Be the Wrong Person for the Job


My wife, Amanda is a saint. First, she’s still married to me and has put up with my nonsense for over 13 years. This alone qualifies her for eternal glory, but even more than that she’s someone that genuinely likes to help others.

A few months ago Amanda was at Target. We love Target.  Bright lights, wide aisles, and everyone is so “smily” there. The entry always smells like butter popcorn. Ever notice that? Who doesn’t like the smell of melting butter?

As she was walking through the extra-wide aisles, a young pre-teen girl quickly came up to Amanda and asked her to help find some undergarments.

Without missing a beat, Amanda led this young lady back to undergarments section and even helped her select the right fit and size for her.

It was only after a while later she was walking past the fitting rooms, she realized she was wearing a red collared-shirt with khaki pants. And then she suddenly realized a lot of people seemed to be stopping her to ask questions of where certain items were. She had unknowingly become an unpaid Target employee for the day. And she was a good one.

Have you been in a situation where you were unexpectedly required to help or fill in for someone else’s job or responsibility?

What’s your response?  I know what mine is.

“But… that’s not my job.”

“You’ve got the wrong person.”

Sometimes, we have to roll up our sleeves and get work done that someone else should be doing. Sometimes we have to make things up as we go, but the important thing is – are you getting the job done?

Then who cares if you’re not the “right” person? You were there for a reason and for the moment.

You might even be the “wrong” person for the job, but if you can get results and it doesn’t hurt anybody – by all means jump in.

Don’t worry about getting the right credit. Worry about getting the right results.
“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

― Ronald Reagan


2 thoughts on “Be the Wrong Person for the Job

  1. It’s interesting to ponder how being the wrong person for the job plays out in different situations. The engineering company my husband works for has operated for 30+ years without job descriptions, but they’re currently transitioning to defined roles.

    • Hi Michelle!

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I completely understand the frustration of not having clearly defined roles. This causes more dissatisfaction and employee turnover then I care to think about.

      And I’m certainly not advocating for simply being a doormat or “yes-man” – but I think too often we get stuck in this idea that something is “not my job.”

      In some instances, who cares? Can you get the job done? Will it help someone else? Are you sure you aren’t hurting anyone?

      Then by all means – go get the job done!

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