I'm right in the middle of reading Derek Sivers’ book, Anything You Want. It’s an autobiographical tale of starting a little hobby, accidentally growing it into a big business, and then selling it for $22 million.
As I was reading this afternoon, I came across a topic I had been thinking about for a while. I have always wondered about why companies institute and enforce such strict policies. Of course it's because the owner got burnt one time, but why punish 1000+ customers because of one bad apple?
Derek has taught me that it's extremely important to resist that simplistic, angry, reactionary urge to punish everyone, and to step back to look at the big picture.
In that angry moment, you're only focusing on that one lousy person who did you wrong - your judgment is clouded, you're giving into the darkside - you start thinking that everyone sucks, and the whole entire world is out to get you. FYI: This is a horrible time to make a new policy.
If you ever find yourself in this spot, think of all the hundreds of customers who did you right. You'll never be able to prevent bad things from occurring, just learn to shrug it off and resist the urge to punish everyone for one person's mistake.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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