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?