Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Sunday, September 8, 2013

People, Process, Product

Madam has only rarely been attracted to much younger men, but she will admit to you right now that she has a serious thing for Marcus Lemonis.

This man, a successful businessman of Greek extraction, is featured on a television series called “The Profit.” Madam strongly suggests that every consular manager find this series on whatever kind of media he or she can, and mainline it.

 Madam's new heartthrob, LISTENING to an employee

Why should a ‘reality’ show about improving mid-sized businesses matter to consular affairs? Because, believe it or not, like it or not, consular business IS business. You have employees. You have customers. You produce products. You might call these assets FSNs or LES; applicants; visas; passports; notarials. Nevertheless, disregarding business nomenclature, disregarding sensible procedures, disregarding the lessons of well-run businesses, can lead to dysfunction, carelessness, inefficiency, resentment, ineffectiveness, malfeasance, and self-generating and repetitive crises. Not to mention catastrophically bad IG inspections.

What is Lemonis’ magic? Listen to him explain:
“The boss must be the first person in in the morning, and the last person out at night."
"You have to run the numbers."
"Respect your people, your process, and your product."
"Treat your people right. Treat your customers right. Treat your product right."
"Under-promise and over-deliver.”

Nonsense, some consular manager might say. I don’t manage a factory.

Um, how can Madam say this kindly? Yes, you do.

You should want to promote quality, efficiency, and courtesy. 
You should want to produce the best possible product as quickly and correctly as possible.
You should want to put great people into great jobs, and let them run with them. 
You should want to give 90% of your attention to the 90% of customers who are good ones. The bad customers – those whom it can be so much fun to dig into, to investigate, to discuss, to interview at length, to talk about while the ordinary, uninteresting, honest customers fall asleep in the waiting room – need to go wait over there and have some coffee, it’s going to be a while.

You should want to be Marcus Lemonis.

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