Knowing the Cost of Everything and the Value of Nothing

 

Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 15th episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp looks at the lessons from Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.
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[00:00:01] This week, I wanted to talk a little bit about the difference between value and the bottom line, and if you’re going to be an effective executive, you need to realize that your aim is to create long term value and not necessarily make decisions based on the bottom line. And I’m going to draw from. Randy Pausch, who wrote the last lecture, he had pancreatic cancer, he was terminal, he went around and did a bunch of lectures and one of the stories he tells is in Chapter 50. And he talks about how his family went to Disney World when he was 12 years old and his parents had given his sister and and himself an opportunity to roam the park, you know, together on their own without, you know, the parents following them everywhere or vice versa.

 

[00:01:12] So they decided that they really like that gesture and that they felt their parents or that their parents felt that they were mature enough to be able to handle roaming the park on their own.

 

[00:01:25] And so they decided that they would get a gift for their parents. So I went to a shop and they found a salt and pepper shaker that they wanted and was, you know, a ten dollar purchase. And this would have been, I guess, in nineteen seventy two or three. And they purchased that. And then on the way out, Randy dropped the package and broke the salt and pepper shaker and they, he and his sister were very upset about it and I guess stop by and basically said, you know, you might want to just take it back to the shop and they’ll replace it. And so they did. And the. Attendee at the shop or the cast member, I guess, since it’s Disney World at the shop, replaced it and even said, you know, we probably should have packaged it better or something to that effect. And and Randy Pausch, who is also was on a sabbatical while I was getting his Ph.D. as an Imagineer at Disney for a period of time. Years later. But he had an opportunity to talk to some of the executives and he basically told them that that ten dollar salt and pepper shaker replacement really could be valued at one hundred thousand dollars for Disney because of all the times that. They would go back to Disney World, they just always had such a good time and just there was nothing that was preventing them from saying, boy, I had a bad experience because they didn’t replace the salt pepper shaker or anything of that sort. And that’s such a small gesture. I had such great value and that it was something that wasn’t on the financials. Your ballot doesn’t show up on your balance sheet and income statement.

 

[00:03:27] And he said, you know, when he would approach executives, you know, years later, he he’d talk about this experience and, you know, would ask the question, you know, would policies prevent. A cast member from replacing it today and the answer was probably not. So this is I think this is a great story to illustrate and I think just the time of the year, too, but starting to understand how we can create long term value that can’t be measured in the financials. And there’s such an obsession. And a lot of it has to do with what’s being taught at universities about, you know, the bottom line and knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing. And I think it’s it’s so important for. You to be an effective executive, to realize the long term value of certain things and certain actions that you can take in your company. Now the follow on story or the postscript to this was they actually have at Disney World near the Teacups A, which would be Magic Kingdom, a plaque. That says the adviser, Randy Pausch, quote, Be good at something, it makes you valuable, have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. And it sits there. See, next time you go to Disney World, you can take a look. It’s one of my favorite places. I love to go to Disney World. We go at least once a year, sometimes twice, usually for the Food and wine festival. But I thought that was a good story for the week of Christmas and a good way to kind of in the week. Have a nice holiday.

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