Words I am Unlikely to Say
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I was recently researching a company online and that included having a look at the profiles of their senior management. Each of them had “Words I am unlikely to say” at foot of their bios. The answers were along the lines of “nothing is impossible”, “never”, “I can’t” etc. You get the drift. Maybe these words do honestly sum up the personalities of those that they are attributed to, only they will know for sure. I can sort of understand what it was or is they want to convey, yet it comes across as cheesy, all faux positivity and formulaic, straight out of a motivational seminar. and hardly likely to be consistent with a properly profiled personality. It was as if they haven’t given it much thought or, thought it would be a good reflection. Maybe they had some advisors that did it for them. Who knows?
Still it did get me to asking myself about the words I never say in the same context however. I didn’t have to reflect, because they were there front and centre of my mind as I read. I’ve lived by them for as long as I can remember. Actually there are two such standards I’ve used as a yard stick to getting things done properly.
I suppose they may have been drummed into me in my early 20s when I moved from driving a keyboard working in datacentres to selling at a recruitment agency. The Sales Director had a huge influence and has remained an inspiration to me. His name was Dennis Linscott. Dennis sadly passed away 11 years ago, but many of the lessons he taught remain with me today. Chief among them is the attention to detail and thinking about what else can be done to get job done right.
Whether what I learned from Dennis moulded me or coincidentally suited my personality only psychologists can answer that one, but what I do know is I’ve always been one of those people that gives it all or nothing. This can manifest itself in many ways; from total immersion into something, attention to the detail and form, tenacity, bloody-mindedness, belligerence and so on.
Slight deviation needed here. I am aware that I don’t always see typos or spelling errors. That’s not the attention to detail to which I refer above. I refer to knowing, understanding, covering all the angles and perspectives, thinking what else can be done or needs doing, asking myself “so what?” That’s the attention to detail to which I refer. Dennis taught me that.
What I do now and how I go about it is governed by those principles. I always ask myself “so what?” when putting a proposal or business case or project recommendation together; “what’s in it for them?”, “what would make a difference to them?”
So what are the two things you are never likely to hear me say when it comes to doing something well?
“That’ll do” and “It’s good enough”
Certainly not as a statement that I consider a task well done or indeed completed and if I do happen to use them when accepting work from others…….well the ambiguity of the phrases could mean I’m happy that all that can be done has been done, alternatively I might just be less than impressed. I will let you guess, but a clue; Winston Churchill was fond of saying, “I am easily pleased…….by perfection”. I first heard that at school from a teacher drilling a similar thing into the class and that became a mental tattoo.
It’s an attitude and a way of being. It’s me. I don’t even think them unless it’s to check what else I need to do, can do, should do etc.
“That’ll do” never does. Just by asking if it will do, you have abdicated caring about the quality. Likewise if you think something is good enough it very rarely will be and is an acceptance of a compromise to quality and to doing the job right.
It is always likely to be the difference between making something happen rather than just letting it happen by chance.
When I read the statements from the management of the company I was researching I could almost hear them saying “yeah that’ll do” and seeing the slight shrug of the shoulders as they said it.
So to keep the theme going what words are you never likely to say and why?