Friday, April 25, 2014

Don't Disturb the Bus Driver! (A Lesson from a High School Field Trip)

I went on a field trip with my son put on by his band teacher.

We saw the Detroit Symphony Orchestra do a Bugs Bunny show - they played the music while the cartoons played on the screen. (Kill the wabbit!!). Took me back to the Saturday mornings of my childhood.

We went to lunch at a fun restaurant in the ever-growing Midtown Detroit area where the city is beginning to rise from the ashes. The place was huge! The place was packed! (not even counting our group) The food was great!

We went to Hitsville, USA, the Motown Museum. I got to sing My Girl in the exact same studio where it was first recorded!

We went to the Detroit Institute of Art. I saw art from all the biggies - Van Goh, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Ruben, Picasso, Degas, Monet and more. Fascinating stuff!

We topped it off with a Detroit Red Wings game! Now that's a field trip!

Among the many rules handed down to the students and chaperones, the one rule emphasized quite regularly was, "Don't disturb the bus driver!"

The bus driver was not our tour guide. He was not our ticket dispenser. He was not our party planner. He was not there to answer questions or give advice. His job was to drive the bus, and drive it well. Period. End of story.

I know that I am guilty in my store of expecting all the staff to do all the jobs. But not all the jobs require the same skills. My office manager needs to be highly organized, neat, good at math, able to problem solve, with good follow-up and follow-through skills. Friendly? Yeah, that's helpful, but not required. Able to sell? Only in a pinch.

I could try to find someone who had those latter skills, but I might have to compromise on the skills I really want. Never do that. Never compromise on the perfect skills for the job.

First. you'll get both jobs done better. Second, a better job means the customers will be delighted more. With all deference to the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS The best thing to do is to take each job in your business and write up a list of the most desirable skills for that job. Prioritize those skills, too. That way you know what you're looking for when you plan to hire someone to do the job. When you find someone who fits the values of your team and has those skills, move whatever mountain you need to hire him or her.

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