micropost.” I am trying out these shorter posts so I can share more often. I would love to hear your thoughts. Post in the comments.
Phil McKinney Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.