March 16; Now Finish the Work
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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16 March

Now finish the work…,

II Corinthians 8:11a

Now Finish the Work

Wired

“How can one little insulated wire bring so much happiness!” Wonders Homer Simpson discussing the cable wire on cable TV.

Happiness didn’t come easy. In the early 1990’s the growing cable industry was being short-circuited with poor customer service. The cable company representative’s were a motley crew in the young business. They had limited training, questionable hygiene and lacked that ‘courtesy of kings’ — punctuality.

The perception was of a rough dressed construction crew manning the DitchWitch laying coaxial cable. They were a crack team of plumbers where the customer was lucky to have the cable guy show up and if he did he didn’t finish the job. And then even luckier if the customer problem was solved.

Luck is not, of course, a customer service strategy.

This was not funny—at first. But then the cable installation business became a joke and a Star Was Born.

Larry the Cable Guy made us laugh at the business failure. And like all humor, it was based on a truth: the cable installers were not getting it done. Larry looked like the cable guys but he got laughs with a simple execution mantra:

Git R Done

Larry taught us that we – the customer – should get what we want and when we want it. His act reminded us that we simply want it done. Right and right now.

Demand outstripped supply as often happens in customer service. The new industry did not manage expectations. The work may or may not have gotten done – but 99% completed will not get a signal to your monitor. Or the cable may be plugged in but the job’s not done.

Managers will often have detailed planning on the ‘what is to be done’ but the organizing of the ‘who does what’ is the variable on Getting It Done. Properly trained people is how a business will Git R Done.

It’s not the good planning or the good intentions or the ‘try hard’ that the customer wants. It’s not effort, it’s execution.

The cable companies learned queue and customer scheduling and trained the installers in business etiquette and to wear protective ‘booties’ over workboots. They are getting it done and the picture of success is on my TV screen.

As scholar Jim March put it, “Leadership involves plumbing as well as poetry” (2004:173). Quoted by Henry Mintzberg in his must read, Managing. Page 8

Randy Yeager in The Renaissance New Testament translates II Corinthians 8:11a And now therefore finish the execution of the plan…

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