I am teaching a class this week on choosing the first partners to work with in a business. While I have views of my own from doing it right and wrong, I thought it would be helpful to do a little research on the web. One of my lecture points is that there are plenty of lists if one is willing to look for them. In the course of my reading one stood out.
Make sure s/he “doesn’t wear gloves to fill the dishwasher”.
I do not have a dishwasher in Singapore so I had to think about this. The image of June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) came to mind. I can imagine her next to the latest dishwasher, gloves on, loading dishes. She would have a smile while chatting to Beaver about his day.
As this scene plays on I realized I am watching a cartoon. I cannot remember anyone smiling, loading dishes, and chatting at the same time. Maybe this exists however the detail that tears it apart is the gloves. Washing dishes means that one will get her/his hands dirty. I know there are exceptions, but they are just that. Dirty dishes call out for wet and soapy hands.
The advice translates. Good leaders get the point. When one responds, “If you think it best that I go along, I’ll be glad to travel with them,” (1 Corinthians 16.4) he knows that his presence matters. Sometimes it is typing or taking out the trash. On other occasions, it is picking up the phone to schedule an appointment or writing up an initial draft of a working document. Individuals you work with need to be willing to do dirty work.
As I shape the words in my presentation, I find myself reflecting on how I see Divinity. I realize that the God I know regularly plays in the mud of life. S/he is out doing God’s stuff wherever it is needed – including those moments we want to forget. It is in the mucky darkness of life that mercy, compassion, and love shine brightest.