I remember as a kid, my father explaining to me that business is no more complicated than people working with others (who are called colleagues and vendors) to serve other people (who are called customers) and that money is the fruit that falls from the tree when we serve each other well.
All these years later, I realize how profound those truths are against which I have found no exception. When I think about my years as an employee or now consulting with all the Clients we do, I realize that service, or a lack thereof is the root of the success or failings of individuals, teams and organizations.
Everyone at every level within every type of organization works in customer service. The greatest leaders are those who see themselves as being of service to their organizations. I have seen how teams will implode if they forget their clarity of purpose; meaning who they’re meant to be service to. I have also seen how individuals can have a miserable time at work if they become self-centered, entitled and inwardly focused. It does seem that beneath it all, we’re meant to be of service to each other. That service is meant to be the glue that bonds us together.
The opposite of this truth is when we have to suffer leaders who are all about themselves and their own personal egotistical agenda. We see departments fighting against each other and blaming the other rather than serving each other. We see individuals that focus on the unholy trinity of Me, Myself and I and wonder why there’s a negative, toxic culture all around them: not looking inwardly but blaming everyone else for their misery.
So what’s the answer? I believe customer service is outside of us not within us. What do I mean by that? I mean it’s a principle that just is. Its universal. Its objective and it exists without our agreement or acceptance. IF (and its a BIG “IF”) we align ourselves with this principle, we have a better personal constitution throughout our working day; we work better with others and if we’re privileged to be in a leadership position, we lead others more effectively.
I think my father was right: business is no more complicated than people working with people to serve other people.