Hack #12: Keep the Tools Working Well

I worked with a number of really good men in my career. One of the most helpful was a man I was with for only a few days during my summer job at Mobil Oil in the refinery in New Jersey. He was an older man, and I cannot even recall his name, but I remember an important lesson he taught me: Keep your tools orderly and clean and whole team will be able to use them effectively.

That sounds like a “no-brainer” but I am amazed at how few team builders understand this concept. In my work I use the computer a lot. Yet, my team members have had to access files for me at numerous times in recent months while I was “laid up” with a broken ankle. The only way I could tell them what to retrieve and have them ever hope to find it was have it in order. How do I keep my tool (computer) in order?

I don’t spend any money on Anti-virus software. I the FREE AVG software available on the web for my basic blocker. Then I downloaded the FREE excellent CCleaner software and FREE Spy Bot Search and Destroy software (available through CNET downloads) and periodically I run them. It keeps the computer in good order and Norton, McAfee and all the others don’t slow down my operations, nor collect a hefty fee in updates from me. These three free tools keep my tools in order. They make my computer stay in line.

In the office I have a filing system that is simple. Each company (I have created several) has its own drawers, and the order of every company is the same. Company official docs first, Tax files second, Banking third, A-Z income and expense files fourth. It almost doesn’t matter which system you use, as long as it is both predictable and explained to the team!

In the end, the clean and ordered tools, well maintained, make the team more effective without as much frustration!