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Kindergarten Taught Us A Lot About Business


Business can be demanding, exasperating, exhilarating, and even fun. Most success or failure in business as in life is about how we deal with the situations presented to us. Philosophically we learned much of what we need to run a business while we were in kindergarten. The simple basics of business and living, in general, were acquired when we were around five years old. Read on to see if my theory has merit.

The Golden Rule
When we were very young, most of us learned that we should expect people to treat us the way we treat others. If we pulled little Jenny's hair, we should expect to have our hair pulled. A Business works the same way. If you poach someone's client, expect your competition to attempt to do the same. If you treat a customer poorly, expect bad reviews or worse. We all know being a "Good Guy" in business does not stop competitors from going after our customers. But it certainly reduces the possibility that we will be the focus of someone's wrath.

The Art of the Deal
Everyone participating in a deal should walk away feeling good about the outcome of the transaction. The result should be a win-win situation. Sharing comes to mind when I think of this. How does this relate to five-year-olds? If I take all of the crayons, little Joey may cry. If we each get some of the crayons, both Joey and I am happy.

Participation trophies don't work in business any better than they do in real life. A Business sees rewards if it succeeds, just showing up won't keep your doors open. If you don't believe this, ask any child the score of one of those games where they didn't keep score.

Customer Service
Do you remember the phrase, " what's the magic word"? If we did not say please in kindergarten, we faced this rebuke. Manners are as important in business as they were in kindergarten. Be polite, and make sure everyone that works for you does the same. Be on time, and do what you say you will do. Manners may seem like a no-brainer, but all too often, a business transaction disintegrates due to a poor demeanor. Keeping promises is the very essence of customer service.

You may be wondering how does modern labor and kindergarten tie together? In business, as in kindergarten, the workforce/class must work together. When it was time to clean up in kindergarten, we all worked together to put things away. We all took naps at the same time, ate snacks together, and had recess together. The same is true of a labor force. Leadership and employees must work together toward a common goal to achieve business success. The golden rule also applies when discussing employees. Employees should receive the same treatment we want to receive.

Whether you buy the premise that kindergarten is where we learned many of the principles needed to run a business. The ideas listed certainly qualify as core tenants of a successful business. Oh, one more thing, don't be that kid that eats paste.

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