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Tonight, while just beginning my ritual of thirty minutes on the treadmill at my local gym, my mind drifted through the daily log of events, hopes, and of course, a random assortment of needs. Often on my mind during these rummages is my current need to drop five more pounds and return to a waist size of some thirty autumns ago, yet, suddenly, I realized, after reading the quote on the t-shirt of the young lady jogging in front of me, that I'd actually lost sight of how to ultimately satisfy that need ~ which was to not focus on the need itself, but instead to focus on how much I actually enjoy working out on this piece of equipment. And the need would then, as it were, take care of itself.
"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
And so it often is with our service delivery on residential estates. Easily so focused on the immediate need at hand, we forget to realize the right way to go about being good service providers ~ or even, perhaps, if the service could be more than one step removed from our efforts themselves.
Although you're the nanny, does preparing and serving an elegant dinner for two, perhaps one of your own special creation, make you come alive? Surely the chef has a day off, where you can dive into this passion. Maybe you're the estate manager, with an appreciation for the high performance of fine or exotic automobiles? You may not be the chauffeur, but who on the estate would deny you the opportunity to polish and detail clean one of them from the inside out, after you've caught up with your primary duties and have a spare afternoon? Or, are you the upstairs maid, bored with all the ironing and having a secret penchant for organizing large dinner parties? Your household manager will, I assure you, be graciously appreciative of you handling many of the important details for the next one... and even more so, if you'll then stick around to help see that all went according to your ~ perhaps new, and passionately discovered ~ team effort.
Of course, we do make efforts to ask what our estate needs ~ and to obtain or assign resources needed to satisfy those needs. In fact, a well-known survey by Gallup, discovering the top 10 most important concerns of the best performing workers across all industries, noted these workers always wanted to know what was expected of them to perform ~ and, similarly, the best performing estates will know what their expectations are, while focusing, with purpose, on setting the standards to satisfy those needs.
Still, the takeaway from Howard Thurman of how we go about serving our estates can empower us to look beyond the obvious and to satisfy our own needs for success and high performance, as well.
...because, what your estate needs is people who have come alive.