One aspect of our business that I’ll admit wasn’t traditionally my favorite was training and teaching new employees about the inner workings of the job. I think part of it has to do with the fact that there is a corporate term attached to this called On-Boarding. In a past life I was subjected to all kinds of “fun” (read: B.S.) buzzwords and this one in particular was a thorn in my paw. But like I said, that was a past life.
Recently, I have come to really embrace and appreciate the process of teaching people how to integrate into our business. It’s for one main reason: It reminds me what I went through learning the ropes and brings me back to the concept of being brilliant with the basics.
I have the privilege of working with and learning from professionals across a multitude of industries and experience levels. When I get the chance to interact with them, there is a commonality that all the most effective leaders share; they have mastered the most basic principles/exercises/requirements of the job. Some call it fundamentals, some call it basics, some call it tasks, but the end result is that the people who are most successful ALWAYS go back to the most basic things they need to do and practice them until they have achieved mastery. (Speaking of mastery, if you haven’t already, read Dan Pink’s book Drive for a better understanding of the importance of mastery)
So often, people get caught up in being better, smarter, wittier or more creative than the competition. While I totally agree with the fact that you want to be looking for new and more effective ways to do your job, the simple act of following through on the fundamentals of whatever it is you do can often be overlooked. When is the last time you reviewed the basics of your job?
For speakers, its often going back and listening to recordings to make sure they hit all their key points. For sales pros, it’s understanding the product and the landscape in and out. For manufacturers it is knowing all the steps that go into making their product. For customer service folks it’s knowing how to appreciate and serve the customer. Don’t fall into one of those categories? No problem! Think back on what you needed to do just to survive in your job when you started. Do you remember what was required? Do you still do it at an exceptional level?
So the next time someone new joins your organization, be the first to volunteer to show them the ropes. It might be a perfect opportunity for you to review the basic skills you need to master in order to be more successful.