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Urgency

A few years ago I stopped at a nearby FedEx depot to ship some packages. It was a warm summer evening and all the truck bay doors were open, so I could see the activity inside and it surprised me.

I saw people running with boxes, hurrying them to the proper trucks for delivery. What, I wondered, would inspire people to act with such urgency?

Fast forward to today, a lovely summer morning. I often bang away on my laptop on my front porch until the temperature eventually causes me to head back to my desk. There have already been home deliveries on my block by UPS, FedEx and Amazon Prime. What’s notable is that every driver did anything from a fast walk to a jog up to doorsteps to drop off packages. Same back to their trucks. So, same question: What would inspire people to act with such urgency.

I asked the Amazon driver that question as he handed me a box and he said that he wanted to complete his rounds before it became too hot. Makes sense. But that doesn’t explain why they act that way on cool days.

Having no inside information, I’ll take a stab at that. It just might have something to do with leadership. Surely, competition is a huge driver of that. It might also be due to a carefully created culture that both selects new hires carefully and provides the right extrinsic motivation so that everyone has a sense of duty to great service.

That’s something fully alive people appreciate.

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