In nearly every business, there is a need for a “manual.” It’s the step-by-step directions about how to perform a certain task in the business. These manuals create continuity in an organization. It’s the reason the burger at McDonald’s tastes the same…no matter where you get it. Michael Gerber talks about the importance of the manual in his amazing book E-Myth.
From my experience, they are tedious to create. But if you are the person jumping in to help, they are invaluable. They can not only save hours and hours of time but can also make sure you are doing an acceptable job.
I am pushing our team to update our manuals right now.
On the other hand, if you are an employee, you can always do more than the manual. That is where you bring your special gift to the job. The manual will explain how to do the basics. “Push this button here,” or “Place the widget there.” The manual will tell you what to do…but not always how to do it.
You can do more than the manual.
By doing the basics of the job, and just a little bit more, you can stand out. Of course, you need to follow the procedures. They are there for a reason. But in nearly every task you can do it with a bit more personality. As a matter of fact, sometimes your special sauce is simply your attitude. Bringing a positive attitude to the task can not only improve the work for yourself, but it can lift up the team around you.
Each organization needs policies and procedures. But you have a chance to stand out by doing more than the manual asks.
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