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Service, Success, and Grit

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As the situation surrounding COVID-19 improves thanks to the vaccine and other factors, I am finding a considerable demand for in-person training.  Most recently, I served clients with onsite visits and found everyone to be eager and ready to learn.  We are social beings, after all, and are meant to interact, engage, and socialize. 

During my customer service seminars, two important success words are shared with attendees.  The words are tenacity and perseverance.  Through my life, I have found that talent and skill are no match for tenacity and perseverance. Sticking to long-term goals, even during setbacks and failures, serves us well. 

Tenacity and perseverance can be encapsulated into one word: grit. People who display grit are courageous, with boundless resolve and strength of character.   

Today’s service managers must possess grit to help navigate through tumultuous and rapid change in all facets of business and management. The most important benefit of grit is the positive example it displays for subordinates.  Employees become more valuable when they learn to stick with a problem and follow through to a resolution. 

Service managers who lead by example achieve a better balance of people and systems.  System dynamics involve people, processes, and continual improvement. Managers who rely on their grit when establishing big goals are more likely to achieve them.  

How do you know what a system’s goal is?  Frequently, service managers have different ideas about the system’s goal.  In most businesses, the owner of a company considers the system’s goal is to make money.  The assumption here is that a money-making company keeps people employed, serves the community, and facilitates future growth.   

Service managers might see the goal a little differently.  While they acknowledge the need to make money for the company’s ownerservice managers also realize that other things are important too.  Things like parts availability, customer satisfaction, service quality, and having a satisfied, secure workforce. 

Are the service manager’s priorities goals, or are they necessary conditions? 

A goal can be defined as an achievement toward which effort is directed.  A necessary condition is a circumstance essential to result, or that upon which everything else is determined. There is a dependent relationship inherent in these conditions.  The question is: must a service manager satisfy the necessary conditions to attain the goal?   

The relationship between a goal and a necessary condition is interdependent. Therefore, it does not matter what you call a goal and what you call a necessary condition.  This interdependency is constant, no matter what factor a service manager labels as a goal.  So, if a service manager considers customer satisfaction to be a goal, then all other related factors become necessary conditions to achieving that goal.  A company cannot have satisfied customers without profitability, parts availability, service qualitya satisfied, secure workforceand so on. 

Service managers who simplify complexity, leverage interconnectedness and measure improved change over time are maximizing their system dynamics potentiala combination of personal and systemic factors that enable service managers to be leaders. 

Steve Coscia, CSP

Posted In: ACCA Now, Management

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