The Janitor

Education & Training with Keller Williams Realty

Lessons Learned From The Janitor

 I just finished reading a fantastic book called "The Janitor - How an Unexpected Friendship Transformed a CEO and His Company".  It was written by Todd Hopkins and Ray Hilbert and was published by Thomas Nelson.

The premise of the story is that a grumpy workaholic has a chance encounter with an opera singing janitor while working late one night at the company he owns.  The janitor - Bob, shares with the young CEO 6 Directives that he learned from his wife, who in the story, has already passed away. 

The premises oddly enough transform the workaholic into a great businessman, family man and friend.  In the end, Bob passes away in the process of teaching the young CEO directive 6.

The first directive was Recharge versus Discharge (because a burned up brain just won't start).  The idea is that after working all day, you need to do something that energizes you are sparks your creativity such as reading, journaling, cleaning, or playing golf.  You will find that as you unwind, creative solutions to your most challenging problems will seem to come time mind effortlessly. 

The second directive was to View Family as a Blessing - Not a Responsibility.  Viewing your family as a burden makes your work a bondage.  Enjoying your work makes it easier to come home and enjoy your family.  If you walk around saying "I hate this job and I only do it to help pay bills" - that job is guaranteed to make you bitter toward your family.  If you go to work thinking "this job is a blessing because it enables me to provide for my family" - - your days will go suprisingly more smoothly, and you may just begin to enjoy your work.

The third directive was Pray, Don't Pout.  Instead of pouting because things aren't going as well as you had hoped, pray and ask for favor and wisdom.  Favor to understand your problems, and wisdom to handle them effectively. 

The fourth directive was Pass it Around.  In the story, the Janitor gave the young CEO a watch.  On the back of the face of the watch, the words "Pass It Around" were engraved.  The meaning is time is flying by, share your wisdom and knowledge with others before it is too late.

The fifth directive was Don't Spend - Invest!  And no, he was not talking about money.  He was talking about time and energy.  Evaluate all of the activities in your life as either an investment or an expense.  Does the outcome of what you are spending your time and energy on have eternal significance?  When we focus on our own agenda, we are SPENDING time and energy.  When we focus on our life's purpose, we are INVESTING time and energy.  Invest your time and energy into things that have eternal value.

And finally, directive 6 - Leave a Legacy.  Don't just take from the past, pay it forward for future generations.  The illustration given was the two dates found on tombstones.  For example, mine would be June 23, 1972 - Whatver, 2090.  Lots of times, we get caught up in the birth and death, and spend little time concentrating on the space in between.  After your time on earth, what will be left behind?  Are you doing something worthwhile with your life that will live .. after you are gone?

I highly reccommend this book!  It has had a profound impact on me, and I pray that God will allow me to learn to incorporate these six directives in my daily life.

As always, comments are welcomed!

Comments (3)

Erik Elsea
Erik Elsea-Jones & Co. Realty - Fort Myers, FL

What a great post and story. Thank you for recommending this book. I will definitely check it out. I love stories like this.

May 19, 2008 04:11 AM
Ernie Steele
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - Lebanon, PA

Thanks for the heads up...I think I'll get a copy myself...Have a great day.

May 19, 2008 04:21 AM
Pam Joffe
Solaris Realty - Tampa, FL

Good afternoon Paula- This sounds like a great book. I will look for it. Have a great day!

May 19, 2008 04:32 AM