The pride factor


“Pride” is one of those human emotions that always gets a bad rap – not only is it listed as one of the seven deadly sins (you know them: sloth, greed, gluttony … etc.) but it’s usually associated with arrogant behavior out in the workaday world.

I say “usually” because of course the term “taking pride in one’s work” is utterly in NO WAY related to the negatives traditionally linked to the biblical definition of “pride.”

Indeed, taking pride in one’s work is considered to be one of the most commendable values anybody in any job – from the corporate suite on down to the janitorial foot soldier – can espouse. And rightly so, I emphatically stress.

I got to thinking about this topic this weekend after reading an absolutely fabulous story written by Kathleen Boyle for the Washington Post newspaper concerning the security guards stationed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  

Unfortunately, this wonderful example of why “pride” should sometimes be a highly-prized value got buried several sections deep within the Post’s newsprint folds, well out of sight of most readers.

Taking pride in one’s work, of course, is nothing new to truckers – indeed, it’s almost ingrained within the DNA of the many drivers I’ve met over the years.

Take for example the late Darrell Hicks – a trucker affectionately known as “Uncle Darrell” for his work with children through the Trucker Buddy program.

I met Darrell several times over the past decade and a half – and oh how the industry will miss him – and he just seemed to epitomize the kind of truck driver who not only loved what he did for a living, but wanted to share both his passion and his experience with the next generation of potential big rig operators.

[Here’s a nice local television news clip from two years ago about the Trucker Buddy program Hicks so selflessly championed for many decades.]

Taking pride in the job of driving a big rig is often also shown in the way veteran drivers try to help their less-experienced and rookie brethren navigate the complex challenges involved in operating a tractor-trailer.

Now, while I’ve shared the perspective of Larry Wright – a driver for Schneider National – several times in this space, it still remains an excellent example in my mind as to the way taking pride in one’s work translates into a benefit for all involved.

It just goes to show that “the pride factor” as I call it is something alive and well in today’s workforce – and should be encouraged, if not lauded, by employers of all shapes and sizes. Because that pride translates into quality worker, whether you’re a truck driver or a National Archive security guard, and pays dividends in all sorts of ways that can and can’t be measured.

Simply put, it’s something worth treasuring for the long haul. 

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