Leave When Your Business is Done

by vernsanders on August 10, 2012

This month would have been my dad’s 105th birthday, and it got me to thinking, so I’m going talking about some things that he taught me over the course of the rest of this month. I don’t remember my dad ever sitting down with me and saying “”Listen up…you need to learn this…” He taught by his life example, and a lot of the things on my list are things that were just clear in how he went about living. I “learned something new every day” I spent with my dad, particularly as I got older and started paying more attention. But at the same time, I am very aware of things that I learned early, because that’s just how things were.

My dad was an insurance broker in a town that was a market center in an agricultural county. He drove around to visit his clients on a regular basis, and when I got to be old enough, I often went with him. As I talked about in this post, he was always learning, and one of the things he mastered was maps. For years, whichever way my nose pointed was north, but he never seemed to get lost. And he would often just say “let’s see where this road goes” and off we’d go until it came out somewhere. It is trite, I know, but for him the journey was the point, because he learned something. In any event, he carried a map around in his head, so that every time he went down a road he’d never traveled, it became part of his database, both in terms of navigation, and scenery. To this day I love to return to a road I haven’t been on, just to see what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

So when we’d get to one of his insured’s houses or businesses, the pattern was almost always the same. There would be conversation. Not exactly small talk, because, as I’ve said, my dad was always trying to learn stuff. So it wasn’t “good weather today…” It was more like “How are the tomatoes doing after last week’s heat?”

But then, at a certain point that even today I’ve never figured out, he’d get around to what he came for. Any changes in your situation? New car that needs to be insured? Whatever. Relationship first, business second. I never saw him go out to “sell.” He “called on” his clients. But once he started in on the business part, an invisible timer started. He wasn’t in a hurry. He could be there another hour. But when the business was done, he took his leave. There wasn’t any return to conversation.

One time I asked him why that was the case. He said, “Leave when your business is done.”

In other words, the relationship is good… so once you get to the point, don’t waste anybody’s time.

And isn’t that, in its own way, a great leadership strategy?

How about you? Got any business that’s done but you are still hanging around? Why?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

Ipod shuffle status (What is this?): 4277 (After You’ve Gone – Scott Hamilton Quintet)  of 7875

Get my EBook The Choir in Modern Worship



Previous post:

Next post: