Overheard in training : “We don’t say No to our customers, no matter what it takes.”
The intent of this outlook is noble : Our customer is King. Surely it is exactly what we as customers want to hear? But what if you knew that in order to satisfy your request bad things have to happen? What if people have to sacrifice private time, neglect their families or their health, redo vast amounts of work? What if people had to die?
I would like to live in a world where there is respect for the effort people put in, whether it is time, thought, sweat, initiative, creativity, courage. I would like to work with customers who do the same. My customers cannot know the value of my effort unless I am transparent about it. When I make it transparent they see my shortcomings, that I am human too. I may lose customers as a result. Thankfully those would be exactly the ones I won’t want anyway. Self selection!
What human shortcomings are you afraid to show to your customers / product owner / stakeholders / boss? What part of your value-add are you devaluing and what is the price you pay?
What would be possible if you are wrong about how people would react?