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Planning to Succeed is No Joke

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I was once told that you can capture an audience by telling a joke. So let me tell you one of many tales of Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, two Cajuns living their best lives in the swamps of Louisiana. 

One day, Thibodaux returned from a long but unsuccessful day of crabbing with Boudreaux to find his wife was not home. In fact, she didn’t she didn’t even return for supper. Thibodaux called Boudreaux anxious and worried: “Boudreaux, Cherie not at da house. Don’t know where she could have gone! I’m worried.” 

Boudreaux tried to calm Thibodaux. “Don’t you worry, me and Claud will jump in the pirogue and go look.” A few hours after sundown, Thibodaux received a knock at the door, it was Boudreaux and Claud, heads hung low.  “Thibodaux, we got some good news and bad news. We sorry, but we found Cherie floating face down in the bayou. She is dead.” Thibodaux cried and gained his composure. “What’s that good news?” Boudreaux held a large bucket next to him, “Well when we rolled her over and there was about 18 crabs snacking on her. So, we going to toss her back in tomorrow to see what else we get!”

No doubt at least one person will get offended by that, I am sure. My contact information is on the side. Since we had one joke, let’s do another one. Boudreaux just hired Claud to be his helper on the boat for crabbing season. Claud admitted he had experience fishing but not crabbing (two different skill sets). Before casting off, Thibodeaux walked by to see Boudreaux handing Claud a big stack of cash. Thibodeaux asked “Say Boudreaux, what you throwing all dat money at him for?” Boudreaux said, “He don’t know what he doin, so I'm throwing money at him till he does!” 

Now you probably didn’t understand the joke. You may have through it wasn’t funny or just plainly stupid. You are right! It is not a joke, not funny and is stupid. 

Sadly, this is the way we develop our future leaders. Instead of developing plans, timelines, materials, checkpoints and instilling feedback and delegation, we instill “money and hope.” The investment of your team far outweighs the investment of your building, advertising or products. People will find their way in with bad egress, even if the service was great. People will spread the word and be more effective than a billboard or social campaign.  

 A bank won’t look if the people you chose to represent you do not have the training on customer service and producers, all investments are worthless.  A bank will not even look at you without a business plan and projections. Your vendors sit down with you and go over progress and opportunity for sales and your advertising agent will fill your day with PowerPoints of ROI.  But your team... they will get it... Right? 

Take the time to develop a plan for your team. Start with why, then where, what, how and when. 


Step by Step

Why: Why is this training important to learn? How does the customer and business benefit from it, but more importantly why is it important to the learner.   

Where: Is this learning going to be handed on, in class, online or outsourced to a training firm.  

What: What is going to be trained? What does it look like done right? What does it look like done wrong? 

How: How is the needed skill actually performed? How can we ensure it was learned? 

When: When does it need to be done by? At what point in their development.  

You can break it down to each position. A new hire needs to learn these things just to be compliant. When they become a technician, they will have done these things (in the lower bay, upper bay, courtesy). As a service writer they need to be able to do this. The list goes on and on as they move up the ladder. Then put a timeline with checkpoints together.  

Never assume they know your way.  Most of the time they know someone else’s way. And since they are there looking for a job, they probably didn’t do that way very well. You know what they say about when you assume someone knows something- well I definitely can’t say that one in here. I will probably be in enough trouble with the crabbing story.  

Everything needs a plan, the bigger the investment, the better the plan. Paying more for techs, letting them absorb the information through osmosis, depending on their talents that landed them looking for a job is not going to lead  success but instead face down being snacked on in the bayou.  


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