Great Quote from T.E. Lawrence

All men dream, but not equally.

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds

Awake to find that it was vanity;

But the dreamers of day are dangerous men,

That they may act their dreams with open eyes

To make them possible.

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“Nope. It wasn’t us.” = FAIL

I just called a local exterminator after the wife found a dead mouse in the basement.  the call went like this:

Me: “Hi. I need to get a service plan on my home.  I believe [name of company] serviced the home when the previous owners were here, so I thought you guys would already have a cost estimate for me.  The address is, [gave her my address].”

Representative: Clicks on computer for a moment.  “Nope.  I am sorry but we never serviced that address.”

Me: (giving the representative an easy opening to pitch me): “Are you sure? I thought I saw [company name] in my records.”

Representative: “Nope.  It wasn’t us.”

Me: “OK.  I will find someone else.”

This failed sale is completely on company management.  They did not train, or are not following up with the representatives.  If you answer the phone (or e-mail, or social media) for an organization, you are representing the organization and should be finding ways to represent the organization well and accomplish the goals that with those who interact with your organization.

And management should know that.

Bottlenecks at Work

Bottleneck: Bottleneck literally refers to the top narrow part of a bottle. In engineering, it refers to a phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is limited by a single or small number of components or resources.

But what if the bottleneck you are facing is a human being?

If the “entire system” (aka: company) is limited by a “single…component…” then something is severely wrong.  Especially if that person is high up on the chain of command.  In fact a managers job is to do the opposite of bottleneck; their job is to disperse the workload and then:

  1. follow up to ensure the work gets done
  2. oversee the process and the people to determine who holds potential to manage other people and processes in the future
  3. build automation into the process

Failure to execute in the above manner is failure as a manager.  But being a bottleneck is like treason to a company; grounds for dismissal.