I am coming off of a week from hell. We sold our mini ranch only after buying it a little less than two years ago and spending a year working on it. It was a great experience but too much darn work. What was also too much darn work was moving. Moving a household of 5 people, 3 dogs and 3 horses is a nightmare. Moving to a house half the size of the house you were in only adds to the horror. Three trucks. Three moving crews and countless “service providers” involved in this nightmare, but even in the midst of all these people buzzing around I saw a few things that grabbed my heart.
If you read my last few blogs you know where I stand with corporate values wall art and the premise that if a word is identified as a value, commitment, principle, etc… that therefore it must be, I think is just baloney. In my 27 years of business I just have not seen it work that way though what I have seen is that when a common belief system is established and purpose exists, great performance happens. No wall art, no fancy screen savers with the words Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, etc….. Flying by. No performance reviews that rate integrity. (OMG a giant pet peeve of mine is performance reviews that actually rate integrity and somehow have a 5 point scale. Integrity is a two point scale! Either you have it or you don’t. If you don’t you shouldn’t even lasted to the performance review. As a matter of fact not sure how you even got hired. Out with you!)
Now back to my move…..I saw something amongst several of the service providers whom we hired to help us through this nightmare move that underscored my prior blogs. You see I have the privilege of telling you that despite the nightmare of the move itself the service I received from several of my moving partners was exception. Yes, I loved our moving crews and totally loved the cleaning crew and the crew that ran out to fix the sprinklers on our last day. Frankly nearly all the service providers we utilized blew me away so of course I needed dig deeper while having a little fun with them.
Let’s start with moving crews….it’s hot, sweaty work and carrying stuff down a winding two story staircase (PS our home had TWO of them), just doesn’t lead to a good attitude. Add to this that my wife seems to have an affinity toward the heaviest furniture money can buy, and my poor movers had entered hell. But no….this was the second time we used this crew and their attitudes and spirit was amazing. Their care for not only my belongings but my perception and comfort that day blew me away. THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT ME!!! So during our Cola break I while the boss wasn’t around and in my best Spanish I had to ask WHY and the simple response was awesome and aligned perfectly with what has been on my mind. They ALL said “Because that is what Barry expects”. You mean the guy loading in the truck whom has barely said a word all day? Yep….Barry is the owner of the company and has kept this crew employed through good and bad for 14 years. They told me he is a great boss whom looks out for them and early on made it clear to them what his moving company is all about. Anyone can move stuff but not many can care for the people during the move and make it stress free and even fun for them. Not only did they tell me that their approach is what is expected from Barry but they also shared that “Barry deserves for us to deliver for him.” You mean no wall art? No plastic card with values printed on it and/or HR department program? NO….Barry created a belief system and a purpose that was supported by his being a loyal servant leader whom compelled his guys to have an extraordinarily high PQ (purpose quotient). Barry figured out what most fortune 500 leaders can’t seem to figure out and it is working well for him. PS..one of the new movers shared that they left another moving company to come work with this one for less money but because of “how they do things”. In other words their Purpose Driven Culture was attractive!
When I asked Barry if he was OK that I write a blog entry on this his response only further validated that this guy get’s it. He said “sure but I don’t want anyone to identify my company specifically because I don’t need the advertisement and I only want my company to be known for what we do (excellent service) and don’t need my competitors knowing how I do it (great organizational leadership and culture).”
Way to go Barry…..we have much to learn from you!