“He Did Not Despise the Little Things”
From Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones
© 1995 Hyperion: New York (pages 76-78)
Posted by permission www.lauriebethjones.com
In the Old Testament a verse reads, “A day of little things, no doubt, but who would dare despise it?” Jesus did not despise the little things. When he set out to change the world, he chose only a dozen people to work with — not a cast of thousands, He packed value into every minute, every glance, every question, every encounter because he knew that out of little things come big ones.
I see such an impatience with and disregard for little things in business that it disturbs me. Yesterday I listened to a woman lament that her bosses had taken away a key sale from an employee and “given” it to another one because it somehow made the store’s overall cost of sales lower. Were they thinking that was just a minor incident to this salesperson? By trying to inflate the bottom line, they had punctured her trust and morale. “It was just a little sale,” they assured her. Yet by depriving her of her little sale, they were losing their real customer — the employee herself.
I worked once with a boss who didn’t want me to spend so much time with clients. “Go after the big clients, Laurie,” he said. “Leave the peanuts to the others.” And yet when the numbers were totaled, my combination of small sales out totaled his few “big ones.” I thought to myself (as I resigned to start my own company), “Dinosaurs became extinct—yet rabbits still abound.”
Aren’t many of us hounded by a sense that only the big things count? I personally have had to battle- a mindset that said whatever I did had to be the biggest and the best. I couldn’t just write a poem—it had to be Ulysses. Recently, out at Gold Rock Ranch, my artist friend Willy was teaching a group of us how to carve soapstone. Having seen her so quickly and easily carve out lovely shapes of bears and birds, I took my raw chunk of soapstone and began to study it intently. As if reading my mind, Willy called out, “All right, group, let’s break for the afternoon while Laurie carves The Last Supper.” I laughed and laughed. It was true. I thought surely I had to create — was about to create—a masterpiece on my first try. What I ended up with looked like a mix between a dove and a rocking chair — a silly little thing. Yet any creative person knows not to despise the little things —the first brush stroke, the first word on paper, the first phone call to a prospective client or Friend….
Jesus did not spend his time creating operations manuals that could be franchised and duplicated by the millions. He hurried to see a little girl who was sick, focusing only on getting her well; he knew that one boy’s loaf of bread had all the ingredients necessary to feed thousands.
He did not despise the little things.
How in your life or business are you “despising the day of little things”?
What deed of yours today would you want to see multiplied?