Currently we are having our hardwood floors refinished in my home and are staying with some friends. Now this is never an ideal situation but I will admit our current host are more than gracious and we are truly enjoying the friendship we have with them. Even with that being said, their home just ain’t my home, you know what I mean. So I was thinking about how this is EXACTLY what it’s like with being a virtual team member in someone else’s business. And how it’s easy to do the surface stuff in someones home, but not the deep stuff you would do in your own… ie: I haven’t exactly scrubbed their toilets yet 😉 My question to you today is are you a surface team member or a deep team member?
I think often when we are working with our clients we tend to function more from the visiting friends mindset rather than setting up house! BUT what our clients really want and are expecting from us is to make their business our business… and if you think about it , it really should be. Your business is to serve your clients business. So your success solely relies on the success of your clients businesses. Do we think of this in that way though?
Do we think about taking OWNERSHIP within our clients business? Are we visiting or have we officially moved in? What I fear is that because many times we are building our own confidences and expertise while working with our clients that we never fully establish our ownership within the processes and results we bring to the business.
I don’t want to talk in generalities here as I am afraid we are having a bit of an epidemic in the industry right now that if we don’t get a hold of it, the very way we love to work with clients (virtually and on our own terms) is not going to be as available in the future. More and more business owners are coming to us wanting someone local, someone they can work face to face with, someone that can be an employee. Why? Because they are tired of team members visiting their businesses. Every time one leaves they have to go back through and clean house from the mess the last one made. This is a real problem so please hear me out.
Ownership is basically making the commitment to serve that business the same way you would if it were your own.
Now in your own house you are going to clean, organize, maintain, establish best process etc… why because it’s your house. You don’t want a nasty, disorganized, chaotic home… so you make the decisions and commit to the work needed to keep your home the way you want to live in it. Same should be for your commitment of service to your client. Whatever is your responsibility, you would maintain it in a way that a visitor could stop by anytime and take a peak in. As a matter of fact lets do that….
How about I come take a peak into your back end processes for how you serve your clients. I wont touch anything would love to do a quick walk through… how organized are your tasks, how effective is your communication, how committed to deadlines are you… what quality control standards do you have in place…. will I be comfortable there for a short visit or is the clutter, chaos and mess going to make me have an absolute panic attack?
See while I am visiting my friends they have a beautiful home and it is welcoming and accommodating for me and my family… but it’s not my home. I am not going through and cleaning out closets setting up meal plans or scrubbing toilets. I am visiting (although they may be feeling at this point we are never leaving.) Don’t get me wrong, I am not a lazy guest, I have kept the kitchen cleaned, laundry done (ish), bathroom straight, etc…but when I am in my home I will be responsible for ensuring all these tasks and many more are not only done but done to the standard my husband and I have set for our home. See the difference… one is surface the other is deep… surface commitment and execution or deep commitment and execution.
So are you visiting your clients businesses or have you made yourself at home in them?
Ownership is just one level of leadership that we cover in teaching leadership to implementers. If you haven’t already signed up for Tina Forsyth’s Leadership Essential Webinar coming up this week I encourage you to do so now: