SLEEP WHEN THE WIND BLOWS
Written By: Brent Allen
Many years ago, I read the following story. It was about a farmer along the Atlantic seacoast. He was looking for a hired hand, but most people were reluctant to work on farms in that region because of the storms that raged across the Atlantic. The farmer interviewed many, but all refused. Finally, a short, thin man approached the farmer. The farmer asked him what he could do for him. The man’s response was, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer was puzzled by the answer, but he was desperate for help and hired him.
The little man worked hard and was busy from dawn to dusk. One night, the farmer awakened about 2:00 a.m. from what appeared to be a cyclone. The wind intensified and threatened all that the farmer owned. Jumping from his bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed up the attic to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming. Tie things down before they blow away!” The little man rolled over in his bed, continued snoring and slept on. Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. He discovered that the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn peacefully chewing their cuds. The chickens were calmly in the coops. The little man had fixed up the cracks of the barn and strengthened the locks and hinges. The pigpen was tranquil notwithstanding the forces at work that night. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. The farmer was stunned. He dropped his head as he reflected on the man who was sleeping in the attic. The peculiar answer of a few weeks ago echoed loudly and finally made sense, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
I have frequently pondered this story. The challenges we face can be difficult. It has been said that “If we are prepared, we shall not fear.” Being prepared is paramount. In the business world, I don’t believe we can ever afford to “sleep when the wind blows.” Hopefully, however, we can relax when the wind blows knowing that we have done our best to prepare for the storm. This is the reason we have embraced The Med One Way.
If we are not being creative, we are training our customers to leave us alone. I am reminded of a story about three pastors who were having lunch together. The first pastor said, “I’m having a real problem. I have bats in my loft at church and I’ve tried everything but can’t get rid of them. The second pastor said, “Me too. I’ve got hundreds of bats living in the attic at my church. I’ve had the place fumigated, but they won’t go away. The third pastor said, “I had bats also, but they are now gone. I just baptized all of them and made them members of the church and I haven’t seen them since.
How about that for creativity? Albert Einstein said it best, “Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.” At Med One, creativity and innovation run in our blood. We sincerely hope that our creativity will enable us to relax when the wind blows.
If we are not listening with intensity, we are training our customers to leave us alone. It is a fact that most people would rather talk than listen. Failure to listen can get us in real trouble. Proof of this is the story about a young man looking for work. He went door to door asking for odd jobs. One homeowner hired him to paint his porch. When the young man was done, he knocked on the door to get paid. The young man said he had enough paint to apply two coats and then said, “By the way—that’s not a Porsche, it’s a Ferrari.” Careful listening pays big dividends. It has been said that “wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.” We insist that our employees do more listening than talking. It is through listening that we learn. We should all “bite our tongues” more often. It takes a great person to be a good listener. At Med One, we believe we are good listeners. And we hope that when the wind blows, we can be comfortable in knowing we have done our best.
If we are not united in our teamwork, we are training our customers to leave us alone. We have incredible talent at Med One. The sports world has taught us that talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. A young man was playing basketball in his backyard and lost his contact lens. For 30 minutes, he looked for the contact but found nothing. Finally, he went in to share the bad news with his mother. His mother went out and within 5 minutes found the contact. “Why couldn’t I find it,” asked the young man. His wise mother replied, “Because we were looking for different things. You were looking for a piece of plastic, I was looking for $200.” Teamwork and perspective...a secret to success. At Med One, do we adequately work together which will enable us to relax when the wind blows? We certainly believe that we do.
If we are not being responsive, we are training our customers to leave us alone. We highly value loyal customers. We know that loyalty is earned and nothing jump starts loyalty like responsiveness. It is all about being able to react quickly. A husband and wife were driving along a rural highway. They had just had an argument, and both were being silent. Suddenly, they came upon a hog farm. Breaking the silence and pointing to the pigs, the wife said, “Oh look! Aren’t these some of your relatives?” Not missing a beat, the husband responded, “Yes...in- laws.” Responding quickly is the name of the game. At Med One, it means responding quickly with credit decisions, deliveries, answering questions, returning phone calls and emails etc. Are we responsive enough so we can relax when the wind blows? We believe the answer 9 WINTER/SPRING is yes and we are comfortable in knowing that we are giving it our very best efforts.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
If we are not going above and beyond, we are training our customers to leave us alone. Our philosophy at Med One is go the extra mile —there are no traffic jams there. How do we go the extra mile? Overdeliver. Overdeliver. Overdeliver. That’s how we go the extra mile. A professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio taught this secret in 3 simple words. He said these 3 words will almost guaranty our success. The words are...AND THEN SOME. Do what is expected...AND THEN SOME. Have the courage to go the extra mile. Stand out from the crowd and go above and beyond. This is what we do at Med One and this is the reason we feel comfortable in knowing we can relax when the wind blows. We have given it our all.
If we are not building strong relationships, we are training our customers to leave us alone. In business, it’s about people. We believe business is built on relationships and so we make building them our business. Someone once said, “If you want a long term relationship, then follow one simple rule...never lie.” It takes a lot of truth to earn someone’s trust, but one lie is enough to lose it all. Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Relationships are built on a foundation of trust. There is no trust if integrity is absent. There is no trust without open and honest communications. Several years ago, this advertisement was found in a Utah newspaper. It was written by a man trying to sell his motorcycle. “2006 Suzuki 1000. This bike is perfect! It has 1000 miles and has had its 500-mile dealer service (Expensive Service). It’s been adult ridden; all wheels have always been on the ground. I use it as a cruiser / commuter. I’m selling it because it was purchased without proper consent of a loving wife! Apparently, “do whatever the heck you want” doesn’t mean what I thought! Call me, Steve (phone number).” Trust was clearly lacking in this relationship. Open and honest communications were absent. Building genuine relationships becomes a full-time job. At Med One, when it comes to relationships, we are comfortable in saying we can relax when the wind blows.
EVERY DAY – DO IT RIGHT
If we don’t do it right...every day, we are training our customers to leave us alone. At Med One, we have a slogan that is backed by personal commitments...Every Day – Do it Right. I recall the story of a pharmacist who comes back from his break and sees a man leaning against the wall, his face strained and nervous. He asks his assistant, “What’s wrong with that man over there?” “He came in looking for cough medicine,” she replies. “I couldn’t find any, so I gave him a whole bottle of laxatives.” “Oh great,” steamed the pharmacist. “He is going to sue us now. You don’t give laxatives to a person with a cough!” “Well,” said the clerk defensively. “We cured him. Look at him. He’s afraid to cough!”
Perhaps this was a solution, but not the right solution. Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing. At Med One, we have focused on doing things right and we feel comfortable in relaxing when the wind blows. We have given it our very best efforts.
Lack of integrity means we are training our customers to leave us alone. Integrity is doing the right thing even if nobody is watching. A man came home from work one night exhausted. He told his wife that he needed his glasses checked. He said that he was so nearsighted that he nearly worked himself to death. Perplexed, his wife asked what being nearsighted had to do with working himself to death. He responded by saying that he couldn’t tell whether his boss was watching him or not... so he had to work the whole time. Integrity has nothing to do with ability, but everything to do with choices. We choose to act with integrity. Right is right...even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. This defines integrity. At Med One, our integrity has a sign that reads in bold red letters “Not for sale at any price.” As the Med One team, we are deeply committed to integrity. We know that we can never sleep, but we feel comfortable knowing that we can relax when the wind blows. At Med One...Integrity is job ONE!
If we don’t always exercise patience, we are training our customers to leave us alone. Gandhi said, “to lose patience is to lose the battle.” At Med One, we are not accustomed to losing the battle. I love this little story. A young pastor moved into a new neighborhood. One day, as he drove around, he noticed a young boy selling a lawn mower. Needing one for his new home, the pastor stopped, negotiated a fair price, and purchased the lawn mower. The next day, the pastor tried getting the mower started, but it wouldn’t turn over. Just then, the young boy rode past on his bike. “Hey,” called the pastor. “How do you get this thing started?” The young boy responded, “Sometimes you need to cuss at it as you pull on the rope.” “I don’t cuss,” said the pastor. “In fact, I’ve forgotten all the cuss words I once knew.” The boy replied, “Keep pulling! They’ll come back to you quickly.” As Med One employees, we keep pulling and we do so with patience. Patience is when you’re supposed to get mad, but you choose to understand. Our patience has prepared us for the unknown future. We are comfortable in knowing that we can relax when the wind blows.
If we don’t keep things simple, we are training our customers to leave us alone. Life is simple! But the world insists on making it complicated. At Med One, we believe that knowledge comes when we gather facts; wisdom comes when we simplify them. This is one of our secrets to success–simple documentation, simple processes, and simple communications. We are committed to keeping things simple. And for this reason, we are comfortable in knowing we can relax when the wind blows.
We do not want our customers leaving us alone. Therefore, we have embraced the Med One Way and we are committed to it. We are constantly striving to be adequately prepared, and because of the Med One Way we sincerely hope that we can at least relax when the wind blows.
”At Med One, our integrity has a sign that reads in bold red letters Not for sale at any price.”