The Beauty of Dirt
16 Aug, 2014
Our friend Tolu told two interesting stories at Open Door on August 12: the story of himself and the story of his business. He grew up as a privileged child with good education and the confidence for entering a glamorous career, but two harsh events caused him to rethink the path of his life. The first was an interviewer’s hurtful dismissal of Tolu’s capabilities; the second was the sudden death of his younger brother. After graduating with an MBA from McGill, Tolu turned his back on the high path of investment banking to explore the world of cleaning. His company, Zenith Cleaners, brings cleaning to organizations and individuals as a practice and a deep metaphor for transformation. Both object and subject are transformed by the removal of dirt.
Tolu’s innovative programs have included schoolchildren cleaning their schools and CEOs cleaning office buildings. Since cleaners are often ignored by office staff, their invisibility enables them to see true organizational behaviour. Rather than calling himself the president of a company, he calls himself a cleaner, and maintains that people who treat cleaners well are good people. Tolu has always treated MSCM well and we are grateful for his support.