Business Without OCD

I play bass guitar. I would like to call myself a musician, but that would indicate that I have more talent for it than I do. I do appreciate excellent musical instruments though. I even own some. I was out on the web looking at custom made instruments when I came across a luthier (guitar maker) who had an interesting blog on his web site.

He asked the question about how difficult it must be to be in business (in his case making instruments) and to NOT have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Obviously I was hooked and had to read further.

He brought out the (not almost) obsessive attention to detail that he felt about his work. He asked the question about how it felt when “good enough” was in fact good enough, even when you knew you could do it better. What came through was the pride he felt in the works he created. The compulsion he felt to not just get it done, but to get it done to the very best of his ability.

He questioned how hard it must be for other people to work and produce without that obsession with detail and that compulsion to do their absolute best at whatever they are doing. At this point he had struck a significant chord with me.

Please pardon the PUN, I couldn’t resist.

At this point I was interested  in his instruments. He seemed like my kind of guy. I read further. It was at this point that he went to a level that I just couldn’t go. He challenged his prospective customers to prove to him that they were worthy of his instruments. What could I say? I am really not that good a musician. I don’t know how I would have reacted if he had paraphrased the Soup-Nazi character on Seinfeld and said:

“No. No guitar for you.”

I did learn about what kind of pride in ones work, and the attention to detail that exists, and that how those things are key to creating the best product one is capable of. I’ll keep practicing and maybe I will get one of his instruments later.

It also reemphasized what I already knew about attention to detail and pride in ones work. We all know it, but on occasion it is still good to hear it again.

I just won’t ask my boss to prove that he is worthy of my output………

There is No “Tipping” in Business

A good friend of mine, John Schlueter, provided me with some topics for this blog. Here is one of them.


If you go to a restaurant and the waiter is late with your order, and you can see that he is working very hard in a busy section with many demanding customers, will you still tip him?


Most of us, pretty much without exception will tip the waiter based on the situation and the obvious effort he is putting out. Unfortunately in a performance based role such as management, or sales, this would not be the case.


In past sales roles there have been years where I have worked some of my longest and hardest hours pursuing sales, only to be not rewarded when the sale did not come in. Everyone knew how hard I was working, that I had difficult customers and significant competition. It didn’t matter.


I didn’t get a “Tip”(commission).


A “tip” is an incentive commission to drive a desired behavior in business. It is not an entitlement.It is there to drive a desired outcome – either fast and courteous service, or achievement of a sales objective – as the case may be.


Despite that position, I would still probably leave a tip, but I have been in roles where my bosses didn’t feel that way at all.