7 Ways to Choose Your Failures Carefully
The hotel staff didn’t complain but they were visibly upset. What happened next is a lesson in choosing your failures.
A lousy customer:
A guest at a nearby table insulted the staff. Even though we were outside, this obnoxious patron also told a nearby table to keep their children quiet. My wife and I quietly ate breakfast two tables away.
Soon the restaurant manager went to Ms. Jerk-hole and asked her to go inside. It was gratifying to see management deal quickly and discretely with a rude patron.
Lousy customers drain resources and distract from important opportunities.
Succeed with the people you serve best. Fail with the rest.
- Anyone who distracts you from your mission.
- Destructive customers who make good customers unhappy.
- Employees who refuse to grow.
7 ways to choose failure carefully:
#1. Raise the rate for lousy customers until they either go away or it feels good to serve them.
#2. Fail with one person in order to succeed with others.
Give yourself permission to “release” people who don’t fit. If EVERYONE fits in your organization, you don’t stand for anything.
#3. Don’t allow poor performers or lousy customers to distract you from high-growth employees and satisfied customers.
#4. Spend more time with new customers and satisfied clients than perpetually unhappy customers.
#5. Fail with squeaky-wheel employees when they distract you from productive employees.
- Invest in motivated employees or you’ll end up losing them.
- Don’t honor lousy employees with your best energy and attention.
- Invest in people who are facing new challenges.
- Support motivated novices who dedicate themselves to improvement.
The best people find new employment when you neglect their development.
#6. Release anyone who doesn’t improve in six months. You’re the problem if you don’t reassign people, redesign jobs, or remove dead weight.
#7. Err on the side of grace. Give opportunity to rise.
What does successful failure look like to you?
Make Learning Stick and Get the Most Out of Leadership Development
What does successful failure look like to you? Addressing the issue privately speaks volumes, especially in public. Keep things as calm as possible and handle the incident sooner as compared to later.
Don’t let things fester and disrupt the entire process.
People like to be heard give them your attention when needed, at the same point in time if the situation is a reflection on ones short comings accept the lesson and plan to change the way you do business, there are times constructive criticism is mission critical to an organization, which helps to bring about change for the better.
Thanks Tim. In the case I mention above, sooner is definitely better than later. You hear things like the customer is always right, but not in this case.
I hear and have seen the same, sometimes you just have to shake your head and walk away.
According to Vineet Nayar it’s employee’s first, customers second and I agree with him. You set the example for how you expect your team to treat your customers in how you treat your team members. It is virtually impossible for customer service to exceed the service that your team members get from their leaders including the owner/CEO. By showing your team that you value them, buy dealing with those ruthless customers, you empower them to spend their time creating a great experience for your new and your great customers. Fail with the miserable customer (fire them) to succeed with your team members.
Thanks Dan; very appropriate words for a situation I currently face. You’ve just validated my thinking.
Thanks Henry. Best for the journey.
Simply excellent! Thank you.
Thanks Katia. Best wishes.
It seems to be a human condition to spend that time and effort on those toxic customers and staff; our star employees and high value customers are the most deserving but often get the least attention
Thanks Roger. The truth is, “Bad is Stronger than Good.” Bad sticks with us longer and we remember it in more detail.
Enlightening post! This really got me thinking about who I should have in my life. Succeed with the people you serve best. Fail with the rest. This is words to live by! Success failure allows you to grow. Allowing failure to shine will enable you to identify what needs to change if you are unaware. Just like snoring. If you are snoring, you don’t know until someone shines the light or lets you know. Then if you want you can change it or now. Thanks for the post!
This is a very tough topic to discuss amongst teams because it involves a resolve not many are comfortable going forward with. There are always organizational guidelines to by but it takes some effort to acknowledge a ‘squeeky-wheel’ exists and to also take action. There is a level of equilibrium on every team and actions have to be taken to get rebalanced.
“The best people find new employment when you neglect their development” – There is so much power in that single statement. Great insight as always Dan. Thank you.