Dealing with your weakest link

October 13, 2008 by Andy Ebon

weakest-link.jpgOne of life’s realities is that each of us is not good at everything. I’ve never been good at iron shirts. Worse than that, I’ve never had the desire to become good at it. Rather than wear wrinkled shirts, I outsource it. The local cleaners does a great job laundering and pressing my shirts, puts them on a hanger… no starch please.

That’s just one of the tasks I’m not good at. I’m constantly grappling with which ones I should delegate or outsource.

The same is true of company weaknesses. One can work around some weaknesses, work around others, but weaknesses that crop up repeatedly should raise the red flag for you.

Big businesses have weaknesses, too. Often they are systemic. Rather than teaching critical thinking and problem solving, they give employees a script or a policy, and hope for the best. Good luck with that!

As a small business business owner or middle manager, you have other choices: Delegate, coach, training, or redefine job duties along the lines of skills rather job description.

Personality flaws or idiosyncrasies cannot be changed. Some people should not have customer contact. To think you somehow modify their behavior is arrogant, at best. Poor or awkward customer service can undo the greatest wedding marketing in just a split-second.

There is an old line, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. They can’t do it, and trying to teach them annoys the pig.”

Nordstrom has a great motto in personnel: “We don’t train people to be nice. We hire nice people.”

Everyone either is, or will be, in a period of reevaluation. If you’re not, you will be soon.

Simply, you cannot afford to have weak links. Can you eliminate them, entirely? Maybe not for any great length of time. If you don’t minimize them, you leave your business vulnerable to all kinds of drama and failure.

You don’t wait either of those, do you?

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

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