I love this piece of inspiration.  I used to have it on my wall when I ran a fast growing IT Support Company.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

It reminded me that our company should continue to deliver outstanding and friendly service to our customers in the face of constant ‘improvement’ from our own internal finance department.

Our internal finance department no doubt wanted us to deliver highly efficient  IT Support. They wanted us to win on almost every transaction but I had a hunch this isn’t the way to build great customer relationships.  Customers want a long term relationship with somebody who keeps their IT running, who is dependable, friendly, trustworthy and somebody who views a business relationship with a bit of give and take.

It reminded me of the parable of the Golden Goose – it goes something like this;

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to kill it. Then, they thought, they could obtain the whole store of precious metal at once; however, upon cutting the goose open, they found its innards to be like that of any other goose.

  • Your technical services are your golden eggs.  Look after these.
  • Your technicians are your Geese.  Find good ones and look after them and let them do their thing (with as little ‘guidance’ as possible)
  • Your finance department might be the farmers – if they’re that way inclined – ignore them a bit.

I had a way of ranking my staff which enshrined the above – but that’s another story.

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