Business is not difficult for you. Business is difficult for everyone. There are systemic challenges in every industry that challenge the best of people in the best of companies without ever being fully resolved. These systemic challenged treat all companies the same, the airlines being the best example, as none of them are free from delays caused weather, unexpected maintenance, or poor dining experiences. Your business has it’s own set of challenges, and it’s easy to believe you are not doing as well as others.
You are getting an A. Maybe a B.
Even though there are problems every day, you are probably not broken. It’s more likely you are an A or a B. Maybe 97% of what you do every day works perfectly fine, with 3% of what you are doing being woefully inadequate or failing completely. A 92% is still an A. An 85% is a B, which leaves plenty of room for improvement, but isn’t a failing grade.
Businesses that get a failing grade don’t tend to last long because there are far too many choices available to customers and clients. That low of a grade will cause people to walk across the street.
Leaders Deal with Problems
The reason so many leaders and managers and supervisors tend to see things worse than they are is because their days are consumed with the 3% or 8% or 12% of the things that are problems. They don’t have to work on what’s going well because it doesn’t require their attention. In some cases, that makes successes something close to invisible; you don’t see them, so they don’t capture your attention.
If you are going to keep score, you need to do so in a way that is fair and honest and not something that is going to make you or others negative or cynical. Take credit for what’s working well and remember that every business has some percentage of their work that is subject to error, much of it due to the systemic challenges in their business—just like you.
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Filed under: Accountability