I am having phone troubles so I went to Sam’s Club to take advantage of the rebate that they feature prominently in their sale flyer. The big display of phones is practically the first thing you see when you walk in but I had to ask that someone be called to help me.

When that assistance came, he told me that “it’s not Sam’s” that runs this department and that no one working could help me! I should come back tomorrow after 3pm! The person at the service desk said that same thing: “That’s not ours.”

Why, yes – it is yours. Maybe on some legal agreement there is a distinction, but for the customer the merchandise display in your store and in your flyer is yours.

It may have sounded like a good business decision to outsource a function, but when that department is front-facing you can never outsource your responsibility. Their service, pricing, and availability all reflect on you and in the end become a black mark on your business when done so poorly.

It would be great if you could just collect the rent and absolve yourselves of any role for how an outsourced function is handled, but it doesn’t work that way. You can subcontract the products, but the onus remains with you for the service.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: