Running Downhill


For years I worked out every morning on a treadmill. It’s one of those programmable jobs that takes me up and down hills (inclines) for 30 minutes. I watch Fox News, ESPN and the Golf Channel while I take my journey.

Between you and me, I find it’s much easier to run downhill.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the excitement and personal challenge of running uphill and trying to slay the dragons of breath and bad knees, but downhill is a welcome break.

Sometimes companies are like treadmills. They take their customers and employees on a journey. Sometimes it is uphill and sometimes it’s downhill. How much easier is it for both these important stakeholders to be mostly on downhill journeys? Put another way, wouldn’t we have better, more motivated employees and loyal, evangelist customers if we made downhill journeys the rule and not the exception?

A few years ago I changed auto and home insurance policies. I usually bid out my insurance every three years and this was the year to explore. Using I found a new home for my coverage. I had a few questions and called the new company (Travelers). Their response was incredible. I felt like a member of the family from the first call. They helped me to run downhill.

So, the question becomes: “What can our company do to help employees and customers run downhill?” I was in a retail store once that had posted on thier computer/cash registers “NO CASH REFUNDS”. That sign certainly took away my enthusiasm to shop in that store. So, where are your “NO CASH REFUNDS” signs? Find them and take them down—help your customers run downhill instead of always asking them to run out of breath as they run uphill.

What about employees? Do you focus on their strengths or try to “fix” their weaknesses? Do you empower them to be all they can be or do you impose silly rules? What can you do to allow them to run downhill and actually enjoy their work? Think of it this way, when they are running downhill, results happen faster.

I like running downhill and so will your employees and customers.


2 Responses to “Running Downhill”

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