Buck the System

Dec 06

Buck the System

Systems don’t always work. Sometimes systems are broken and a complete makeover is necessary before it kills your business. Sometimes years of experience can be wrong. Sometimes, your superiors are just comfortable with their way and don’t want you to upset the apple cart. Maybe you are a follower and want to go along with a system just because you are told to. Maybe you are working in a sales factory that suppresses your creativity and is holding you down.

When my Amway distributorship was in its prime, I would have case after case of soap, breakfast cereal and toilet paper delivered to my garage. It was not uncommon to have over $50,000 of product sitting where the car should be. It was exciting, but also overwhelming. I was a progressive, I wanted to use, of all crazy things…a computer spread sheet to separate and add the product costs among those coming to pick it up. Yes, even in 1995 they had spreadsheets that could add effectively. I was told by my superiors that was not duplicatable. They wanted me to use these outdated carbon copy forms (that I purchased each month from them) because not everybody had a computer or my skills to use them. By the end of the day, I had a huge stack of green carbon sheets, black fingertips and a headache. I stopped listening to their wrong advice and started using my computer again. With the computer, my math was always right again and I stopped regretting selling so many products.

When did we stop teaching our people to think for themselves? When did we stop creating a sales force that interacts with prospects instead of just making presentations?

I have four kids under the age of 12. When I come home, it seems they always are playing within ten feet of me. It makes it hard to make phone calls, but I also get to see a side of creativity that is rarely seen in the work place. I am amazed at how my house is full of dragons flying free, robots conquering inferior foes, airplanes that fly themselves and cars that break the speed of sound. When do adults stop imagineering their future? Why do adults stop using their imagination all together?

Time to stop worrying about whether you will fit in all the time. Time to start asking “why” once in a while. It is time you stop worrying more about being embarrassed and worrying more about creating something great, something special. It is time teach your people how to solve problems by letting them make some mistakes. It is time to truly lead people by getting out of their way once in a while.

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