Do We Need to Hire Ourselves?

Why do so many organizations suffer from the very things they are supposed to be experts at, the very things they sell to their clients?

The manufacturing company that can’t deliver just-in-time orders. (This one always baffles me.)

The transportation company that can’t keep its vehicles in working order. (Remember the tale of the cobbler whose children need new shoes? I mean, really?)

The education company whose teachers use outdated methods. (Proof of the pressure to maintain the educational status quo in and difficulty changing.)

The law firm unwittingly using illegitimate billing practices. (Surprising, infrequent, and rarely discussed.)

The consultant who can’t communicate. (This one is personally embarrassing.)

The information technology company that can’t maintain the security of its own technology. (One of the best kept secrets.)

The French named an illness after these dysfunctions – Folie a deux, when the madness (insanity) of one, the patient, becomes the madness (insanity) of two, the patient and the doctor.

These internal failings are bright yellow flags of caution highlighting operational inefficiencies.

It’s bad enough when an organization can’t take care of its own operational and maintenance needs. It’s much worse when improving those activities are the very products and services being offered to its customer base.

How can they trust you to take care of their business when yours can’t operate to the same standards you profess yourself to be capable of doing?

Would you trust a lawyer who can’t bill you correctly? Would you trust an information technology provider who’d been successfully hacked? Would you send your child to a school, any school, that doesn’t use up-to-date computers?

Of course not, so why would your customers want to do business with you if they knew you weren’t able to do for yourself what you do for them?

These discrepancies between what organizations offer and how they operate reflect a fundamental disconnect. It’s not just about the appearance of expertise; it’s about integrity and reliability. Customers rightfully expect the same standards with your internal operations as you promise with your external services.

So, what’s the solution?

It’s time to hire yourself, to apply the same diligence, care, and innovation to your internal operations as you do for your clients. This means investing in your infrastructure, your people, and your processes. It means holding yourself accountable to the highest standards, not just meeting industry norms.

Communicate openly and honestly with your clients. Transparency builds trust. If you have internal challenges or need to make improvements, sharing these efforts, even engaging your clients in them, demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to continuous improvement. Clients appreciate honesty and are more likely to trust a partner who acknowledges and addresses their shortcomings.

Make a pact to hire yourself. Commit to becoming the best version of your organization internally for your own integrity and sustainability, not just when you’re client facing. By treating your internal operations like a customer, you’ll quickly identify areas for improvement, recognize weaknesses before they create problems, become more efficient, and enhance the trust and satisfaction of all you serve.

Stop working in a vacuum. To find out more about hiring yourself…

  • My Blog has become the information source leaders depend on.
  • Buy my book, Businesses Don’t Fail, They Commit Suicide: how to survive success and thrive in good times and bad.
  • Email me at (or call 916-798-0600) to schedule a relaxed, no-pressure conversation focused on understanding your unique challenges and potential solutions. No sales talk, just an open discussion.

NOTE: This newsletter was written with input from ChatGPT.


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