Somerset Small Business Accountant Shows How Fastidiousness Can Work

Somerset Small Business Accountant Shows How Fastidiousness Can Work

June 7, 2012

I’m not sure what a Somerset Area small business accountant could thoughtfully add to the commentary surrounding the atrocity which happened in Aurora. I’m glad to see that the media types are groping around for how to handle all of it with class (i.e., not using the psychopath’s name, *trying* not to politicize it, etc.).

There’s time later for understanding the possible causes which may have contributed to this happening (Hollywood violence, lack of gun control, mental illness, etc.). But doing it now is unlikely to bring much solace to 12 families who are intensely grieving. Nor will it plumb the depths of a deranged psychopath. In these cases, I’m simply grateful for these moments God has given to me and my family … and am reminded that everything can change on a dime.

It sure brings everything into its proper perspective, doesn’t it?

Well, I almost hate to move forward from meditating on what is most important in life … family, friends and faith … but I suppose that life does move forward, and I’d like to be one who moves forward well.

Because there’s a disturbing trend for small business owners these days. I’m not sure if it’s because of the skyrocketing demands on our attention or exactly what is the possible explanation for it, but it’s a surefire way to allow your business to fail (notice my word of choice there– ‘allow’).

Enough introduction, read on for a what I hope is a shot in the arm of inspiration and, perhaps, a healthy challenge…

Somerset Area Small Business Accountant Shows How Fastidiousness Can Work
Perhaps it’s not at all surprising that today’s business owners and managers are pulled in so many directions–and often do such a poor job.

It’s the irony of the digital age–we have so many tools at our disposal to “virtually” connect with one another, that the real work of connecting “in person” is becoming a lost art.

Posting “status updates”, sending emails (yes, I get the irony), texting–we’ve forgotten how to work without the digital “assistance”.

And, ultimately, being a business manager is about actual interpersonal influence and leadership. When you’re used to leading “virtually”, it’s harder to lead in person.

Even worse, perhaps because of all of these distractions (or, perhaps because of a modern, misplaced desire to be liked) managers learn to ignore the “small things”, because there are just so many to keep track of that it seems “uptight” to track them. But when you start relaxing standards in the small tasks of your business, your bottom line will eventually be the real victim.

I was listening to a speech from a corporate training expert, Stephen Paskoff, and he told an illustrative story.

Starting his first “real” job as a part-time salesperson at a shoe store, he was told by his boss to show up for his first day wearing a dark suit and a white shirt. But since Paskoff owned only a heavy gray suit of wool, and when the day dawned hot and muggy, he decided to avoid sweating all day by wearing a dark-blue blazer and matching slacks.


He walked into the store and was immediately greeted by his boss with, “Where’s your suit?”  Paskoff replied, “It’s hot, and this is just like a suit.”

The boss told him, “I said a suit, not ‘just like a suit.’ Go home and come back in a suit if you have one. If not, forget it.”

Paskoff went home, changed, and spent his first month of work at the shoe store sweating until he could afford a lighter-weight suit.

What’s your response to that story? Do you think this is “over the top”? Perhaps you do–but you’d also be missing the part where this boss got results. Do you think that Paskoff was inclined to slack off on other managerial expectations after such a response?

No, much like the “Broken Window Theory” often cited by economists, when we actually sweat the small stuff–and do it with the social grace of a leader–everything changes.

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