Myths Of Modern Business

by Steven D Huff

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. During the night, Holmes awoke, nudged
his faithful friend and said, “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Watson replied,
“Sir, I see millions and millions of stars.” “And what does that tell you?” inquired Holmes. Watson
pondered for a minute, then answered. “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and
billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the
time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is powerful and
creative. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why? What does it
tell you? Silent for a moment, Holmes finally replied, “It tells me someone has stolen our tent!”

This fun story illustrates how easy it is overlook the obvious. In business today, many people have
so fixed their eyes on a few old business axioms that they have missed the obvious changes in how
business should be done. These old axioms or business principles may or may not have ever been
true but are taught and practiced today as if they were. Let’s call these axioms what they really are.
. .Myths.
Here are several modern business myths and their corresponding reality. . .

  • The Customer Comes First – Over who? The problem with this myth is that it presumes you
    can wave a magic wand and customers will be well served. In reality, there will be no
    customer service without well-cared-for, motivated employees. So instead of ranking
    customers as more important than employees, try to establish equality. Invest in and serve
    both as if each were the key to success.
  • There’s A Labor Shortage – Today everyone quotes the low unemployment rates and
    bemoans the current labor crisis. In reality there is not a “labor” crisis, but a “turnover”
    crisis. Business today can forget asking, “Are there enough people available to work?”
    Instead ask, “Are there enough people available who want to work for us?” Make your
    business a fun, challenging, reputable and caring place to work and you won’t have a labor
  • Knowledge And Skill Drive Success – A few years ago Mark Miller, an executive with the
    Chick-fil-A restaurants, made this observation, “We’ve gotten pretty good at teaching the
    ‘how-to.’ But we forgot about the ‘want to.'” The obvious lesson: knowledge and skill are
    not nearly enough. In reality, workers must have the internal drive and motivation to
    achieve their goals. Said another way, “Success doesn’t come from the ‘I.Q.’ alone. It also
    requires the ‘I Will…'” Look for people with the “I will do my best” attitude and you’ll find
    success is not far behind.
  • © ~ Developing Leaders from the Inside Out ~ Used with authors permission. For personal and small group use. Further distribution granted in this format if proper credits are maintained.

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