Halloween is still a few weeks away, but I’m sure I saw the first signs of it at CVS pharmacy around the middle of August. Although it seemed way too early (and much too hot) for ghosts, goblins, and candy corn, the display got me thinking about the holiday.
CVS knows the value of being proactive, an attribute Stephen Covey put at the top of his list of The 7 Habits of Effective People. It’s fundamental: The key to success is doing what it takes today to be ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.
I put this critical habit to work by always being on the lookout for talented people. When I meet someone, I want to know if there is anything they can help me do on behalf of my customers. This ensures that when I get a request for something we’ve never done before, or when projects suddenly stack up, I know I can handle it, because I have a deep bench of talent on which I can call.
Making the effort to get out there, network, learn what people can do, and build relationships with talented people – is the equivalent of putting the Halloween stuff out before Labor Day; it ensures you are always ready for the rush, and it gives your customers confidence that you can provide them with the services they need, when they need them.
It’s important internally, too. There is a good chance you have talented people around you, make sure you get to know all their skills – those they don’t get to use regularly might come in very handy someday.
When it comes to identifying and being able to call on capable external and internal resources, even a little bit of proactivity can have a big payoff.