When warm-n-fuzzy is not a good thing

on "April 06, 2017 9:01 am"

By Denise Gabel, Chief Operating Officer, Northwest Credit Union Association

Every dryer has a lint trap. A key component to any dryer, a lint trap catches the fuzz that comes from our sheets, towels, and favorite shirt we can’t live without. Lint traps also catch a bad rap for devouring solo socks, leaving many sad orphan socks in its wake. (This, by the way, is a fallacy. Socks go missing before they make it to the dryer. Maybe it’s the washer. Maybe it’s the dog. We have to cast blame for a missing sock because it’s irritating.)

Good people know lint traps need to be cleaned on a regular basis. If you don’t, it can mean fire! The residual fuzz in a lint trap creates a soft blanket of kindling that can ignite when the dryer heats up. Flames. Burning. Warm-n-fuzzy gone bad. You can lose your favorite shirt—the one you pair with those fabulous jeans that make your butt look amazing.  You can lose your home or singlehandedly burn down the neighborhood where the laundromat has stood for centuries.

So, if we know a long ignored lint trap can be so dangerous, why do we dismiss this simple chore? Why don’t we perform this simple action that would prevent a fire? Lazy? 

Lazy doesn’t mean never—but it does mean later. As a leader, individuals and teams are looking for you to empty the lint trap. It’s not that hard. It needs to be done and everyone knows about it. If you don’t deal with these small details—who will? If you ignore this easy-to-do chore, you are teaching others this same behavior. You have to exude the excitement for the lint trap and every other small detail in your organization. Details matter. 

Am I saying that your time is best spent on lint traps? No. Are your energies best spent modeling that you care about the details and you’re not too good to sweep your hand over the dust particles and toss the fur in the trash? Yes.