The Moneyless Guarantee
There was a business owner who was deep in debt and could see no way out. He sat on a park bench, head in hands. Suddenly an old man appeared before him. After listening to the man’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He asked the man his name and wrote out a check, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.” Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.
The man saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! “I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With objective confidence and clinical approach, he negotiated better deals and closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.
Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running and grabbed the old man. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you”, she cried. “He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned.
All year long, the executive had been closing successful deals, convinced that he had half a million dollars behind him. You see, it wasn’t the money—real or imagined—that had turned his life around. Instead, it was the focus on his work without the fear of insecurity that gave him the power to achieve his full potential.
In business terminology, ‘the man and his deals’ are equivalent of ‘an individual team and its customer’. The ‘uncashed check’ is the ‘organization’ itself. Whether the project is successful or not, the organization should stand behind each team ‘equally’. The evidence should stem out from the outcome of the organization’s financial/promotional appraisal cycles thus leading to a stress-free ecosystem.