Do you make your bed in the morning? You may want to start!
In a 2014 commencement speech at University of Texas at Austin, Naval Admiral William McRaven, a commander of U.S. Special Operations gave one of the most profound and motivational speeches.
Just about all of us have heard some form of Admiral McRaven’s parting words to this graduating class, but to refresh your memory on the importance of making your bed –
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
Admiral McRaven’s words inspired me to consider not only this crucial task in the morning (and how well it is completed) to start my day off on the right foot – but also how I ‘make the bed’ here at Cisco too. As part of Cisco’s Customer Experience (CX) team, I know our dedication to our clients isn’t just lip service – it is engrained in our corporate foundation.
It also made me think of the quality we provide at Cisco.
As kids, we bounce out of bed, throw the sheets and covers towards the pillows, and smooth out the wrinkles. The job is done quickly but lacking in quality. As perhaps teens, we perfect the clever technique of lying in the middle of the bed, fluffing the sheets up and letting them fall as we slide out on the side of the bed. Arguably a better method, but one that could still use improvement.
And then, there’s the proper way of making your bed – you know, the five-star hotel method where each sheet is pulled snug and tightly tucked. The bedspread is even on both sides, pillows are fluffed, and it nearly looks too pretty to sleep in.
The last method is more work, of course, so why do it if you’re only going to crash in to bed some 12 hours later and mess it up again?
Easy. You completed your first task of the day, and you completed the work (even this minor task) to its full expectation.
How do I apply this to working on our Customer Experience team with Cisco clients? For me, each phase of an engagement with our clients is just as important as the next, and it’s important to me that our clients know I’m working towards achieving Cisco’s full potential for them.
It’s important that we don’t cut corners or make our bed the child’s way just because it is easier. Instead, we value the opportunity to give our clients that five-star treatment – the one where you can see each step was approached with care and we went above and beyond to ensure that not only was it done right, but it was done with greatness in mind.
Customer Experience is all about reducing our client’s risks, being pro-active, and proving value to the client by aligning with their goals. I want to show that Cisco is the best by doing my absolute best to ‘make the bed’ every day on a five-star-quality level. I want to show our clients that the small things matter to us just as much as the big things. I think that is an experience that will leave our clients wanting to expand services or renew with us!
We must show (repeatedly and often) that we are committed to our client’s success, that we embrace the ideology of being their Trusted Advisor, that we listen to their concerns and pain points, that we remain flexible as the engagement goes on and, in the end, show the value of our services.
In doing so, we prove to them that we have made our bed – the Cisco way!
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