The basis, the heart of the business. And the reasons why I have a reputation as a “slave-driver” (word several customers have used to describe me to new hires), why we offer one of the most challenging and demanding work environments in the SnoKing neighborhood. It’s brutal behind the scenes and most aren’t ready for it. Ask the employees, who are expected to internalize these principles and values and make decisions based on guidelines.
We’ll show how we use each to develop employees in separate posts.
Cook with your senses. Quality assurance. Our products must smell, look, and feel right. This is our last line of defense against bad products. Those who cook solely according to process and recipes are much more likely to miss a piece of rancid meat or spoiled ginger. Those who cook with their senses will have the instinct to notice when something is wrong.
You’re not special until someone you’ll never meet says you are. Guard against inflated self-esteem, which distorts reality, weakens work ethic, and thins skin.
It’s your fault (especially when it isn’t). Don’t make excuses, don’t play victim, and don’t allow others to think of themselves as victims. Those who are mentally tough enough to be responsible for everything that goes on in the world will be empowered to change the world. The rest assume they can’t do anything about it. Don’t tolerate anyone who plays victim.
Never say “No” to a customer. “No” creates a communication barrier. Always maintain a we-can-do-it-all atmosphere. Figure out a way to provide what the customer wants.
We always have what the customer wants (even when we don’t). If you understand what the customer is really wants, you’ll be able to sell him/her something, regardless of initial request.
Ask questions, question everything. Smart people are aware of how little they know. Dumb people think they know it all, so they rarely ask questions and mostly make trite and misinformed proclamations. We learn by asking good questions, not by memorizing processes. Ask customers questions to understand their needs and preferences. Question how things are done to understand and improve processes.
Be skeptical, not suspicious. Skepticism is based on reality. Suspicion is based on cynicism and prejudice. Never allow yourself to believe what you want to believe.
Be responsible, not obedient. Being obedient is not the same as being responsible. Obedience breeds immaturity, ennui, fear, and a tendency to follow pointless and infantalizing rules and traditions. Only those who take responsibility for everything that happens in the world live meaningful, dignified lives.
Be charming, not polite. It’s easy to be polite. Just follow etiquette, repeat till you’re in a zombie state. Polite people are petty, innocuous, and unoriginal. They’re also boring and insincere. Charm requires effort — understanding the customer as an individual — (brutal) honesty, social risks, sincerity, and care.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes, don’t shy away from calculated risk, and don’t be afraid of failure.
You’ll never be good enough. “Success is a lousy teacher. It makes smart people think they can’t lose.” — Bill Gates