Monday, January 21st, 2013
BE WORLD CLASS AT THE BORING STUFF TOO
GRANDIOSE, PUFFED UP COMPANIES
There are so many grandiose, puffed up aspirations for companies today.
As a counter balance, let’s hear it for the boring stuff that keeps your organization running.
One of my favorite CEO’S came into my office and caught me pissing and moaning about my boring stuff–budget preparation, painstaking plans, reports on what I had done when I wanted to be working on what I was going to do. Schedules, outside vendors, community speeches. I looked up and asked him if he had as much gunk in his job as I did. He said, “Forty percent of my job is gunk but my sixty per-cent is the best in all the company.” He then said, “Do that forty percent well and your sixty percent will get better and better.”
As Ceo you set the strategy, the vision, the culture, the long range plans. You search for talent and manage the outside world and the Board of Directors. Don’t forget to honor your gunk. The day to day discipline of the business. Being on time, not rescheduling unless under real duress, meeting with your admin person to keep him or her appraised of what’s going on, constant review of your calendar to align it with what matters most. And honor the daily stuff of everyone you bump into. Ask about it. Thank people for it.
Most people don’t think the CEO has any gunk to do. Just the glamorous big picture creative stuff. Right. Let people know that you have daily irritating stuff and that it matters. Make Standard Operating Procedures worthy of attention. And let people know that their sixty percent can get better and better in direct relationship to bringing excellence to the boring–the 40 percent gunk. Don’t be blind to the value of the gunk.