Nearly every job description we’ve seen includes the line “other duties as assigned.”
Some people view that responsibility as a burden. For them, “other duties” are small, insignificant tasks that nobody really wants to do. These people might complain or even ignore something that needs to be done. They might even “delegate,” suggesting that it falls under someone else’s job description.
We like to work with (and be!) people who see “other duties” differently. These are the people who wholeheartedly embrace this responsibility and actively look for ways to step in and be helpful – even if the task falls outside their job or title.
Opportunities to unexpectedly step up don’t come along every day. But when grisly occasions arrive, you learn who you want on your team: the intern who sees a need and fulfills it, the CEO who pushes aside ego and picks up a plate, the staff member who solves a problem before you even know it exists.
As we’ve learned from managing various events, it doesn’t matter whose job it is. If something needs to be done, do it. It’s not worth your time to argue about whose responsibility it is.
Sometimes, you need to:
After an event, when you’re exhausted and exhilarated, it’s human nature to rehash and relive what didn’t go well.
But it’s even better to recognize the plucky heroine who jumped in at a critical time of need. It’s satisfying to delight in the tale of an individual who set aside ego or an opportunity for rest to cheerfully don another hat for the good of all.
We all need these people in our lives and on our teams – someone who serves and comes to our aid even if the need seems simple. Call them small stuff superheroes, if you will. They are superheroes, nonetheless.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog post was adapted from one that was first published in August 2013.