I was talking to a friend yesterday who is an educator. She recently took the position of Chair of her department. In our conversation, she relayed her frustration that so many of her colleagues presented ideas and wanted to implement policies that she did not feel were in the best interests of the students. She said she felt her colleagues had lost their way and were working on many things for their own benefit at the exclusion of students. She expressed her new-found mission to begin looking at everything from the students’ perspective. She said she wanted to make “is what we are talking about in the best interest of our students?” her first question and then move on to any other concerns dependent on a “yes” on that question.
I was very happy during this conversation because that is the essence of my entire philosophy of service and teaching is most definitely a service. Think of it, if businesses, schools and organizations made “is what we are doing in the best interests of those we serve?” their first question, how would it change the level of service provided? If managers asked that questions before implementing new policies and procedures, how would that change the life of employees? How would it change the level of difficulty end-user customers deal with?
Ultimately, the point of service is really all about selfishness or selflessness, this is the real question businesses, schools and organizations must look at. Do you want to look inward and do things that benefit you first or do you want to look outward and benefit those you serve first? Huge concept, huge game changer, huge mission.
How to begin? Ask yourself this every day, “Is what I am doing right now helping others succeed?” If you need a reminder, go to the resources page and download the Big Focusing Question poster. Hang it up where you can see it. Start looking at whether your actions, ideas and plans are in the best interests of those you serve before you say yes to any other viewpoint.
QUESTION: Is what you are doing or about to do in the best interest of those you serve? Will it work to make others successful?