Other Communities We're In:

SVP International

Sweep The Floors

Posted by

Recently, I was meeting with a potential new Partner.  I had known him/her for a few years. S/he was a key executive at a very successful company for many years.

I’ve met SOME guys like that and they’ve built up a more than ample supply of ego, hubris, sort of an invincibility layer around them; as in “I made it, I’m probably smarter than most of you, and I’ll live my life from that mindset.”

The exec I was talking to had about as much reason to feel that way as anybody … but he was exactly the opposite. In fact, her emphatic expression was that she wanted to “sweep the floors” in this philanthropic / community work we do. Sweep the floors, to him, meant I want to get dirty, I want to see what the real world is about, good and ugly, I want to dive-in / be all-in … and if it takes it, pick up a broom and sweep the floors, literally.

I just loved it, soaked in every word of it … and thought to myself, THAT is the essence of a TRUE SVP Partner, that’s our ethos, the kind of human being that finds our tribe. We are about people that bring genuine openness, humility, a serious lack of self-importance to this work and to each other.

What a great emblematic expression of what a hard core SVP Partner is all about – I’ll Sweep The Floors.

We’ll buy 500+ brooms if that’s what it takes around here, but a lot of Partners show up with broom in hand already and many others eventually grow that mindset and philosophy … we’ve seen that kind of genuine, authentic transformation time and time again. It’s a beautiful, powerful, humbling thing to be a part of … Why We Do What We Do. If you haven’t already, get your broom out and sweep the floors!  🙂

P.S. yes, s/he joined!


  1. Vu

    Thanks, Paul, for the inspiring and pronoun-confusing post. I really appreciate this partner for being willing to roll up his sleeves and grab her broom and tackle the non-sexy stuff.

    By the way, if you’re in the mood for literally sweeping the floor, VFA could use some of that. We have one of those Vietnamese brooms that are made out of palm fiber or something, so it’s a cultural experience too.

  2. Paul Shoemaker

    I would expect nothing less from you, Vu, nothing less :). can I use it to sweep MY bathroom?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Sign up for more...
Get the latest news and events from SVP Seattle