I worked for Mr. Moore at one point in my life and learned many, many important business lessons from him. Now you might be thinking that I was very lucky to have worked for Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel and the guy that came up with Moore’s Law (the concept that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every 2 years). That would be lucky, except I am not talking about Gordon Moore. I want to introduce you to Eugene Moore.
Eugene Moore was a drill sergeant retired from the United States Army. He was one tough guy that managed his whole world using a very practical set of values and rules that he had honed during his years of training young men to be successful soldiers in our army. To me, these values and rules were the real Moore’s Law.
You see, Mr. Moore was in charge of the stock boys at the department store where I worked through high school. I was a stock boy (I am sure that this title is no longer considered politically correct and has been replaced with something like “inventory handling associate” or something designed to create employee loyalty and commitment by elevating the importance of the guys in charge of hauling boxes around and cleaning toilets). At Mr. Moore’s direction, our job description was to do anything that needed done—especially the things no one else was interested in doing.
I might refer to Mr. Moore and various of his laws from time to time. One of his laws was critical to how each of us stock boys felt about ourselves at any given time and it provided a lesson that I think about frequently.
Mr. Moore’s Law #1—If I want it done quickly, I’ll get the lazy guy to do it. If I want it done right, I’ll get the smart guy. Now, keep in mind that being “smart” mostly meant that you followed Mr. Moore’s directions precisely. Still, there is wisdom in Numero Uno.
Having graduated from the ranks of inventory handling associates to work in account management at this business consulting firm, I think about this law a lot. Maybe not daily, but more than a couple of times a week. When I choose to take the lazy way out, I can still hear ol’ Eugene Moore getting after me and then saying something like, “Hey I need these boxes cleared outta here quickly, quick is all I care about.” Then he would point at me as the one chosen due to my efficiency skills (OK, because he thought I was lazy that day. And that hurt. A lot.).
When we as customer centric account managers think about our customers and creating value for them, we must always take the smart road, not the quick one. Make sure that you have done all your homework and examined as much relevant information and insights about your customer as you have available. Use customer feedback from any listening post at your disposal. Work to earn their loyalty to you. Work hard to make your customers more successful. Don’t just try to sell them something, try to help them solve their problems. Serve your customers the right way, not the quick way.
Oh yeah, violation of Mr. Moore’s laws would always prompt a snarling “Drop down and give me 20!” We knew he couldn’t make us do push-ups, but we did them anyway—and we did them quick and right.