Thursday, September 4, 2014

Love the Organization

Recently in a conversation with a successful college football coach, he mentioned that you need to love the player and truly want to see him get better. I also said that leaders need to deal with problem employees out of love for the others in the organization. If you don't deal with an issue, they don't believe that you really care about the success of the organization and their success. You will appear to be more interested in keeping your own job simple. They see the issues. If you ignore them, you lose their respect and trust.

Loving the organization and all the people in it enough to deal with issues is a recurring theme. It's at the heart of one of my strongest recommendations for the book Breakthrough Company. I was reminded of it when I saw this article about firing customers: those who have a bad attitude (they'll poison your culture because they demoralize your staff); they're taking a disproportionate amount of resources for service; they have expectations that your product/service will solve all of their problems beyond the directly affected areas. I remember one aerospace company that wanted us to devote 10% of our manpower to their pet program when they were less than 1% of our total revenue, and even less in profits. I've seen retail stores offer to their on-phone customers to have store staff be their personal shopper--spending precious minutes taking down a long shopping list and retrieving the goods--while in-store customers are frustrated from the lack of service. I recently congratulated a manager for dealing with a poor performing staff person because that person's performance was becoming a focus of others' efforts rather than focusing on ways to achieve customer delight.

As a leader, do the work only you can do. And do it for the betterment of the organization and those around you. Everything will go smoother if you do.

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