Tom Peters, my business hero and virtual mentor, writes about his days in the Navy. Being ‘connected’ by relation, he’s flown to meet with Marine Commandant (in charge of the whole deal, Vietnam, as Tom says). Tom is a junior officer and somewhat awestruck to be in the top guy’s presence.
They talk very briefly and then Tom is asked, “are you taking care of your men, Tom?” Peters replied, “I’m doing my best, sir.” As the Marine general darkens, Tom immediately regrets his choice of words and to this day can feel a gut twist he felt by giving that reply.
The number one job of anyone in a position of authority is to look out for her people. Doing your ‘best’ isn’t good enough. I repeat, if you’re in a position of authority, even minor authority, your number one job is to look out for your people.
What does that mean?
- They are safe: safety first, safety foremost, no excuses
- They have all the tools they need to get their work done
- They have the best environment you can create for them
- They are heard and their input is valued
- They are supported when ‘it’ hits the fan
- They are corrected with respect
- And you, yes you, constantly look for ways to make their work easier
I highly recommend reading Tom Peters book listed below. This particular book is a collection of very short (1 or 2 pages) entries that will push your business toward EXCELLENCE.