Take out the trash

Literally, young professionals need to remember to take out the trash.   It doesn’t matter how many diplomas you have on your wall or the title under your name on your email signature… the trash still must go out, someone has to do it, and it might was well be you.

In one day at the office, I have completed the following tasks:

  • Submitted a $70,000 grant
  • Closed a $5,000 donation
  • Signed checks totaling over $15,000
  • Served as the guest speaker at a luncheon
  • Took out the trash to the dumpster

I think new leaders need to remember – no job at the office is beneath them.  If you are leading a nonprofit organization and something needs to get done, sometimes you just need to do it.  Whether that task is securing a large donation, representing the agency to the public or cleaning the office; it is your job to get it done.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are above any job or task at the organization.  You just aren’t that important.    

I am a strong believer in the concept of never asking an employee to do a task that you wouldn’t do yourself.  I take out the trash.  I encourage you to do the same.


About Dr. Sarah Wolin Mackey

Putting theory into practice at nonprofit organizations.
This entry was posted in Career, Nonprofit Management, Young Professional and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Take out the trash

  1. Tony Ramos says:

    A few years back, people asked me why I was always picking up cigarette butts and trash off the sidewalk just outside out agency when I was the director. My reply: It shows pride in everything you do and the way you present yourself to your clients.And along the lines of your post, no one is beneath doing anything in Non-profit. Leading by example is the best way to influence employees. ,

  2. Tony –
    It is great to hear about the pride you have for your job and your agency. It sounds like you have created a culture at your organization where everyone does what needs to get done (even if that means picking up trash outside) to support the agency’s mission. I believe that when the director at the agency sets that example, then the employees will work together to best fulfill the agency’s mission.

  3. Pingback: You know you work at a nonprofit when…. | Sarah W Mackey

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