I was recently invited to give a talk about project management to a group of university business students. Because the talk happened to coincide with the day my 2003 Subaru crossed 100,000 miles, I was feeling a tad emotional and, as is the case with me when I get all weepy eyed, I felt compelled to share something personal. So on that day, I talked about how on the inside cover of my notebook, in addition to a couple of quotes, I keep a short to-do list that has remained relatively unchanged over the years (the best kind of to-do list!).
Because it’s relevant to today’s topic I wanted to share the first item on that list with you:
Don’t forget the people that matter.
Indeed, I would argue one of the best ways you can prove to a person or a customer they matter is by doing what you say.
Most business leaders I meet are incredibly keen to grow their business; sometimes at the risk of doing “what they say.” Although I would love to grow our business so I can continue to offer opportunities and job security for those who work with me, I always feel a little out of place during these discussions because I like to give as much consideration to gross happiness as I do to gross sales when developing Evaero’s strategic plan.
I mean….if your customers, employees, family, and community are all continually pissed because you’re not honoring your commitments then really what is the point? For Evaero what this means is if there is potential for conflict between a new opportunity and existing commitments, in remembering the people that matter, we’ll respectfully say no to the new opportunity.
Over the years, we have been incredibly blessed to have customers who have helped us keep food on our plates for a long time. Along the way one of the things they have told us is they never feel like their parts are being put on the back burner because we have suddenly become too busy. Regardless of the order size or the circumstances (e.g., exit notice, contract issues, schedule volatility, pain in the ass part), we are going to do whatever we can to do what we say.
I truly believe this to be an accurate assessment not just because it’s one of our core values but because at Evaero we never forget the people that matter: our customers.
Having said that, I am interested to hear from you. Good, bad, or otherwise, please feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com. I’m the only person who will read your email and, as time allows, I’ll do my best, at a minimum, to personally acknowledge receipt.