Putting the Lessons of Hurricane Harvey to Work

Posted by Nat Rosenthal, North American Regional Vice President in Customer Success

About the author: As a resident of Houston, Nat experienced historic Hurricane Harvey firsthand when it made landfall in South Texas on the night of Aug. 25. The slow movement of the storm from Aug. 26 to 30 led to catastrophic flooding, with rain totals reaching 52-plus inches. (Nat considers himself lucky that his home only flooded with 15 inches of water).

I have many memories of Harvey… walking into flooded homes, seeing our city on the national news for days, seeing our own homes flooded, seeing boats launched on what once were streets and, of course, the carnage that was left in the hurricane’s wake.

09.04.17%20 %20Morning%20Volunteers Putting the Lessons of Hurricane Harvey to WorkWhile these are troublesome images, they are not the images that will stick with me; instead, the actions of everyday people will remain forever in my mind. I raise this here not to boast about Houston (even though Houstonians were shining examples of citizenry), but rather to draw a comparison about how our actions in the sales process, within NetSuite and toward a client are in many ways similar, though certainly less dramatic.

The everyday folks who banded together to make a difference here had several things in common – they leaned into the work with positive attitudes, they leveraged teamwork and they did the small things well. We strive for a similar dynamic at NetSuite and in the professional services organization in particular.

Attitude – I have a strong belief that one’s Attitude Determines the Outcome. When we walk into a situation with a smile and positive demeanor we can impact others and inspire. When we bring this attitude to our prospects, co-workers or clients, it can be infectious. It was this attitude that Houstonians brought to each other’s homes that impacted the work. We all know positive and negative people – who would you rather be around? This made an enormous difference when people were working on homes; I mean, I can’t imagine if the 30 to 40 people who showed up at my house offering to help looked around and said, “Man, oh man, you are screwed.” Can you? What they did is look around and say, “We got this.” That’s the sort of impact we want to bring to customers, by showing up and saying, “We will help.”

Teamwork – Everyone who showed up was willing to be part of the team. There were no heroes; there was no Superman; there was no one person looking for credit above the others — and this was one of the things that made the volunteer work crews effective. Yes, some did more work than others, and some were more capable than others. But these individuals did not look for acknowledgment, they looked to help the others. If someone didn’t know how to pull a baseboard, they showed them. If someone didn’t have work gloves, they gave up theirs and got a new pair. It is this sense of selflessness that, when it imbues a project team or sales pursuit, distinguishes NetSuite from the competition. When we pull together to accomplish a task/project, we all shine.

The Small Things – No matter the size of the project, there are small things that need to be done. In many homes, people were asked to do small things – save all the doorknobs, bring lunch, bring drinks in the afternoon or bring a speaker for a phone. These are the kinds of things that are done in the background, that no one notices unless they either aren’t done or go wrong. We have all been part of projects where things just “go well.” This isn’t an accident; it is because there are people working tirelessly on the details to ensure that others are successful, and many times these things go unnoticed only because they were done well.

To read more about Nat’s personal experience visit https://harveythewaterloggedblog.blogspot.com. To learn about NetSuite professional services, please visit http://www.netsuite.com/portal/services.shtml.

Posted on Tue, September 26, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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