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Episode #166 – Who’s Lying? Doesn’t Matter if Your Policies are Clear and Consistent

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Be an excellent leader.  This holds for your product, your business, and yourself. You must be grounded in your policies and procedures to be a strong leader.

Yesterday was the solar eclipse.  What’s the significance to leadership, nothing, I just put that out there because it will be a moment that you will remember what you were doing…  I was at the marina where, one of the outdoor “night lights” came on… so it was not even dusk where I was.

That aside, here’s what my “leadership” day entailed… processing the lies of humans.

WOW!  That was harsh.  Well, it’s true.

Many people have absolutely no integrity anymore.  Their ability to relive a truth that never existed is astounding.  Here goes… The day before the solar eclipse I had a group that rented a pontoon and damaged a propeller on a boat.  Now, this season we’ve made great strides to educate the renter “pre-cruise” to prevent damage, or at least prevent the disappointing reality after a prop is damaged.   It has worked VERY well.

However, we get the occasional “lack of integrity” group… then I need to stand and listen to a group of whiny “complainy” people relive to me their assortment of excuses including “it’s not my fault” and my personal favorite “the water did it” instead of simply saying, “I did it”.

It’s a very simple policy:  The renter is responsible to pay for damage.

The equation is also simple: the prop left the dock in good condition and it came back damaged.  No one else had the boat, it happened in your possession, you damaged the prop.

And yet, a few people have absolutely no integrity.  Their lack of responsibility soon includes what I call “the kitchen sink”. That’s when statements such as, “I was never shown the prop” to “they refused to show me the prop” to “I only saw one blade of the prop” are thrown into the exhausting story– I mean, it’s like looking at a 4 year old with chocolate on their face and having them tell you they did not take the chocolate.

So what do you do?

Well, I watched the surveillance footage which showed they saw the prop pre-dearture, watched the pre-departure video, and in general prove they lied.  It also proved my crew followed proper procedures, therefore, I chalk the situation up to the fact that some people are simply disgusting humans.

OK… next example.

Shortly around the time I was reading the negative review the disgusting humans left me on Yelp, I received an email from a mom of an employee that was a “no show” last week.  A good portion of my crew is under 18 so an email from mom, while unusual, is not that odd.  She wanted to tell me why her son needed to make the critical decision to attend the final tryout that would elevate him to a team position. This was the reason he could not be at work.

Yeah, here’s the deal.  If you are scheduled to work, and something comes up, and you cannot make a shift, cover it.  If it’s too much trouble to cover the shift, show up for your shift.  If your coach schedules a spontaneous last minute final round tryout for soccer, tell your coach you can’t make it.  OR cover your shift.

Life is full of decisions and choices.

OH but wait… here’s the interesting part.  The son texted me the night before his shift and said he wouldn’t be at work the next day because he made the varsity team and had a scrimmage. Not a game, but a scrimmage.

So what’s the truth?  Well, the truth is, he did not show up for a shift at work and he did not cover the shift.

Again, as a leader, here’s a secret… many many people lie for their own best interest.  YOU however, need to keep your policies consistent.  Whether it’s dealing with a customer or dealing with an employee.  Be clear on your policies and procedures.  Sure it sucks when you have people lie.  But they have in the past and they will in the future.  Policies do not lie, they remain constant, it’s the way you can keep your business going forward regardless of the “truth spin” otherwise known as lies that are thrown at you.

PS:  Today’s quote is pretty famous… why am I giving Dolly Parton credit for the quote and not John Quincy Adams?  Well, there’s no factual evidence that John Quincy Adams actually said/wrote the quote, however, in 1997 Dolly Parton did.

Question of the Post:
What is the most exaggerated lie you’ve heard from a customer?

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Action Steps
1- If you have an area of your business (customer or employee) that frustrates you.  Look to your policies and tighten or create.  Then enforce it.  A policy does nothing if you do not uphold it.
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #166 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast


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