Monday, March 28, 2016

Seth Godin's NEVERs - My ALWAYS

Seth Godin - Delivering on never

I will never miss a deadline
I will never leave a typo
I will never fail to warn you about a possible pitfall
I will never charge you more than the competition
I will never violate a confidence
I will never let you down
I will never be late for a meeting
There are lots of sorts of never you can deliver to a customer. You can't deliver all of them, of course. Picking your never and sticking with it is a fabulous way to position yourself.

Mike Lambert - Delivering on always

I will always answer the mail.
I will always give my best advice.
I will always deliver on a promise.
I will always give you a second chance.
I will always have your back.  (You know who you are).
I will always remember every Sailor.
I will always try to make it better.
I will always have something to add to this list.

What's your always?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have a saying out here in the real world. We "never" say never. We don't promise what we know we cannot deliver. We don't weasel word it but we accept force majeur in our strictly hierarchical world.

deadlines are important.

We will not miss any known deadline that we knew about in proper time. Let me emphasize though that you sending me an email at 1027AM on Friday telling me that I have until COB Friday or 0700 Monday on a "deadline" you knew about for a month but failed to communicate to me: it isn't a deadline to me. I'll go home on time, dip the ole beak and never fazzle a second about your failure to communicate and if/when you call me on Monday and agonize/beat me with your lapsed "deadline", I'll be like, "dude! I was out of the office, dude!" And yes, I'll throw in a few more gratuitous dudes. Your piss poor performance in this matter doesn't make it my problem.

I don't leave typos by chance. I also fire those who fail to catch the typos when that is their only damned job. How many yeoman have brought you crap to sign that contained typos? In my case, it was most of them and yes, I rated them appropriately at EVAL time and said they weren't up to the job. Did you ever do that or did you just retype it yourself because you could not be bothered to get them to do their damned job? I'll admit, on the 4th or 5th iteration, the notion that you do have a .45 within 20 feet of the two of you springs to mind.

No traps, no pitfalls. You only let your enemies go into one unaware. One should struggle to ensure that one has no enemies on one's own staff or within the command.

I will charge you what the job costs plus profit. I'm OK with the profit at 3-5%. That means that, yes, I will charge more than the lowball bidders you hire who make their profit on change orders. Think about it.

I'll violate your confidence in a heartbeat if you come up to me and try to get me to deviate from my values and award you the contract for a bribe. Think about the quest for absolutes and eschew the use of them in sentences.

If you let me down it is inevitable that I will let you down. I'll grant that I won't until you do.

I work in a hierarchical workplace. I may be a Captain but I work for admirals and if the Admiral calls me and wishes to speak to me, I'll tell him I have a meeting scheduled but my time is his time and I will send a runner to tell the folks waiting for me to take 5 or 10. I don't know about you guys but I supported mobile units around the world and since they were at the tip of our little spear, they took precedence on my time since that was my primary duty.

Here's mine.

I will never schedule a bogus meeting. As OPS I held 2 meetings/week for 3 years in wartime.
I won't attend bogus meetings that don't require me, my input to such is a memo dropped in passing for 3 years in wartime.
I have more important things to do than copy edit yeoman but I will strike fear into the heart of yeoman who don't get spellcheck.
I am easy to work with. Don't abuse my time or my patience with trivia.
When you deal with others let your experience with them guide you. If they are ripoff artists, don't deal with them anymore.
When it comes to law and the UCMJ, I am bound by my oath. I can do no other than tell the truth.

So, what it looks like is, I'm going to stand with Mike. I do/did all that. I'm hell at names so you'll have to remind me but I remember the place and circumstances very well when you bring them back. Dealing with scores of people over years from farflung commands made names oblique but the details of what we dealt with together over the phone and in person still remain.