Friday, June 11, 2010

They Weren’t There For Me…I Was There For Them.

One evening, years ago, while performing an evening audit in a store that I managed, I entered the backroom of the Produce department frustrated about some work that was not completed.

“Hi Judy, hi Paul can I see you for a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“Guys, I’ve known you both for a long time, ever since you went full time about 12 years ago.”

“Yes, it’s been about that long,” replied Judy, and Paul nodding his head. (two top senior clerks, part of a team of 18 in that department).

"Well, I don’t understand why I repeatedly have to come back here and solve problems, follow up to see if things are being done, and make all the decisions. You each have a dozen years in the business; you should know how to run this team.”

Paul put his head down, shaking it back and forth, but Judy looked right at me and said;

“First of all, Paul and I both know how to run this team. Second, well…if we wanted to take on the responsibilities we would have signed up to be Managers, well we don’t want that job…that’s your job Bob!
I think this team back here does a great job, but sometimes we drop the ball, like today, but overall things get done…and when issues surface, well guess what, that’s when we need you. We expect you to make the decisions, Bob, because we don’t want the hassle.

They were right. They weren’t there for me…I was there for them.

From that day forward, I learned that not only do I need to serve my customers, more importantly… I needed to serve my employees.

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