“There are no unimportant jobs …”

… is a motto any great leader should live by. That every person in your organization, on your team, and in your community is important.

In an interview with former Dean Kim Clark a few years ago, he shared the same idea. I’ve posted parts of it once before, but see this 3 minute clip on the role of good leaders.

Below is the text. Below that is the video.

“Not all of us in the world have the privilege of working in something that itself is inherently passionate.  Some of us work where it`s like work.But everybody can be in a place where their work is valued, where they have opportunities to grow, where they are respected, and where they can see the connection between their work and the larger purposes that they serve. And that has been something I’ve tried to do at this place.

And so I gave a little motto: There are no unimportant jobs at the Harvard Business School. Everybody has an important role to play. And you work in an organization to help people understand that`s not rhetoric. It`s real.

And help them understand, “I am in media services and my job is to set up the equipment in the classroom, and make sure its functioning. And I kind of do my job and its work” You help those folks understand, yeah you’re in media services but you are critical to that student there, whose name is Jeff Immelt. And 25 years from now he is going to run General Electric and he’s going to have 250,000 people working for him. And he’s going to be important and your work as a media tech is going to make that class go well, which means hes going to learn and he’s going to be a great leader.

So you go to work, and say yeah, I’m in media services but that’s important. And I can see how what I do has a larger purpose. And you get passionate about that. You may not be passionate about making the cords work together, or making sure the equipment is right. You get satisfaction out of it because you’re doing a good job. But you get passionate about the purpose of the organization you work for.

And that is what leaders do. Leaders instill in people a sense of purpose and they inspire people. They inspire people if they are good. They inspire people, because they connect people to the larger purpose.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 Business School

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

The Education Matters Project



Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

Thanks you Chicago for selecting me in 2014.

Register To Vote

Twitter Feed


The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
November 2012
« Oct   Dec »
Get Adobe Flash player