September 9, 2018
Peter Drucker, the famous business guru, has written over 10,000 pages on the subject of Management; that equates to 39 books translated in 36 languages. He is best described as the FOUNDER of Modern Management. In his book, The Practice of Management, he stated, “there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. The customer is the foundation of a business and keeps it in existence; he alone (the customer) gives employment.”
This week, I had the opportunity to work for Farm Credit Services of America, a customer-owned financial cooperative, who finances and protects farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Everywhere I turned and with every person I interviewed, it was obvious Mr. Drucker would be thrilled with their business philosophy. They get it … their customer truly is their Number 1 priority; all policies, procedures, products and services are in place for the sole purpose of HELPING their customers.
Maybe we should all consider ourselves as a “Customer-Owned Cooperative” because every part of our existence is based upon our customers. Our customers may not own us, as they do at Farm Credit Services … but as Mr. Drucker stated, “they give us employment.”
Farm Credit Services was having an Executive Summit with 70 senior directors to discuss what MORE they can do to better serve their customers. They allowed me the opportunity to interview 15 people from senior management, sales to field personnel, so I could get a pulse as to what really makes them tick. They didn’t inquire as to what I would be asking their employees, nor did they give me any directions, concerns or restrictions as to what I could discuss. It doesn’t get any more transparent than that.
Did I uncover some complaints, concerns and frustrations … sure I did; every company has those. But, I also uncovered how PROUD they are to be serving their customers. Their heart-felt concerns for doing everything thing they can to see that their customer succeeds in a very competitive and volatile market, was a pleasure to witness. If someone would ask me how I would sum up Farm Credit Services, I would choose one word: PROUD.
The word PROUD is defined as “satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself … to honor or distinguish a person or organization.”
You don’t mandate PROUD. You don’t force people to be PROUD. PROUD is a culture, a foundation, deeply rooted into the fabric of an organization. You can feel it when you are around them … see it in their actions … and hear it in their words. If you want to succeed, both personally and as a business, then you need to:
THINK PROUD – it’s all about your attitude
FEEL PROUD – and show it in everything you do
BE PROUD – willing to stamp your name on the job you did
Do what is necessary so you will ALWAYS be PROUD of the results.
"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."