The Worst Excuse Ever Heard

Bob Schultek
Ben owns a services business and was convinced that the performance of his employees was the primary reason that his business had stopped growing.

He believed that his employees cared only about how much they were being paid and that they should focus on doing their jobs the way he wanted them done. He saw no value in engaging with his folks or encouraging them to continue developing their skills.

“If they don’t like the way I manage the company,
then they know where the door is. I can find other people.”


I suggested to Ben that blaming his people for the company’s lack of growth was the worst excuse I had ever heard.

As you can imagine, Ben’s personnel had a different view. They wanted to understand the company’s plans and to contribute to those plans beyond their normal duties. They cared deeply about the company and wanted it to succeed, as much for their own welfare as for any other reason. They wanted opportunities to demonstrate their skills and be acknowledged as distinctive individuals. For them, working for Ben’s company meant much more than the amount they were being paid. But Ben didn’t hear this so their frustration and inability to act in service to customers communicated a lack of commitment that always destroys customer relationships.

More than ever before, the knowledge and capabilities of your personnel can make all the difference in sustaining and leveraging your competitive advantage. The competency of your people, and the extent to which they are empowered to serve your customers, is what differentiates your company and strengthens your edge over the competition.

Your employees should know your vision for your company, your goals and how you expect them to contribute. They should know what makes your business exceptional and why your company is valuable to your customers. Help them understand how your company operates and makes money; they will then recognize how their work influences the success of your business. Encouraging them to develop new skills will sustain your competitive advantage; their new knowledge and skills will better serve your customers and add value to your company.

Your growth performance is driven by your personnel. They talk to your customers. They deliver on the promises you made to your customers when you asked for their business. The spirit and drive of your organization contribute far more to your achievements than do your products, services, technology or timing. Knowledgeable, competent personnel acting with accuracy and urgency drive your company’s growth performance.

What impressions are your personnel communicating to your customers?

How much more could your employees contribute to your company’s success?

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