Are your Policies Harmful?

Sound, Violin, Music, Instrument Stores

Back when I was in high school (or it could have been shortly after; I don’t really remember, and it doesn’t really matter), I got a part-time occupation at the Don Randall Music Store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was on my first day that Mr. Randall-in a movement that appeared almost like magic to me-taught me a fantastic lesson.

It was the end of the day, and we’d just closed the store and locked the glass front doors. There were just three people there-myself, another worker, and Mr. Randall-and we were occupied with the typical”end of the day” jobs: sweeping the floors, tallying the registers, etc.. All of a sudden, I heard someone knocking at the door.

He was kind of shabby looking, and he was carrying out a beat-up guitar case. I, looking for a good, policy-following employee on my very first day, told him through the glass that we were closed. I was about to repeat that we had been shut but that he could buy some guitar strings when Mr. Randall came up behind me and asked what was happening. Shabby Guy repeated his desire to buy some strings.

Instantly, Mr. Randall unlocked the door, saying,”Let’s get this young man some guitar strings.”
Okay, now here is the part that blew me away. Did he have fresh guitar strings?

You bet he did. They had been attached to his brand new Fender Stratocaster guitar… he would be playing through his brand new Fender Twin Reverb amplifier.

I looked at Mr. Randall like he was a magician. In twenty minutes, he’d turned a $5 sale into a $500 sale-from a guy whom I would not have guessed had more than fifty dollars to his name. Mr. Randall looked at me and said,”Never allow coverage get in the way of opportunity.”

Never allow coverage get in the way of chance.
That’s good, do not you think?

What Mr. Randall taught me sounds obvious, doesn’t it? The purpose of the Don Randall Music Store was to sell musical instruments-not to close in time.

What’s the goal of your business? Can you, or any of your team members, each short-change that purpose under the guise of”following policy”? Are each of your staff members crystal clear on the goal of the organization that they work for? Are you?

A recent poll showed that only one worker in seven could name even one of the organization’s most important goals.

Job #1, then, is educating your staff on the organization’s goals. Don Randall’s goal was selling musical instruments.

Job #2 is not to let coverage get in the way of achieving those goals.