This morning’s memo from Roy got me thinking about all of the Funk Brothers I’ve met at the businesses I’ve worked with, or been priviledged to meet. These are the people who are doing the outstanding work behind the scenes to make the folks in the limelight look good.
They’re the customer service reps who take it personally when a product fails to meet the customer’s expectations. They’re the warehousing and shipping associates who take the company’s meticulously prepared "core values" statement seriously.
You can usually find a front-line receptionist putting on a good face for the rest of the people behind the logo who will be credited and rewarded for her performance.
Just like Motown, your business has its own Funk Brothers who are laying down the beat and the groove that makes it so easy for the stars to shine. Make sure you know who these people are and that you give them their just rewards before they leave you. If you’re lucky, they’ll stay on through retirement because the work of finding a different gig is worse in their mind than just showing up and getting the job done right. But be warned: There are always other business owners out there who are looking to find Funk Brothers of their own. It’s hard to train people to work. It’s always been easier to hire people who get things done and train them how to get your stuff done.