By William “Doc” Halliday

When you take on a task or a project, do you give a commitment to do your very best? Or do you only make a perfunctory effort?

Decades ago, I observed a man sweeping the sidewalk in front of an isolated store in a desert area. The parking area was not paved, and the wind blew frequently. Any area that this man swept was soon to be covered in dust again. Yet, he gave it his finest, comprehensive effort. He picked up every item on the sidewalk in order to ensure that no dust escaped his broom, and then replaced that object in its now clean (albeit temporarily so) spot. I wish I could have spoken to him in depth, but I was not fluent in the language. This is a great employee! Do you have individuals like this that work for you? Or, would your efforts for your employer put this man to shame?

For years I told a story about Jimmy Carter, believing it to be true, as I had obtained the story from a reliable source. As a young naval officer, the future President of the United States was assigned to the nuclear submarine program under Admiral Rickover. That much is true. The untrue or at least unverified story is that Carter was given an assignment to write a report on a particular subject. He did, and handed the report in to the Admiral. Several days later the report was sent back to Carter with “Is this the best you can do?” scrawled across the front.

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