The story goes that one day an un-assuming figure entered the halls of a very successful organization and was not really noticed at first. Things were new and exciting and the potential for greatness filled the air. For the most part, this person went about their daily routine harmlessly in the shadows until…
One day, something strange occurred. Things got a little out of sorts. The days did not go exactly as planned. Concerns and issues never experienced before needed prompt and effective attention. For you see, things had gone so well, that over time, customers were taken for granted. Thoughts such as “our customers are not going anywhere” and “we are the only provider in town” crept in. Now naturally, this was never part of the plan. Everyone involved with the organization knew the importance of proactively keeping their eye on the ball, but suddenly this un-assuming individual began to take center stage. As calls and concerns came in, or when things did not go as planned, for some reason, this person became the “go-to” on just about everything. Keep reading.
Well… as you can imagine this person became overwhelmed and could not keep up with all the demands and suddenly found it impossible to perform all that was necessary. Despite their efforts to ask for assistance from other team members, things just kept coming in and passed to their responsibility and as a result this once unnoticed individual became the scapegoat for the failure of what was once a thriving entity.
So you may be asking yourself, “How could one individual have such influence that they could run a highly successful organization into the ground”? It is easy to see when you discover that the strategy put in place purposefully or not, was to give such critical responsibilities to “Someone Else”.
Okay, I know you know this is just a story but if your organization has the attitude that it is someone else’s fault or responsibility, your fall could be legendary. Here are a few samples of how things get passed on to this member of your team.
“If someone else would have just trained me better, I would have…”
“You are absolutely correct, Mr/Mrs. Customer, someone should have told you about this!”
“I understand but that’s not my job, you need to talk to someone else in our service department”.
These are actual statements I have heard. Now please hear me. I understand that a task may not be your specific responsibility, but, there is a right way and a wrong way to “hand that person off” to the right individual and their name is never Someone Else! Because when it comes to taking care of those who have chosen you, regardless of the request to some degree IT IS YOUR JOB!
At this point you might be thinking it is time for a three or four step approach to avoiding the services of “Someone Else” and you would be correct. However, the solution to making certain this person never creeps into your organization can be discovered in one simple concept…personal responsibility at every level and role in your organization.
The greatest thing a successful CEO ever said to me was while conversing about the state of his company and the cause of their current unfavorable status was made clear when he stated; “The reason we are where we are is because of my actions. It’s my fault”. It takes a lot for any of us to say that but I am sure we all agree it beats leaving the strategy to fix things in the hands of Someone Else, right?
So my challenge to you and me is that if “Someone Else” ever steps in and voluntarily or involuntarily offers to takes matters into their care, dismiss them immediately and replace them with an army of individuals named “It Up to Me” and watch how your organization rises and stays at the top!