Leaders who know their business and care keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap.
Nothing destroys a business faster than being average.
My friend, John Mason wrote a best seller called, The Enemy Called Average. Average is an enemy that is often underestimated because of its creeping ability. When people or businesses allow average to become their standard they may not notice it at first but they will soon see its eroding effect.
Not long ago, I stood in the checkout of Walmart. The cashier was working like a robot – she never made eye contact, never greeted me, didn’t ask if I needed anything – she simply ran my purchases over the scanner and waited for me to swipe my card to move on. I stood there awaiting her discovery of me. When she finally realized that I hadn’t paid for my purchases, she looked at me to find my half smile awaiting a proper greeting.
She gave me a half-hearted apology. I asked her, “Have you ever read the book, Made in America by Sam Walton?” Amazingly, she said, “No, never heard of it.”
I’ve met executives at Walmart – I know that they would be appalled at my experience. Walmart is a true American dream story. They have revolutionized the retail and merchandising industry. However, if they do not get a handle on their associates acceptance of average – even Walmart will crumble into cultural oblivion.
You’re better than average – make sure that you represent your business above the norm.