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Frantic But Motivated - Lessons in Leadership



Dr. Delight's Optometry


The good Dr. Delight is frantically moving about her small office. She picks out several pair of glasses to show a man and his wife. "I'm very sorry, I've had several staff members call out sick today, and my optometrist is out too. I'm just helping out between patients. Here, let me show you these."

She leaves the man and his wife to try on and compare.

"Have you seen anything you just can't live without?" She says as she approaches a preteen and her mother.

Delight brushes back her read hair, her smile betrays the worry lines of a small business owner.

"I totally understand if you cannot make up your mind. It's a tough decision."

"Maybe we'll come back later, " the mother says to the daughter. "After you have had time to think about it."

Dr. Delight probes, " Is it the price or the style you are unsure of? "

"These are just a bit out of our price range, but she really likes them." The mother admits, as she picks up her bag to go. "We'll go home and think about it, we can always come back."

"Well, if price is your concern, I may still be able to help you." Dr. Delight motions to the wall next to them. "I am the owner and I order all of the frames. I could find a similar pair for less. If that does not work out, I could special order some from the catalog for you."

The mothers' face relaxes slightly, and she glances to the daughter. The preteen holds her chosen frames a little tighter, but walks to the adjacent wall.

Dr. Delight picks up two or three pair that are a close match to the ones the preteen has chosen. None stay on her face as long as the first pair did.

"You know," Dr. Delight raised an eyebrow and picked up the original pair. "I believe these are from Coach. It just so happens that I have a large order coming in from that manufacturer. I could give you 30% off these pair that you originally liked. That way your total after insurance would only be $45.00. Would that help?"

The preteen smiled, and the mother relaxed the hold on her purse. Dr. Delight let out a small breath, and with one nod from mom, they were off to meet Alfredo to ring up the purchase.

Dr. Delight shook their hands with a big smile, "I'm glad I could help" and headed to the back to see another patient.


***

The leadership student in me was conflicted watching Dr. Delight today. 




Leadership Do's



On one hand, she was out there making the best of a bad situation. She was showing the true spirit of an American Business Owner. She was not sitting around feeling bad for herself, or sitting in the back wishing she had help. She was out front, owning her business, making it work.

Dr. Delight showed great care for her individual patients. I was honestly convinced that she would rather take a discount and let a young girl leave with the pair she wanted, then push them into a cheaper pair and hold on the price. She went out of her way to please her customer (and probably made a customer for life).


Leadership Don'ts



On the other hand, she was acting a bit more like a business owner than an entrepreneur. The leadership student in me wanted to tell her that she had one man behind the desk ringing people up, three ladies behind the window helping with intake. Two of the three ladies came out to help in the frames area.

Maybe Dr. Delight could have worked through these ladies a little more, trusted them to help with the sales. Maybe the fact that the owner orders the frames shows that we can assume she needs to lean on her staff a little more for things.


Which brings me to this:


Entrepreneur vs Business Owner



An business owner keeps his/her hand in everything, all the time. Because if they don't someone might mess up, and it's the owner who has to pay for it.

An entrepreneur is just as aware (if not more) of every facet of the business, but they don't do the work (none of it). They train, put systems and guides in place. The systems not only show people how to do things, what types of over-rides and discounts they can offer, but they put safe-guards and checks in place for errors.

The "owner" of McDonald's isn't out there running every store in the world himself. And it has nothing to do with "finding good people". It has everything to do with putting things in place that make sure that the decisions made in his absence are the same ones he would make when he was present.


Conclusion



All that being said, I appreciated Dr. Delight's spirit of enthusiasm, and passion for her work. I appreciated her dept of knowledge about her product lines. I appreciated her 30% discount on the frames that were "out of network" because my insurance company is being a pain the butt.

The entire staff was lovely, and I think I found my new Eye Dr. from here on out.


Your Turn: What's your story?


Tell the LIFE community about a story you encountered this week, and what you learned from it. 

Comment on this post, or Hit me up on Twitter @DarrellWolfe , Google +DarrellWolfe, Facebook DarrellGWolfe

By Darrell Wolfe

Storyteller, Creative, INFJIntellection, Ideation, Input, Learner, Achiever




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