Send this to someone you know who’s been stuffed in the wrong bucket...
I had the opportunity once to visit the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for a tour and meet with the guy who was running the outdoor fountains at the time. He showed us how the system worked, discussed the ways they updated the sequences to keep it fresh, and generally displayed a ton of enthusiasm for the giant bathtub he played in every day. One of the guys in our group asked how much the hotel spent on the free water show and he responded with pride that the hotel made $millions from his work.
Huh? Anyone on the street could see the show for free, so how was he making money on it? Because, he explained, hotel guests paid a premium for rooms with a view of the show, and as long as he kept them happy, he was running a profit center.
I was thinking about that experience recently when I went to a hospital for a test and the lab had a note on the wall with their “cost center” identification number.
Huh? The lab generates fees for the hospital and those fees help pay the rent. So, really, this is a profit center and the employee is part of the team that drives revenue and earnings. He might not realize it, though, because hospital management has hung a sign on the wall to tell him he's a necessary evil.
It occurred to me that we sometimes do the same disservice to people who are helping us succeed in our own lives. Are there people in our companies, our associations, our social circles, or our families who deserve to be recognized as part of the winning team? Is there someone we're treating as a burden, when they’re actually part of our lifetime profit center?
Like the guy running the water show or the lab tech who’s booking tests, it makes a big difference if we describe people as benefits or as burdens. Too often, we mis-classify people at both their expense and our own. Maybe we should encourage someone to think about themselves differently. Maybe we can change their perceptions of themselves and their place in the world by letting them know they’re builders, not drags.
And, just maybe, we should start with ourselves. Perhaps we are the ones who need to change our personal narratives, shift our point of view, and rethink our contributions to those around us. Perhaps we’re looking at our contributions from the wrong side of the ledger and feeling lesser for it.
Today might be a good day to start.
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.