In April, I attended a sports coaching clinic and one of the speakers was Jim Barker who recently took over as General Manager for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Jim is very passionate individual, with a keen focus on excellence, which perhaps is not surprising given that his profession involves coaching or managing professional sports teams where winning is expected.
While Jim told many stories, one item in his talk that hit home with me was his philosophy in running an organization, that is the philosophy of “No Excuses”. In the teams that he runs, whether your role is a player, administration person, coach, marketing person, trainer, assistant, or the person that cleans the stadium after the game, excuses are not an option. While it may sound a bit harsh, very black and white, in many ways it is refreshing as it removes that fall back which is to explain away why something didn’t happen as it should. For some reason we feel that if we explain the problem away, it is actually okay. Wrong!
From a customer’s perspective, the expectation is to receive what was promised in terms of quality, accuracy, timeliness, communication and a host of other related items that form part of the sale. The last thing they want to hear is “it didn’t happen because…..” Customers have their own issues to deal with and frankly don’t need our excuses which adds to their list of problems. While there will always be issues to resolve, find solutions proactively so that you can “Wow” your customer. Adopt the “No Excuses” philosophy and find ways to deliver on what you promise. If you do this, you will not only retain existing customers but will attract new ones. Food for thought!
Chief Operating Officer