In today’s world, outsourcing is commonplace.
To reduce costs, a company ships jobs to another country or location where labor is less expensive. This shift in management mindset coupled with advancements in technologies allows a company to establish a call center halfway around the world and enjoy the associated cost savings.
The situation seems almost perfect – money is added to the company’s bottom line and the customer receives needed support.
What could go wrong?
- What happens if there is a labor strike, civil unrest, a natural disaster, or any catastrophe that impedes the customer service representative from answering the phone?
- How long does it take to travel thousands of miles to address the issue in person?
Suddenly, financial savings are discarded as the company scrambles to handle disgruntled clients and salvage its reputation.
Since the risks can be high, companies can’t blindly outsource. They must visit potential sites, consider options, and make contingency plans to ensure seamless operations in the event of a break-in service.
How might this concept relate to your career or life?
Well, we all consist of four dimensions: mind, heart, body, and spirit. Unfortunately, many (myself included) blindly outsource aspects of themselves.
“You will find your voice when you can say you are 100% involved with what you are doing in your life so that your body, mind, heart, and spirit are all engaged in whatever is important to you.” -Stephen R. Covey
Consider how these examples relate to your life.
Dimension 1: Mind
A product manager fails to nurture her mind. She means to read more or go back to school but squanders her time surfing the internet or watching useless TV shows. She fails to form her own opinions but relies on others to tell her what to think about and how to think about it.
She can’t even find the distant call center on a map.
Dimension 2: Heart
A project leader fails to express love to those that matter most in her life. Instead of investing in relationships, she sleepwalks through her marriage, parental duties, and friendships. She lets others meet the needs of those in her life planning to connect later when things ‘slow down’.
Someday when she needs others most, she may be alone – without anyone to travel with, it is a long way to the call center on the other side of the world.
Dimension 3: Body
A salesperson travels constantly, eats poorly, sleeps little, and stresses over meeting a revenue number and not being home enough for his family. He outsources his health to a future date when he will start exercising, medicates to off-set ailments, and consumes stimulants to stay awake throughout the day.
What happens when years of abuse eventually catch-up? He will scramble for medical help and spend his life’s savings on treatments that could have been avoided.
The outsourcing of his day-to-day health eventually catches up with him and, using my analogy, he can’t get halfway around the world quick enough to solve the problem.
Dimension 4: Spirit
An operations manager who fails to nurture his spiritual dimension? Perhaps he attends a weekly religious service, but it’s become routine. Maybe he meditates but allows his mind to constantly wander. He might intend to dig deeper, but it doesn’t happen. He lets others read profound works and interpret them for him. Work and life are unfulfilling.
He has outsourced his spiritual side to others instead of tending to it himself. As a result, he may lose hope and fail to even care at all about the call center.
I don’t know the specifics of your world; however, I am confident in saying that you could likely improve in one or more of these dimensions. To that end, we recommend that you check out the following:
- Podcast interview with Dr. Paul Corona from Northwestern University. He provides some wonderful insights into how we can use our time wisely to improve in each dimension.
- Complete the 4 Dimension Self-Assessment tool to get you thinking about how well you are doing in each area. The tool comes with a video to help you to complete the tool and share it with others.
Make it a great day! – Patrick
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a sought after writer, speaker, and global leadership consultant. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.