One for all, All for one!

One for all, All for one!
Photo by Samrat Khadka on Unsplash

I was recently invited to a colleague’s housewarming ceremony and on the drive back I saw something, that we often see (but not notice) on highways that made me instantly recall the old story from 1962 where during a visit to the NASA Space centre, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, "Hi, I'm Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?"

"Well, Mr. President," the janitor responded, "I'm helping put a man on the moon."

That story always struck a chord with me—it's a reminder that every role, no matter how seemingly insignificant, contributes to a grander narrative. It's about embracing our part in the bigger picture, whether in our personal lives, our businesses, or our organizations. And when everyone adopts that mindset, incredible things can happen.

On this day, as I was driving back to work from the ceremony, I noticed a common sight which I hadn’t paid much attention to before. This time I observed how almost every employee of an off-highway restaurant was standing by the road to woo prospective customers inside. It didn’t matter if he or she was the cook, the cleaner, the waiter, the security or the owner. Each one was working as a team towards the common goal of acquiring customers.

It made me think of all the meetings that I have attended only to hear department heads clash to get the credit for the wins and blame each other for the losses. Or highly bureaucratic members or teams delaying the implementation of a project to fulfil their agenda.

What if all of us thought like the janitor at NASA? What if all of us pitched in together like the staff at the restaurant? Who can then stop not only us but our entire organisations from Shooting to the Top?