Today is the first day of school for my son, and my husband and I have spent the past few weeks prepping him for the transition to middle school. This involved several orientation days at the school itself and left me thinking about the many lessons business owners can learn from children.
1. It’s all about the systems. “Onboarding” 1,400 nervous 12-year-olds into a school environment far bigger than most of them have dealt with before could be a recipe for disaster–especially when you add in 1,400 Nervous Nellie parents. But our school had clearly stated systems in place, including communications with parents that spelled out what we need to do and when. When we arrived at school, clearly marked “stations” led us through the steps of registration. Surprise: The task was done in record time!
2. Attitude is everything. The old British saying, “Keep calm and carry on” was in full evidence at school orientations. At every step of the process, school volunteers stayed pleasant and calm despite lines of people waiting. Their attitude made the whole experience a positive one.
3. Have faith in your people. This one made the biggest impression on me, as the school enlisted not just parent volunteers and staff, but 7th-graders to help with the registration and enrollment process. I had my doubts that 13-year-olds could handle the task, but was blown away by the smooth efficiency of every child I encountered. It was a good reminder as an employer and a parent that people live up to (or down to) your expectations of them. Try setting your expectations for your staff a little higher. You might be pleasantly surprised.