The “Be Prepared” Management Style

In our office yesterday we had a patient who works in upper level management with a sales and marketing firm.  He shared about his recent experience at a management meeting in Japan.  He said that the management approach that was talked about was to always be ready to meet your customer.

He said they likened the managers to Samurais (Japanese Soldiers) and that they must always be prepared.  He told us that the managers must always be facing the door of the business ready to meet customers.  They never should have their back to the door and be taken by surprise.  They must always be ready to take care of any situation that may arise and never be thrown off-balance.

When I thought about comparing myself to a Samurai it didn’t sound very appealing as these soldiers would disembowel themselves if they failed at their mission.  They were serious about making sure that they got the job done correctly or it was a death sentence.

Possibly the meaning was something like being a superhero in our culture.  I could understand that, don’t we all want to be superheroes to our clients and customers?

As the day went on I kept thinking about this Samurai soldier comparison.  I then had a flash from my past (way far back past) when I was a girl scout and that the scouting motto was “always be prepared.”  This is what it is all about, we must be prepared each day for any encounter we may have and take care of it in just the right way at that very moment.

I never thought that my scouting days would have anything to do with business management, but they do.  Take a look at the scouting motto;

According to Wikipedia The Scout Motto for boy and girl scouts is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.

  • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
  • Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

I am not sure how many of you might have been scouts, but I took it very seriously and until yesterday never saw that my current job in management had any relationship with my scouting past.

You might not want to be as extreme as a Samurai Soldier, but a great Girl or Boy Scout would be an excellent example of what we in management should try to live up to each day.  What do you think?

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