August 21, 2008

I Got Your Back

I received an email yesterday from a good friend who took the time to point out that I had made a small typo on a previous blog post. This is a guy who clearly reads my crap most days, he sends comments and nice words but also feels comfortable enough to point out when I have a human moment. No one gets their nose out of joint, it’s just a simple “caught a typo, dude” and I fix it.

That doesn’t sound like a huge deal – but it is.

I worked with someone years ago who I learned more about life from, than any skill I possess. He was gracious to fans when they sent compliments, he took criticism well, his coaching skills were exceptional, and he was tough.

One of the most important things I learned from him was mean what you say, say what you mean – no, this time we mean it! Honestly. For real this time!

Too many companies spout soulless phrase likes “we value our people” and “we are open to suggestions” and “we encourage our people to make mistakes”. Every now and then, there is a company or boss that does mean it.

It is my unscientific stance that we would see an overwhelmingly large increase in productivity and creativity if people were truly allowed to make mistakes and be able to point out errors - while not making it a personal attack - but with a true intent on making things better. I know, easier said than done but isn't worth a try?

No one likes being told they are wrong, no one likes being made an example of, but there is a tactful way to do this and the results will be miraculous. I am obviously not suggesting this is an exchange between colleagues in front of a client.

One of my many mantras is simple; perhaps you may want to try it. I’m not here to cover my ass; I’m here to cover yours.

Thanks Sal, typo fixed!

km

 
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