Why is it unreasonable to expect that the job I have hired you to do is in fact done to agreed parameters before I pay you? If I hire you to do a job within a certain time frame with clear guidelines and specs and you not only agree to them, but assure me that they are easy and attainable…plenty of time, no problem. Until we are close to deadline and the deliverables are not there or they are not what I asked for or fill in the blanks here because the end result and accompanying excuses get to be pretty wild. So wild that I think this topic could make a great coffee table book. The title could be, “The dog ate my code.”
I have been thinking about the lack of accountability and personal responsibility a lot lately. I have run up against this quite a bit as a business owner and certainly just in the every day living of life. I wonder if it is more prevalent in our society as a whole or I am just running up against part of the world where it is more the norm. If it is more prevalent why? Is it a lowering of standards/expectations? Do we care less about the jobs we hold and how we do them. Is it generalized societal apathy? Whatever it is, I find it disheartening and at times, when given a substandard product and told it is industry standards (I hate that one) and just down right shocking. And I do believe that is in fact apathy, pure and simple, just not caring.
I have always been accused of having standards that are too high. I remember my grandmother telling me I was going to be disappointed a lot in life if I expected to hold others to the standards I hold for myself (for the most part I have not been disappointed, Gran). That statement of hers made quite an impact on me, so I have been very careful to make sure I am being reasonable with what I am looking for in a job well done. I do believe that if you ask the Blue Moon team, you will find that I have done a fair job with this goal. (Do me a favor though, and wait to ask them until we are a few more weeks from the summit.)
What is wrong with having high standards and feeling good about the work you produce? Whatever you do—whether it is cleaning toilets ( I have done my fair share of this), growing things, building, programming, caring for children, tending the sick—does it not help and feed everyone involved if you do it well with all of you.
If you feel good about what you do does it not then go into what you are doing and does it not then come to me your customer, and I in turn feel good about what I hired you to do and then again it goes out into the world to all of the end-users, which in my business, are knitters who use yarn and computers, and they feel good and pass the word. A full complete circle of quality workmanship that supports the whole. I will hire you again and again tell others to hire you. We both will feel good about working together, which will enrich who we are and how we walk the planet.
Since the Sock Summit we have been asked a lot about our business model and why we thought this was so successful. There are many reasons why the Sock Summit was successful but underlining them all is accountability, to the project, to ourselves, to each other, to everyone we worked with and to our customers.
It is has been pointed out to us that this is not the easy way to go and we agree. This week we resolved a working relationship that in fact was not…working, to our standards. I feel we were as accountable and responsible as we could be in this situation. I am working my way through feeling that this is in fact resolved for me. I am having a hard time processing this.
Maybe a walk on the beach will help.