In his most recent book, Ken Blanchard tells a true story regarding consulting with a bank.
When I got in front of all the key managers, I said, “I certainly appreciate your sending me your purpose statement. Ever since I got it, I have slept much better. I put it next to my bed in case I woke up in the middle of the night. If that happened, I would just read your purpose statement and it would put me right back to sleep.”
The key managers all laughed. They knew their purpose/mission statement rambled on and on.
I told them if I were a customer of their bank, I would hope they were in the ‘peace of mind’ business. If I gave them money, I would like to have the peace of mind that they would take care of my money and even grow it.
In the same book, entitled Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success, Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines describes the business Southwest airlines is REALLY in:
We’re in the customer service business – we just happen to provide airline transportation. It’s that simple. But it focuses all the energy of our people on taking care of our customers. We have never purported to be all things for all people. We have always been very clear that if people will agree to purchase our services, we will attempt to give them an exemplary return on their investment. That is, we will do our best to assure they have a safe, on-time flight, for a reasonable price, with as little stress as possible, in a caring environment.
What business are you REALLY in?
Do all people on your team clearly understand the business you are REALLY in? Does everyone in your company know what business you are REALLY in? These are not inconsequential or irrelevant questions. Most employees absolutely do not know what business their company is REALLY in. And therein lies a huge problem that leads to lack of inspiration, lack of focus, lack of clarity, lack of proper priorities and lack of extraordinary customer service.
Test me. Be sure you know what business you are REALLY in. Then ask your team members, your colleagues, and your associates throughout your company what business you are REALLY in. Be ready to be surprised. Unless you have successfully focused on and clearly communicated the business you are REALLY in, the answers from team members and colleagues will be all over the board.
What business are you REALLY in? A very important question well worth clarifying and communicating… over and over again!
Test me, Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett. What business are you REALLY in?