Photo: Barbora Hrda
In any type of organization, it’s critical that each person do his or her own job to make up the collective whole. A great example of this is on a cruise ship, where you find housekeeping stewards, restaurant wait staff, entertainment crew, human resources personnel, maintenance operators, navigational crew, engineers, and many others.
Each of these jobs is super important, yet none is more significant than another. Sure, the captain of the ship is held in highest regard, but his engineering staff is just as vital to the successful operation of the vessel.
The people in the various positions could think of themselves as more crucial than other roles, but that doesn’t make it true. In fact, that mindset only detracts from that person’s role because it’s the servant attitude that makes each worker successful on a cruise ship.
You Have a Role to Play
It’s often easy to feel overlooked or unimportant when someone in another position is recognized more often or seemingly in higher regard than you — especially if you don’t really understand the responsibility of that particular job or if you work largely behind the scenes. In reality, however, that other role is probably just as important as yours. And you should celebrate with that person in the same way you would want him or her to celebrate with you if you were recognized instead.
One place this is rather obvious is in a singing group. More often than not, the lead singer gets all of the praise, glory, and recognition for the group. But the truth is the lead singer would be nothing without his backup guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist. Just because the lead singer is the face of the music group doesn’t mean the other musicians aren’t important. Quite the contrary. And those other musicians know it.
The lead singer also relies on a sound technician for a successful performance, but no one thinks about the sound tech unless a problem occurs. That means the best compliment a sound tech can get is to go unnoticed. His is a thankless yet vital job.
It takes each person doing his or her part to create a symphony. Even if a certain musician in an orchestra has a lot of rests before it’s time to sound her instrument, that instrument adds something special to the complete sound of the piece being played.
So the next time you find yourself feeling overlooked and insignificant, I hope you keep these truths in mind. What you do is important. You are essential and have a crucial role to play.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"