Folks, I’m close to 72 years old but I still pick up litter, I still visit communities (the equivalent of ‘walking the factory floor’ in my business), walk vacant apartments, have regular ‘Lunch with the Chair’ with front line Team Members, periodically meet with new Team Members in Cultural Immersion sessions. My dad was a civil engineer and raised me to be a hands-on, jack of all trades and I’ve always had the greatest respect and admiration for the mechanics, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, farmers, and handymen who keep our world running and without whom things would quickly fall apart.
Keeping the ‘dirt under your fingernails’ means staying grounded, humble, and connected, to keep one’s head out of the clouds, always keep one’s feet on the ground, never get too caught up in one’s self, spend some time on the front line.
“No one ever drowned in sweat.” – Lou Holtz, b. 1937
“Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment.” – Heywood Hale Broun, 1918-2001
“What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” – Will Rogers, 1879-1935, humorist
“…you need to stay connected to the actual work that is being done—not just by observing others executing but by executing yourself. If you become a conductor, you need to keep playing your instrument. If you become a sales manager, you need to keep going on sales calls yourself. If you manage a team of plumbers, fix some faucets.” – Kim Scott, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier