Can being too good be a problem?

People and organizations want to be the best but they don’t see the problems with being the best frequently until it’s too late.

Some of the problems that arise include complacency, delusions of grandeur, delusions of invincibility and a general lack of motivation.

The things that made an organization or person great usually include hard work, risk taking, discipline, commitment etc. However, when you become complacent, you don’t feel the need to work as hard. This might be because you feel you are so good hard work wont make you any better (delusions of grandeur). It might be because you think you are so much better than everyone else that even if you don’t work as hard as you used to, no one can catch up.

Top organizations sometimes forget that some of their best people were somewhat risky when they first joined the organization because they might have had some downside but also had great upside. When the organization gets to the top, they stop looking at those same people that made them great because they are no longer willing to risk the downside so instead they make the safe choices who don’t have the potential downside but might not have the great potential upside either.

The people who used to put in the long hours and who made the great sacrifices to get to the top are now being invited to do other things (speak to other groups, go to parties etc) and all of a sudden, they aren’t doing the small things that it took to get to that level (this would be where the lack of commitment and lack of discipline come in).

The real problem is that the people at the top of these organizations frequently suffer from the “Emperor has no clothes” syndrome and the people around them are so intimidated by the supposed greatness of these individuals that they wont point out the weaknesses that should be apparent.

There are numerous examples from history of top organizations being knocked off the top when most people thought it would never happen.

In sports, just last season the New England Patriots were considered a lock to win the Super Bowl after going through the entire season undefeated. After the New York Giants beat them, people started looking back and noticing some of the problems the Patriots were having in recent games but those problems were overshadowed by the fact they kept winning. Their superiority hid many of the problems that might have been apparent if they had lost a game or two.

In technology, when PC’s first became available, it was assumed that IBM would always be the dominant player in that industry. While still a strong company, they aren’t dominant in that field and in fact, when people talk about what their next PC purchase will be, you rarely hear the name IBM. Netscape was the dominant browser, if you wanted to get online you almost automatically went when with AOL. If you wanted to search for something online you went to alta vista or to Lycos.

When automobiles first came out, you got a Ford (and more specifically, you got a black Ford).

Is it possible to be an organization on the top and not suffer from complacency and the delusions? Certainly, but it’s something you have to work on every day. If you are much better than your competition, don’t compare yourself to your competition but instead, compare yourself to what you are capable of achieving. Continue the things that got you to your level and as the head of the organization, realize that even if you are aware of the dangers from being at the top, the people underneath you might not. Heads of organizations frequently are hardest on their groups when things are going bad but that is sometimes when they need to hear more positives than negatives. When things are going well, that is the time to make sure they are aware of the all of the negatives because others are telling them how good they are, it’s your job to keep them level.

Most importantly, surround yourself with people who can look beyond the obvious and when they see problems (even when the others don’t) are willing to point them out and make sure those problems get fixed.

Success hides many problems while failure hide many good things. Look objectively at all situations, whether you are at the top or trying to get there and good things will happen

Have a great day!


Make it difficult to contact you

Some web sites (and businesses) make it as difficult as possible for people to contact them. They don’t have a “Contact Us” page, they don’t provide an email address or phone number.

I don’t put a phone number on my sites but have links to contact me via a form on every page plus my email address and address are on every email post. The reason I don’t give a phone number is I am available via email most of the time and can respond to questions or concerns much quicker via email than by phone plus I can do it in a format I am more comfortable.

When I shop online, unless it’s a well known site (such as, or I never buy from a site until I have contacted them via email or phone and received a timely response. If you make it difficult for someone to contact you or, you have a way to contact you but don’t respond to emails in a timely manner or don’t return phone calls, I along with many others, wont be doing business with you.

So continue to make it difficult to contact you, the good news is you wont have all of those pesky customers buying from you

Have a great day!


I Don’t Know

When I ask someone a question and they respond by saying “I don’t know” rather than losing respect for them for not knowing the answer, I gain respect for them for being honest enough to admit they don’t know everything.

How many times have you heard someone asked a question and even though you knew they didn’t know the correct answer, they proceeded to give an answer because they were afraid to look “dumb” for not being able to answer the question?

How many times have you been around a “know it all” who will answer any question, regardless of the topic, as if they are the true expert on the subject?

People need to understand it’s better to admit to not knowing something than to pretend to know and be wrong.

One step better than “I don’t know” is “I don’t know but will find out”.

Why don’t more people admit they don’t know it all?

I don’t know

Have a great day!


Mistaking regular for loyal

One of the mistakes people make is they assume that if someone is a regular customer, they must also be a loyal customer.

A regular customer might do business with with you on a regular basis but it might simply mean they haven’t found a better alternative. If a better alternative appears, this regular customer might never be seen again.

A loyal customer is one who isn’t looking for a better alternative and will stick with you through thick and thin,

A regular customer might use the same attorney for many years but if a new attorney comes to town and offers a better price, they will switch to the new attorney without giving a second thought. A loyal customer will realize the new attorney is available but will also realize they have received great service from their current attorney and not be tempted to leave.

The mistake people make is they take their regular customers for granted because they assume they are loyal customers and when competition appears, they are completely unprepared when these regular customers suddenly leave them. The reason is simply because they assume the regular customers are always loyal customers.

A regular customer can be valuable but a loyal customer is invaluable. Don’t take your regular customers for granted, treat them in a special way and you will start to convert the regulars to loyals

Have a great day!


Testing is important

Too often we believe something to be true but never bother to test to determine whether it’s our belief or if it’s reality.

An example would be a hotel that raises it’s daily room rates because they believe that will increase revenue. While this might be true, it also might lower revenue (because of less rooms rented). The only way to know if this will work is to test.

The key to testing is you can only test one variable at a time. In the example above, you can’t change the room rate and also change the advertising and know which one caused the change in revenue.

Test by changing one variable at a time and with patience and analysis, you would see remarkable improvement in performance.

Have a great day!


It’s not only you

Frequently we find ourselves in a position where we aren’t sure what to do next and we also feel we are the only ones who feel this way.

The thing to remember is it’s extremely rare for anything to happen that hasn’t happened to someone, somewhere before. Rather than thinking you are dealing with a truly unique situation, it’s bettertalk to others who might have experienced similar situations and learn from their experiences.

Learn from the way other people have done things, use the positives, avoid the negatives and life will be much easier.

Just remember, although you might think your situation is truly unique, the reality is, in most cases, someone else has dealt with something either identical or at least very similar and you can learn from their experiences.

It’s almost never only you, learn from others.

Have a great day!