You Cannot Be Everything To Everyone

Two things jump out at me here. One is a leadership perspective and the other is a sales perspective. With regards to leadership, you can’t do it all by yourself and you can’t know it all too. So don’t try to be a martyr!!! Get over it!!! The successful leader is able to get others to do things with them. This may sound a bit manipulative but think about it from a wisdom and maturity standpoint. We want to see our children grow up and be successful and have a happy and fulfilling life. Why wouldn’t you want the same thing for your employees.

I don’t know about you but I have no interest in carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Not to mention there are just some things I’m no good at no matter how hard I try.

I have a book at home I’ve tried reading three times and I get lost every time. I can’t fix things, my wife is the mechanical one. And I can’t create brand new things out of the blue like an engineer can. Give me building block and ideas and I can combine them into new things but out of the blue? Forget it!!

Some things are just too heavy to lift by yourself

On the sales part, what winds me up here is taking in new business for the sake of taking in business regardless of whether we can do it or not. We can’t only take in business on things we can do good today or eventually the world will pass us by and we’ll be out of business. At the same time we can’t take on orders for things we have no clue about. The challenge is to find new things that stretch us and fall under the strategic direction we want to go. These are GOOD new things.

Let me give you a personal example of a good stretch and a bad stretch. I can teach Operations Management and I love computers so I can teach a course on Microsoft Excel. I can stretch a bit and also teach a course that combines Operations and Excel. Something like a course on important tools in Operations using Excel. While I’m a good user of Excel, I cannot perform the more sophisticated programming that Excel is capable of. I could not teach a “Programming in Excel to Create an Planning System” course. It’s too much of a stretch for my capabilities and the customer isn’t going to pay me to be the experimental case. I may learn to program some day because it interests me but I probably won’t until there is a business need for it. I, like you, have 600 hours worth of work on my plate to be done in 40 hours

At the end of the day...... if we're not careful

The rule is……

If you have the skills and it falls within the strategic plan, take it on.

If you don’t have the skills but it’s within the strategic plan, learn it and take it on

If you don’t have the skills and it’s not within the strategic plan, help the customer find someone who can