Put Your Own Mask On Before Helping Others
|Your Best is Unacceptable
This may sound mean or unsympathetic, but one of my least favorite sayings is “I gave my best.” To me, it is an unacceptable crutch. I don’t want to hear it.
My personal feeling is this: when the goal is to accomplish greatness, go where no one or team has gone before. I wasn’t asking for your best effort; your best is what you were capable of in the past. I was expecting you to figure it out, to try a thousand ways; if need be try another thousand ways. I was expecting you to innovate, lose sleep, get around it, find loopholes, research, sweat like you never have before. Every extraordinary accomplishment, invention, or revolution was not a result of someone giving his or her best. Somehow that person or group found a way to do what no one else could do; they did the impossible; they did what no one had ever done before. The real issue is: it’s not the effort that is in question at the moment or during the event; it’s what you put into it leading up to it. Whether you win or lose, get the sale, or ace the test, it is all determined by the effort given in preparing for the event. Every match is determined long before the contest happens. So the next time you fail, before you want to make yourself feel better by saying “I did my best,” consider if you had given your best in the preparation. The actual effort given in the event has the littlest to do with the outcome.
Put Your Own Mask On Before Helping Others
We have all heard the preflight safety announcements when the flight attendant says, “You must put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.” The first few times I heard that, it sounded a bit selfish. However, what use will you be to anyone else if you do not take care of yourself first? Think of how that applies to our life and what we need to do for ourselves before we are capable of impacting those around us.
Each of us has the ability to impact thousands of people’s lives through providing genuine care for others, whether it is called Customer service or human service. One of my favorite quotes is by author Marian Wright Edelman, who said, “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” However, it is critical that each of us understand the purpose of why we were given this amazing gift of life and what we were put here for, what we are to accomplish in the short time we have. You can’t just deliver world-class service at work; it has to be something that is in you, in all areas of your life. It is who you are; it is the way you treat your family, neighbors, coworkers, Customers, and strangers. And remember, there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet.
Undeveloped potential cheats those around us, those we touch, influence, and impact, as well as deprives ourselves of joy, satisfaction, and opportunities. Living our life to its fullest potential is not an opportunity; it is our responsibility. It is an obligation to be the best version of ourselves we possibly can be, every day. Not just for us and how our life will benefit, but also for all the people depending on us: our spouse, children, friends, employees, co-workers, Customers, and our community.
Dan Gingiss, Social Media Expert, Presenting at Secret Service Summit
Dan Gingiss co-hosts the Focus on Customer Service podcast, where he interviews brands which are renowned for outstanding Customer service in social media, garnering tips and best practices. As the former head of digital Customer experience for Discover Card, Dan’s career has consistently focused on delighting Customers, and has spanned multiple disciplines including marketing, digital experience, social media, Customer service, loyalty programs, and product management.
**Related: Sally Hogshead keynoting Secret Service Summit
Dan is currently the Head of Digital Marketing for a Fortune 100 healthcare company, where he oversees social media marketing and Customer service strategy, SEO and paid search, and e-mail marketing. His podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. You can find Dan on Twitter @dgingiss.
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