I am reading Eric Idle’s book “Always look on the bright side of life” – thanks Turnar! In his “Sortabiography,” Eric, of Monty Python fame, mentions the quote from George Harrison that is in the headline. In the book it is in the context of “how could we know we could become them?” as Eric talked about the formative years of Python.
The Beatles were brilliant and changed music for generations. The Python troupe changed sketch comedy for generations.
Now, I know not everyone is a Beatles or Python fan. That is not the point. When you consider disruption, these are two lasting, and famous, examples.
The George Harrison quote can be applied and considered by everyone. You don’t know what you are going to become in the future. And if you wait until your moment, it might be too late to capitalize on it because you actually didn’t put in the work earlier.
This is the main point and is reinforced by the teachings of John Wooden and shown in the apex of his Pyramid of Success, “Competitive Greatness: Perform at your best when your best is needed. Your best is needed every day.”
Martin Luther King also said:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
We all have hopes and desires. Some of us dream of pro sports stardom; some dream of inventing something life changing for the world; some dream of raising a family; some dream of being an accountant? (with apologies and respect to my accounting buddies – watch the Python sketch about the boring life of an accountant) and so on. None of these aspirations is any better or worse than the other. We all make our choices and we move forward from there.
And yet, do we really prepare a bit extra each day to improve our standing or help us reach our goals faster? If this was so, then every company and organization would be operating at peak efficiency. In Canada, our productivity index is always slightly behind the US. I don’t want to get into all the details, you can go here for a deeper explanation, but such comparisons always make me wonder if organizations are aligned for improvement by helping their people get better.
Let’s start with a new employee “onboarding” approach. How many companies give out that 2″ orientation manual on day 1??? Be honest!
Doesn’t this move scream “bureaucracy” to everyone? I mean, this is Dilbert material for sure.
When do you share your culture and values? Oh, you mean you didn’t talk about this during the interview process? Well, it is a good thing you have that 60 day probation period in case “Tim” doesn’t work out because he is not aligned.
Come on. This is 100% your fault.
When John, Paul, George and Ringo got together they made sure they were aligned at the start. They made magic and then wanted to change and the group ended. Way too soon from an outsider’s perspective, but, they were the ones that had to work together.
The same holds true for John, Graham, Eric, Michael, Terry and Terry when they formed the Pythons. They knew each other or about each other and they found ways to collaborate to see if there was a fit. When the fit was confirmed the group moved forward with crafting their show.
The winning onboarding process of a company like Zappos can be studied, and the model adjusted for your company. I am NOT saying you need the Zappos culture. I am suggesting that their approach to finding and hiring and training people is based on wanting them to stay long-term. What a novel concept 🙂
And as individuals, it is up to each one of us to become as good as we can, to be the best employee we can be.
This is not corny, this is real.
I have to sign off now because I have some studying to do. Tonight is finishing reading “Uncommon Service” by Frances Frei. Fascinating read. And tomorrow is the study of some exceptional sales training.
To your success!