A recent blog stated, “While we tend to learn from failure, the positive perspective invites us to identify and ponder manifestations of excellence.” Responding to this line, a relative wrote and shared an experience.
A few years ago a county official decided to try and eliminate competition in the garbage pick-up business. He did this by deciding that only one garbage pickup company could service our county. It was not the garbage service I used. My garbage man regularly would go above and beyond his job. When I forgot to take out my garbage can, he would get out of his truck, walk up my driveway, pull my can out to the road, get back in his truck and dump it. Who does that? When I got the letter that the county was trying to eliminate them from our area I acted. I am not normally one to write letters and sign petitions, but because my garbage man cared enough about giving excellent customer service I could not sit by and not take action. I, along with many others wrote the letters, signed petitions and in the end won the battle. I would not have engaged in this if it had not been for my garbage man going the extra mile to take care of his customer. The garbage man showed positive leadership in taking care of his customers and that helped save his company.
Most learning comes from failure. The positive lens opens an additional possibility. I often state, “If it is real, it is possible.” This means that if we look for and appreciate existing forms of excellence, we can present the excellence we observe and ask others to ponder, not only the “reality of constraint,” but also the “reality of possibility.” This shifts the focus and opens new possibilities.
- How loyal are our customers or clients?
- How do our first-line people compare to the garbage collector?
- In relating to our first-line people do we act like the garbage collector?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?