Four keys to success! – Do you want to win?


Four keys to success! - Do you want to win?Imagine a naval army base that has just received their new delivery of three brand new destroyers. Let’s call them for USS Frode, USS Heimen and USS Norway for the fun of it. The crew that is supposed to be on these three vessels has all been trained at the same base, with the same officers in charge. The vessels are all equal only separated by their great and unequal names. After running on the seven seas for about a year, the following was stated: USS Frode managed as predicted, USS Norway have had a lot of problems with the engine and in general been far below expected standards and USS Heimen have been the most decorated vessel in the navy the last year. It was the pride of the base. The reason I am starting in a naval style today is that I am searching for the keys to success.

How can one business with great location be surpassed by a business placed in the more rural places of the city? What makes two similar companies different? Why did USS Norway fall behind? Why did USS Heimen end up a highly decorated vessel?
I have been thinking about this for a while, and yesterday I saw a TV-show on Travel Channel about historical railroads and trains. This time it was about a train in Canada where the steam locomotive was from about 1898. They interviewed one of the volunteer mechanics, and he said something that stuck to me; “When other train enthusiasts see this locomotive, I want them to say WOW!” – The train was spotless and shiny. He seemed extremely proud of his job on this train. This leads me to the first key to success; Being proud.
Being proud
As an employee you need to be proud of your job, to be able to shine. As a leader you need to create proud workers. Proud workers brag about their great job, they brag about how good their business is doing; they brag about how great their products and services are. They are proud to represent their company. Proud employees are good ambassadors for your image.
Still just being proud do not separate the good from the great, I am sure that the crew on all three vessels where proud from day one? What went wrong? And who is responsible for USS Norway’s repeating engine problems? This leads me to the next keyword; Responsibility.
Taking responsibility
Does the crew on USS Heimen demonstrate more responsibility than on the two other vessels? Most likely yes! I think the officers on the USS Heimen have been successful to develop a proud crew that is allowed to demonstrate a high level of responsibility. At your office, who is responsible for keeping the office tidy and clean? You? Your boss? Your co-workers? The cleaning staff? Or you don’t care, as long as someone else picks up your garbage? Fast rewind; back to the train mechanic; as he was being interviewed he was polishing away a spot on the engines side. The train should be spotless, even in the remote places that are out of view to the general public. USS Heimen did not contain dust and dirt where USS Norway was filthy. The crew took pride in keeping the destroyer in great shape. And it was everybody’s responsibility to keep it spotless, that resulting in not ignoring filth if they saw it, because someone else will pick it up.

If you take responsibility for your customers in the same way, you are on the way to retaining happy customers. You will not ignore what makes them unhappy because it is not your job, you will not leave a unhappy customers for others to handle, you will not accept that your store is untidy as you know it might create a bad impression on customers. If you walk by a dirty kitchen in your dining area at work, you will make it shine. You feel responsible for creating happiness around you, and you know the meaning of the word.
I define responsibility as a mental mode. This is something you can learn. It is your responsibility to contribute to happy customers, great co-workers, a great work environment, a tidy work sphere. You are responsible for being awake at work and doing your best to reach the goals and visions of the company. And ding ding, correct this leads me to the next thing that I believe is important; Clear goals and a vision.

A great vision is a roadmap to success.
As a leader you need to be able to demonstrate a vision and project this on to your employees. One of my favorite inspirations is a Norwegian author, advertising guru, consultant and soccer enthusiastic; Ingebrigt Steen Jensen. He wrote a book called “Ona Lighthouse” (I think it is only published in Norway) about creating a vision. He has been working for the Norwegian soccer club Stabæk for years since they were in lower divisions. And way back they had a vision about winning the Norwegian top division, and they did last season (2008). And a few years ago they created a new vision about playing the semi-finals of the European Championships at their new arena at Fornebu, Oslo. They have just built this arena, and established their new home venue before this season. And Ingebrigt have just been elected chairman of the board at Stabæk. The power of a great vision, proud members and people willing to take the responsibility pushed the vision into real life.

Still there is one last thing…
We have the roadmap, the route planned, we have proud people creating an engine and the mass is responsible for the results. But wait what if we get lost underway? And don’t know how to manage a crisis? The company needs to create a set of values to match their goals and visions. What kind of company is this? What kind of employees is needed? And what values are important to get us started? Ownership? Hardworking? Creative? Honest? Strong?
healthy? Knowledge? Clear values works as a compass on the roadmap, if you are stuck, the values might guide you forward. What values do you think the train mechanic has? He wants to preserve the old, share with others and is proud to show off a train that makes other enthusiasts go WOW!
This demonstrates four keys to success, pride, responsibility, a vision and values. I could write a lot more about the consequence of having responsibility. This is actually a huge and important subject, and unfortunately a lot of people try to run away from it; No, it’s not my fault, the product department did not inform us, the boss failed to mention it, how could I know, I have not had the time yet and so on. This is a disease that needs to be cured for the company to be able to succeed. There is a chance that at USS Norway someone noticed a strange sound from the engine room, and thought; “what is this sound? Oh well, the engine crew probably knows.” – While on USS Heimen, this would result in a person trying to figure it out and alerting someone who could fix it? The officers probably had a vision about a decorated vessel with proud men and women, and the officers probably knew what values to tech to the crew.
These keys to success are probably not the only ones, but this is the four things that I at this current time of my life define as the most important.

More from my site

  • Why you should always stay positive.Why you should always stay positive. I can’t believe it, my wife have been complaining lately that I am negative. What? Me? Negative? No! Yes it is winter in Norway, it is cold, it is always raining if I am going outdoors, […]
  • All Customers Are Not Equal.All Customers Are Not Equal. I just read;”All Customers Are Equal” – at the Business Leader Success Advice. This is a response to the article. You should read it before you read my response. I do not agree on their […]
  • How to Save a Sinking Call CenterHow to Save a Sinking Call Center Do you have angry and frustrated customers who have been waiting impatiently on the phone for the last 20 minutes? Do 30-40 % of your customers hang up while waiting for an answer? Do you […]
  • I am a believer. I believe in you!I am a believer. I believe in you! I do believe in YOU! You are a fabulous pond of energy waiting to explode. You can do anything you want to. I believe that it is your right to be whatever you choose to be. As the opposite […]

4 Comments on "Four keys to success! – Do you want to win?"

  1. Frode Heimen | March 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm |

    Hi Relax.
    I have not been to Oslo and Bergen for a while, but Kristiansand is great today with sun and nice spring wheather.

    Just read your post, liked it. Thank you for reading my blog, keep coming back for more 🙂

  2. Hello from Blogger United?
    How’s Oslo and Bergen?
    Oh man, I miss Norway and it’s fjord, and its sweet Sissel too!

    Anyways, conincidently, I have written an article with the same title as yours too!

  3. Frode Heimen | March 9, 2009 at 6:38 am |

    Hi Groovy!
    Thank you so much for reading and posting at my blog.

    It would be cool if you told me more about your father, what does he do? And does making proud workers work for him?

  4. Groovy Baby Blog | March 9, 2009 at 12:37 am |

    yes you right , as a leader make proud workers, my father believe strongly on that !.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


CommentLuv badge