Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Who Moved My Cheese??

We’ve all heard there are two kinds of people in the world; those who wonder what happened, and those who make things happen. Typically we assign that first group as unsuccessful, and the second as successful. And although success is not guaranteed by ‘making things happen’, there is a correlation between those who take action and those who are successful.

Everyone in our industry has heard the ‘take action’ credo. And hopefully most have been inspired by the success stories and have made the move towards their dream. I’m not going to repeat what you’ve heard over and over – you know by know you need to take action in order to achieve. I’m posting this because this weekend I went back and re-read ‘Who Moved My Cheese Pizza?’ by Pat Rigsby – no, wait, I mean “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. (That first one is still in the works.)

If you’ve read “Who Moved My Cheese?” you know it’s got a bit of a silly storyline, but an excellent underlying message. If you haven’t read it, you need to. Excellent illustrations of Action vs. Reaction, and how people (or mice?) deal with change, in work, life, etc.

With the amount of time we spend working on our business, building systems, automating, trying to relieve ourselves of the constant battle for our time and freedom within our businesses and our lives, and for all of the time spent trying to provide predictable results and eliminate waste, we will never be able to completely eliminate one thing – human error. There will always be human contact and free will, at least to some degree, as long as we are providing a service.

To deliver my point: As I was going back through this book and the notes I had made the last couple of times I had read something hit me that I feel almost naïve for not having thought of earlier. The ability to adapt, change, and respond is built inside of most of us – that’s why we are entrepreneurs. We are resilient, relentless, we persevere, and we will continue to grind and move forward until we reach our goals. But that’s not everyone’s nature, by a long shot. So while we are busy trying to replace that human error in our business, let’s not neglect that there are those around us who need that side of them nurtured. And I’m talking primarily about employees or others who work in your business. They need that spirit to grow, and with that your business will grow. Your success may ultimately hinge more on a subordinate’s resourcefulness or refusal to let adversity get the best of them – so shouldn’t you be helping them build that side of their character??

You need everyone within your business to be a problem solver. You need answers, not questions. When the roof is caving in – do you want to look over and see your right hand man in the corner in the fetal position sucking his thumb?? Of course not. And although you can’t turn a whiner into a winner in most cases, you can foster that little piece of ‘I will get the job done’ that exists in everyone. It will make your business and your life a better place. Promote creative solutions, problem solving, open suggestions, teamwork, and seeing how it all contributes to the big picture.

And if you want to get them a holiday gift, I would start with “Who Moved My Cheese?” Get them primed for the January rush!!

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