Let this be our symbol for The Pathetic.
I bought a take-out sandwich and that pickle came with it.
Now, let’s think about this...
A grown-up allowed this pickle to be put in a bag by another grown-up and then given to a customer (me ... and probably you). You see, a pickle should be firm and crunchy and add value to the experience (or it shouldn’t be included).
The first grown-up is the manager who hired, trained, developed, and/or didn’t hold the second grown-up accountable. The second grown-up is the person who allowed himself to be distracted from his potential and being valuable to other people.
This is not loving your people (customers or team members) and it won’t encourage a customer to return or recommend. Coincidently (or maybe not), the staff had a similar level of enthusiasm as the pickle.
We’ve all served up our share of metaphorical pickle flop at times. I’m convinced it happens more because of laziness, indifference, and a lack of awareness than anything else.
So let’s encourage each other to expect more from ourselves. Let’s do what we can to make our customers (and each other) exceptionally happy rather than marginally satisfied.
I know. It’s just a pickle.
It’s been said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” I love that.
If you’ve not seen them, our reminder pocket cards are quick and practical tools to help reinforce the fundamentals of being more valuable at work (and in life). Most of them are based on my short books but some are messages that stand on their own.
Each of them make great handouts and topics for discussions with your team. I even share them with the kids sometimes.
Tips for using pocket cards...
1. Start now. Why hold back your thoughts for improvement until a weekly, monthly, or quarterly meeting? Every day something isn’t shared is a day without that knowledge and subsequent improved action. Leadership is about solid and ongoing reinforcement ... daily (not monthly or quarterly).
Small, frequent, and consistent communication on fundamentals makes it more likely the fundamentals won’t fall through the cracks (which seems to have happened in too many places). Use a pocket card to start a conversation. Give them out and ask people give them 3 minutes of attention. “James, I love this idea about ego. Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” And then...
2. Follow up. Talk with your team about the message you introduce. For a more personal touch, do it individually – maybe a 5-minute talk. “So, what are thoughts about the Work Kindly idea?” Then listen (completely) and, if appropriate, share what you like or don’t like about it. Ask in what areas they feel they need to improve. To encourage truth, first share where you need to improve. Make it real so the conversation has more long-term value. You don’t want to gomo the time (go through the motions).
3. Reinforce. Periodically come back to the messages you introduce, especially when someone models something particularly well. “Congratulations to Bob for being awake and seeing that opportunity last week. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re trying to create our own luck.” Privately address any mistakes quickly so they don’t continue. If you’ve got a particularly high-trust-I’ve-got-your-back-you’ve-got-mine team, talk about mistakes in a group setting so everyone benefits. If you’re a leader and you made the mistake, even better to share in a group setting. “I missed that opportunity to Smile & Move yesterday with the Hendricks account. I should have had more of a sense of urgency in handling the proposal they asked for.”