If you don’t think so you’ve already given up.
When I made chocolate chip cookies for the first time and took them out of the oven I noticed something peculiar. The cookie to chocolate chip ratio was way off. What had I done?!?
Note to self, never believe how much chocolate chips a recipe calls for. It’s always more if you want to make delicious cookies.
But why would the folks at Company’s Coming lie to me? Doesn’t everyone want to make delicious cookies? Not being able to change every cook book on the planet due to logistics I had to resolve to a different fate, to second guess everything.
Enter the CBBC rule of cooking, you can never use too much Chocolate, Butter, Bacon or Cheese. Never.
So here’s a fat little Canadian kid who just found out that the world isn’t quite what they pictured it on TV and in those article heavy National Geographic magazines. What was a boy like me to do?
When the box interests you, you poke it.
You start looking at everything and assessing how your can make it a little better.
In every situation, no matter what, you can make things better if you care a little more.
Peprallys in high school – turn the lights off in the gym, put on a crazy awesome dance song, little bit of a smoke show and you have your own personal Dallas Cowboys entrance into a game.
Party’s in general – bring something, dessert, your favorite appy, wine, and if you’re lazy great! Be the person who brings KFC to a party, everyone loves the guy who brings KFC!!
Shopping for a car can be better – how about let me test drive over night and you come drop the car off at my house so I don’t have to go to the horrible dealer!
Volleyball practice can be better – play music throughout, change drills lots and generally be more excited than the kids.
Flights can be better – if only the flight attendant tells us a joke! Subconsciously Westjet! Is telling us all you can relax on this flight, you’re in good hands.
Pizza can be better – ever order extra cheese on your pizza?
You can be a better parent – order extra cheese on your pizza the next time you order
Tonight can be better – bring flowers or a case of beer home for your lover.
You can be a better restaurant – offer something free to snack on while people sit and wait to order
Running could be better – put a small chip in your shoe and Nike will track your run, speed, distance and pace. If it makes you run even a little more it’s working.
Your email routine in the morning can be better – what if your computer read all your emails to you in Morgan Freeman’s voice?
Business cards can be better – stop thinking they are to give someone your contact information, the Internet does that for us. Business cards tell people about you and your company, why not make yours a throwing star, then the least people will save it just to give to their kids.
Your answering machine can be better – can you make whoever is calling you smile and maybe chuckle to themselves.(think of what George Costanza would use as a message)
A taxi ride could be better – have my card on file so I don’t have to bring cash. Have an assortment of nuts and chilled beverages for my consumption. See how tips change.
A phone could be better – it could record video, take pictures, be used as a flash light, calculator, alarm clock, address book, letter writer, local gossip generator and much much more.
A car could be made better – if it didn’t run on gas and drove for you (currently working on this, not me some very smart people).
School could be made better – allowing kids to decide on what they want to learn. Don’t set out curriculums, develop challenges.
Work could be made better – if you were allowed to show up in your pajamas, ok just kidding, put your own personal one here.
Your favorite shoe company could be better – if everytime you purchased shoes they donated shoes to a third world country who needed them. (Toms is currently doing this).
Your book store could be better – the price of a book could change depending on supply and demand to get you the best price for a book (Amazon changes prices over 2.5 million times a day)
Your kids sports team could be better – why not get them the same jerseys that NCAA teams get?!
Nothings cooler than NCAA teams!
The class you teach could be better – every year change a major part of class to incorporate something current. Show a Ted talk every class relevant to your learning outcome.
You see in a world full of technological advancement, the most amazing breakthroughs are still to come. It’s because people have that attitude of, it could be better, we keep surpassing what we were capable of last week.
Don’t say “it’s good enough”, don’t be happy with “business as usual”, just barely getting by won’t cut it anymore.
Here are three steps to making anything better
1. Even if it isn’t broken, assume it is.
It’s probably broken, you’re just delusional. Fix it!
2. Be an Idea Generation Station!
Please don’t be an idea assassin. Make it easy for the people around you to come up with lots and lots of ideas.
3. Define what is best case ontario and be open to different ways in getting there.
What’s your endgame? What would your ideal product/event/service look like? Unless you define your end goal, you’re guaranteed not to get there.
As long as the person who picks the best solution is not the one coming up with possible solutions then it will work. Far too often we as leaders assume we set the vision and work towards what we want to accomplish without input. The sooner you’re open to new ideas the better off you and your team will be.
The last warning on making things better is if you are the person at the top or close to the top of your organization you hold a lot of the power. Leadership is contagious. If we find our leaders cutting corners and cheeping out where they shouldn’t be, employees will do the same at the expense of your customers. Employees willl stop caring faster then you ever thought possible. Lead by example, serve others, don’t take credit, be the hardest working team member.
If you truly care more, if you’re willing to take feedback, if you encourage everyone to be offering ideas, you’re going to find your team being proactive in making things better. This is why leadership is service, it’s showing the people around you, if you go out of your way for others over and over again, people start looking up to you. When you can get your team wanting to go out their way for your customers, your customers will start going out of their way for your bottom line. It doesn’t go the other way around.