“Who are you working with in accounting?”

Name anybody.

“Oh she’s good,” goes a conversation I have at least once a week at work. It could be accounting, marketing, legal, whatever; it is “good” always means the same thing – reliable and willing to problem solve.

In small organizations, it’s easy to figure out who’s not “good”. Projects are less likely to be spread out among multiple departments and their completion is dependent upon multiply fewer people.

In large organizations, “I don’t know, I haven’t heard back from so and so,” becomes a plausible excuse. Days turn into weeks, sometimes months, and “I’ll follow up again with so and so,” is an easy diversion of responsibility.

The colleague that offers, “You know, I still haven’t heard back from so and so, but why don’t we walk down to his office right now and ask. If he doesn’t know then I think I know someone else who will,” is a welcome relief.

In the journey of figuring out our fulfillment, we’ll likely take jobs that are less than our ideal, and it will be tempting to settle for mediocre. Sometimes we feel like our employers or colleagues have mistreated us and they don’t even deserve our best efforts. Still, the impact of our behavior is not limited to those that work with us. We are impacted by our own choices and apathy is infectious. No matter how disconnected you feel from your work, try to be good – if for no one but yourself.