Why try harder?

Why try harder? 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Many basketball brackets were busted last week – who would have thought a first-round team like Virginia Commonwealth University would make it to the venerable Final Four? I read somewhere that at the beginning of the season, VCU’s odds of making it that far were 2500 to 1.

There’s something to be said for being the “underdog.” In fact, companies like Avis Rent-a-Car made it a marketing pitch – they were #2, so they “tried harder.” And throughout history, underdogs have even prevailed: David downed Goliath, Susan Boyle wowed Simon Cowell and the Giants beat the previously undefeated Patriots. The desire to pull for the underdog seems to be part of our psyche. Some people, with no team allegiances, will automatically pull for the underdog simply because they’re the underdog.


I believe it’s because Americans are the most charitable people on the planet and they appreciate rags-to-riches stories because they’ve been weaned on the “American Dream.” If you believe it, you can achieve it. Try harder, and you’ll succeed. And, if Cinderella turns into a pumpkin, you can always heed the mantra of long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans…”there’s always next year!”

Let Humility Reside

Let Humility Reside 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Being humble is not always an easy task. It is natural to discuss what is going on in our lives, our businesses, our progressions and our accomplishments. It also seems innate to speak of the things that go wrong and to complain when things aren’t going exactly the way we wish.

For this reason, and many others, it is important to let humility to reside within us. I’ll speak specifically from a business perspective – when times are tough, it’s easy to gripe; when times are great, it’s easy to boast. That being said, in tough times, the best thing to do is press on and persevere. Take responsibility for what needs to be done, and do it. Work hard, do everything you can to improve and help others around you grow. Find the elements of the business you can change and develop creative ways to change them. You CAN make things happen, so put on a perseverant face and forge ahead. Don’t blame others, and don’t spend time finding faults. Take action, work hard and push through the tough times.

When things are going swimmingly with your business, it’s easy to want to shout it from the rooftops. And we all love to share good news! I am not suggesting that we should not showcase accomplishments, but it is important to remember to keep a humble mentality. Remember that you are where you are because of the people around you, the sacrifices that have been made for you, the parents or grandparents who have raised you – the reasons are truly endless.

Use the good times to take note of what went right and what you can continue to do to make the path ahead even greater. But rather than spending your time boasting about your accomplishments, instead spend it thanking those who helped you to achieve – your staff, your spouse, your friends, your customers. In your accomplishments, be happy and celebrate, but also be grateful, show your thanks and use your successes to make you work that much harder.

Plan for Success

Plan for Success 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Proper communication can lead to successful plans, which in turn will lead to a successful future. Many businesses find themselves asking if plans for every little detail are worth the time and effort needed to create them. Every plan you make for every little detail will help lead you to success.

A plan always involves good communication skills between internal and external sources. A correct plan includes:

Objectives and Goals – Brainstorming with your employees is a key start to setting objectives and goals everyone can support. Having attainable goals will lead to higher productivity and a more positive atmosphere within the company. Setting impossible goals will set you up to encounter a glass ceiling that will not be easy to overcome.

Audiences – Define your audience. If you do not define who you are trying to communicate to, then your message can be lost in translation. Also, by defining your audience you can better determine the most appropriate medium for communication and information. 

Timetables, Tools, and a Budget – Set timetables for your goals and objectives. This will allow you to evaluate progress and improvements. Finding what tools can better help you achieve these goals is often a key step that is overlooked. Many people can identify their goals, but then cannot find the tools to help them achieve that goal. Break down your budget from the very beginning, and decipher the costs that can be implemented to each specific area of planning.

Evaluation – Evaluation before and after the planning is vital to the success of the overall plan. Evaluate your plan beforehand with a brainstorming session, and after the fact, with a survey or focus group. By using these evaluations you can better determine the success of  and implementation of the overall plan.

Plan development takes time and effort, but creating a detailed scheme of your objectives and execution will strongly improve your company’s performance.

The Power of Empowerment

The Power of Empowerment 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Whether you have a handful of employees or thousands of employees, each of them wants to feel needed and appreciated. Without the feeling of being unique and special to the company, many employees will not put forth their best effort to go above and beyond expectations. Part of having well-driven employees is being able to put the drive into your employees. Empowerment will not only affect the nucleus of the company, but will reflect positive energy to the customer.

Employees must be empowered to successfully achieve the tasks and goals of their respective jobs. Empowerment can mean a lot of things to an employee, but ultimately, it deals with taking the time to give attention to the employees. A great way to improve sense of empowerment is to solicit feedback from your employees on how your company can better itself.

Who better to inform you on how to help the company than the people who take care of the company on a daily basis? Empowerment will not only allow the employee to better help customers and improve morale, but it will also free management’s time to focus on the operations of the corporation.

Many people know the frustration of having a problem and having to wait to see a manager in order to fix the problem. But empowering your employees to successfully handle problems will allow for enhanced customer service and overall customer satisfaction. Correcting a problem immediately will lead to less permanent problems in the future.

If the customer service team members are empowered, then the company will not only save a great deal of the employee’s time, but will also increase customer loyalty.