How Did We Do?

Og Mandino, an inspirational writer and lecture, once wrote what he considered to be, “ Guidelines for Success”, sort of a brochure to life’s “ports of quality”. He and his rules have become famous, with million trying to follow his directions. For years, I have been part of that group, and today, during a quality inspection, watched a Care of Trees production crew perform not one, but two of these crucial tools for success. Their deeds are too important to go unnoticed, and I can’t help but share it with everyone’s team. Think about this, and try to picture all our crews creating these situations in the field each day.

The work order was simple. One of those you look at in the morning with your crew and salesperson and say, “hey man, no dead red oaks to remove, elms to inch out on, cranes to jockey, or traffic to dodge, what a day”! It was one of those sweet jobs with a wonderful client, on a cool, crystal clear fall day. 

The job did go well, and except for a few leftover sticks, it was perfect. I did get by later that day to check on things and ask the client that all-important question, “how did we do”? Well Mr. Harvey, here’s the rest of the story.

Success Guideline #1: Never neglect the little details. While performing the last duty of any job, the cleanup, one of our crewmembers noticed, adjacent to our debris, a small pile of brush, produced by the homeowner and not on the work order. In a Samaritan effort, he took the homeowner’s brush and ran it through the chipper with ours without saying anything to the client and went about his responsibilities. Not only was he accountable for his duties, but he accepted the responsibility of caring for others as well, by making sure nothing was neglected. Sound like lots of hype over very little? Well, this is how their seemingly insignificant action played out between the homeowner and myself… As she and I walked around inspecting every tree or stump, she abruptly stopped and said, “My goodness, something is missing!” Oh great, I thought, we accidentally threw another homeowner’s rake in the back of the truck. She then looked and me and said she had been trying to put a pile of juniper in trash bags each trash day for months, and felt as though this was her destiny. She then referred to our crew by saying, “bless their wonderful little hearts”. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I knew what she was saying. She was so taken by the fact that we had helped her dispose of her juniper that she was in awe. It was beautiful. She is now selling our product for us, thank you very much. 

Guideline #2: Always go the extra mile. Whether the crew realized it or not at the moment, what they did was exceed the client’s expectations. Did you exceed your clients’ expectations today? Did you put yourself in your client’s shoes today? Did you do something today that made your client say WOW!?

The Care of Trees has a magnificent guide that helps us traverse each day. We are never alone or without its infinite wisdom about us. The diamond we call our mission is there to use each and every moment of the day. Safety, Quality, Performance, and Client Service both internal and external are viewed as one, creating a team, powerful beyond description, just as J.P., Steve, and Flint proved it can be, at our client’s house today. This is why I come to work everyday, to be with these guys, to be with our clients. Can it get any better? It’s completely up to us. You guys are the greatest!

Copyright 2005 by Peter Deahl. All rights reserved.

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