Victor, a supervisor with my former company, came to me once and explained that he needed to make some more money. He was wondering if we had any additional side work he could do for the company.

“I think you’re in luck Victor,” I told him. “We are looking for someone who would be willing to clean the offices 3 times per week. Are you interested in that?” I asked him.

He enthusiastically said, “Yes.”

“Great. Tomorrow after your regular shift come and see me and I will go over the job with you.” I instructed him.

The next day Victor showed up and I walked him through the offices explaining how I would like the offices cleaned. (Admittedly, this was before I fully understood the value of having a documented system or checklist. I was verbally brain dumping my instructions and expectations. Today, I would advise folks in the process of implementing Level 7 to have a checklist or system documented so they could ensure they would produce optimal results).

After I went through the office and explained to Victor how to do the job, I set him loose to do the work. I asked him to check back with me when he was finished.

About two hours later Victor returned. He was finished.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go take a look.”

As we walked through the offices, I pointed out the things that I felt he missed and needed to be redone. Victor took my instructions and spent another 15-20 minutes working on the things I had pointed out to him. After that, I inspected his work and everything looked good.

Two days later Victor came in to clean the offices. After he was finished, like the previous time, he checked in with me and I walked through the offices with him checking his work.

I made some suggestions on some things he could do better. About 10 minutes later he came back to me and reported that he had finished the things I had shown him.

Finally, Victor showed up on the third day. This time I did something a little different. Victor, as usual, did his job and at the end checked in with me to let me know he was finished. During my explanation and training the first two times I went through the offices with Victor, as I often did when I trained people, I encouraged him to do always do his best in the work he performed. So when Victor showed up at the end of his work on the third day and announced he was done I asked him a simple question. “Did you do your best Victor?”

He just looked at me with a surprised look. I believe he was considering for a moment if he actually did his best.

“Let me go take a look once more.” He said to me.

About 10 minutes later he returned and proudly claimed that he did his best.

That’s all I can ask of you Victor. I want you to always do your best.

Victor just smiled and said, “I will.”

Why is this lesson so important? I feel it emphasizes the importance of Threading Culture within your organization.

A good business is intentional about helping their people understand and live by the culture and values of the organization. One of my personal values is to foster an environment where people apply their best effort and strive to do their best, always.

Whether you aspire or embrace that value or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are consistently and intentionally threading, communicating and reinforcing the values and culture you want to foster in your business.

Now go do your best.