By Hylan Joseph
Recently I had the opportunity to go to tech training with some new business owners. Apparently being grizzled, old, and cantankerous, they felt that I could offer something, and I guess I do. I have written down the following lessons over the years. As you read these, I use the word constituents, just to warn you. As leaders and potential leaders everyone should be treated as a customer.
Lesson One: 80% of our interactions are about how people perceive us. I experienced this a bit in my earlier days. Even the most well-intentioned communication can be perceived as you being a jerk. Sadly, this happens to me regularly. Words and actions have a tremendous power. It’s crucial as leaders that we understand how our constituents perceive us. If you’re not sure about how you are perceived, ask people you trust to tell you.
Lesson Two: This one is paraphrased from a book called Better and it has held with me for a long time. Better is always possible. It takes diligence, clarity, ingenuity and above all, willingness to try.
Lesson Three: Always operate with urgency and agility. Progressive improvement always trumps delayed perfection. But be cautious about urgency for urgency’s sake, this is the stuff of catastrophe.
Lesson Four: Always think in terms of creating greater value for your customers. You are not just sending a tech to fix a machine, you are sending someone whom you have taken the time and energy to train. This lesson comes from my barista days. I would tell my staff, “We’re not just selling a latte, we’re providing that smiling barista who is trained to craft a great cup. We’re making sure the bathroom is clean and wireless is free.”
Lesson Five: Stay on message. Your message is who you are. If your goal is the be the most reliable tech in the world, then that is your message. Decide what your message is and stick to is.
Lesson Six: Follow the process. When you create a new process, systemic failure only happens if you create it then do nothing with it or do not follow it. As you add process and procedures to your business it’s crucial to vet them before you throw them out
With that, the small group that I was speaking to thanked me kindly. One said “This is why I joined the guild.”
We may stumble and stammer as we grow and build the education program, but remember, one of the mandates that the guild was founded on was to create an outlet for techs to have a support network.