The Price of Inaction

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On a daily basis, businesses are faced with decisions that run the gamut from fairly insignificant to almost monumental. Dealing with them swiftly and decisively is important, and should be part of the normal routine of ownership or upper management, since failure to address and impending item could have far reaching results.
If you operate a limo service, you are familiar with some of the types of decisions we face at O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service. Recently, decisions about upcoming vehicle purchases have been at the forefront of our thinking, but these are decisions that can be made over time. More significant are the decisions that need immediate attention. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation…
A limousine is over loaded with luggage on it’s way to the airport. Once it arrives, it is discovered that a piece of luggage is missing. It was easily overlooked by the client because of the sheer volume of luggage, and amid the excitement of all passengers getting into the limo. A few phone calls later, a neighbor confirms that the client had indeed left a suitcase on the front porch. So now…what do you do?
Time is now of the essence, since there is a flight to be made, and the client will be adding to the stress by blaming the chauffeur, your company, and YOU personally for this horrible lapse in service. But none of this should matter, because once the office has been made aware of the situation, wheels should already be turning and the process of solving the problem should already be in fourth gear. If not, your inaction could cost you and your company dearly, in dollars as well as PR.
Employees should always be coached in “reaction”. Typically, the workplace response to a problem is to affix blame…and then look for fixes. While looking to blame someone may seem like “action”, it is not addressing the problem. Like a fireman, once presented with a problem, there is little discussion. It’s all business at that point, because inaction can lead to loss of property and life.
In the prior scenario, there are several possible solutions, depending on the facts (pickup location, time until flight departure), but obviously, the key is getting the lost piece of luggage in hand, and that should be the first order of business. If there is a sedan, limo, are even a limo bus in the area, it should already have been dispatched to the location of the bag. This constitutes ACTION…not inaction. The bag may not make it to the airport in time to make the client’s flight, but there are still options available (can you say FedEx?). The goal is to reunite the owner and his property.
In the end, your response will go a long way to repairing the relationship with your client – or – in the event your client does NOT blame you, making you a superhero in their eyes. But again, it all starts with action.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
– Tony Robbins

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.