Friday, 16 March 2007
Lesson #3: Kill The Monster Early
I have a friend who got a parking ticket. He stuck it in a drawer to deal with later. You know, later? When he had the time? Three days later he pulled the ticket out and saw that he was being fined £40. He had a week left to pay it. He put it on the hallway table and went to work. A week later it was still there. When he remembered to look at it he had one day left before it increased to £60. Should he reschedule his meeting so that he could go and pay the fine now? In his mind he did a quick calculation.
“It’s only another £20 for Christ’s sake!”
Hmmm. Is it?“I spend more than that on cigarettes each week!”Well, that’s that rationalized!Another week went by. And then another.
He forgot all about it.
He went on holiday.
When he got back his car had been lifted and impounded and to get it back he had to pay the costs on top of the original fine.
The fine, if he had dealt with it straight away, was only £40.
He paid out £480.00 that day to get his car back.
Lesson #3: Kill the monster early.In business we make choices every day. We decide what direction we are going to take, what strategy to use, who to send on a particular job. All those choices are pro-active. We have to react in the same positive way. When something happens we have to decide right away a course of action otherwise things change.
Some people tend to sweep things under the carpet.
Someone causes a problem or a challenge? Sweep it under the carpet.
Some people keep on doing that again and again until nobody can open the door because of a huge pile of crap under the carpet.
Problems (£40 fine?) can be brushed off or ignored for a while. They turn into concerns.
Concerns (£60 fine increase) cause a little consternation and can be time consuming but, some people deal with them by delaying action. The concerns turn into a crisis!
A crisis (car towed and £480 bill) is when and only when some people act. All that trouble and financial cost and yet, back in the days of the £40 it would have been so simple. Just deal with it at the time and get rid of it. Do it NOW!
In business, never ever let anything just sit and rot away. Always deal with things immediately if that can be done. Never, ever, put things off to another day. Do the tough stuff first and then do the easy stuff.
Here’s a case in point...
You must have seen the Alien films. They are great and I always get a kick out of watching them. Do you remember that scene in the first film when Cain has that alien burst out of his chest? The pic at the top is the scene.
I always think of how different it would have been if I had been on that spaceship. Just as the little alien runs across the table I would have twatted it with a sledge hammer and flattened it. Then, I would have said a line that would have been immortal:
“If we had let that out of the room it would have killed everyone!”
Lesson #4: "It’s not personal, it’s business". What a lie that is!