Understanding Your Purpose

Not knowing your purpose will leave you wandering aimlessly – literally in the example I’ll provide today. And wandering aimlessly is really bad for business.

by Pete Ferguson

I’m currently away from home this week staying at a hotel.

I am in Philadelphia and not very familiar with the area and what risks may be apparent, but when I checked in and found a very large security “guard” hanging out at the reception desk with the shuttle driver – I did not feel more secure.

Instead I wondered what lawsuit, mugging, rape, or theft would cause such a reactionary measure.

Throughout the first night I used the gym, ate at the cafe, and pushed through several loads of laundry which put me in the hallways often. Each time I was about, I had to walk around the “guard” who was too busy texting in the middle of the hallway to know that I was approaching.

While I was in the laundry room, he apparently was done texting because he came into the room and almost walked through me to make contact with a button on a “pipe tour.”

These devices were created by someone years ago because “guards” were sleeping and not conducting patrols, couldn’t write a report and guard companies and their clients were being sued for negligence.

Rather than raise the pay and professionalism of guards, buttons are now placed on the wall of areas you want the “guard” to patrol, and the “guard” goes around (usually on the hour or every other hour) and touches the button with the wand.

At the end of the tour, the guard taps on one button if everything is okay, or another button if an additional report is required and then puts the wand in a dock that downloads what time each button was contacted to a computer.

So the guard, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, is trained and rewarded to go and find the buttons. When the real purpose of their existence is to observe surroundings, interact with guests, and look for risks and find ways to mitigate the risks.

And this gets to my point of the title of this blog:

We have to constantly look to understand our purpose. And once the “why” is well understood, all of the what (professional appearance and behavior in this example) falls into place.

What unintentional consequences are your customers, coworkers, and clients suffering?

Learn: What unintentional consequences exist from your business decisions?

Act: Is your staff properly trained on their purpose? Are you? What can you do today to fix it yourself?

Share: I’d love to hear additional stories. Please leave a comment below.



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