“Whatever It Takes”


Have you ever heard a phrase that just sort of stuck with you and became a mantra or motto for something in your life?

“Whatever It Takes” is that phrase for me.

My first duty station in the US Air Force was at McChord AFB, Washington.  In the 62nd Ariel Port Squadron our motto was “Whatever It Takes”.  We even had the phrase on our hats!

During this time, the phrase meant that we would endure and complete our tasks regardless of the sacrifice we personally had to make to ensure that the aircraft was able to leave on time.  This was a very valuable ethos for me to learn as a young adult in a working society and has been a constant in my life ever since.

Tight deadlines and last-minute changes were part of the everyday scenario when I was working as an accountant for a Fortune 500 company.  This meant to get quality work turned in on time, there were a lot of late nights and super early mornings.  My General Manager was always very appreciative of the effort I put into my work and made a comment one day about how much time I had recently put into completing a project.  It had consumed an entire holiday weekend to get it accomplished.  When she thanked me for the sacrifice I had made to get it done, I responded with the ole “Whatever It Takes”.  I really didn’t think much of it up to that point in life because I assumed everyone had that same work ethic.  She then went on to tell me that she never had an accountant like me before, one that would give up a holiday weekend to ensure the client’s needs were met.

That is when I realized what a gift I had been given all those years ago.  Learning self-sacrifice (within reason) is a skill, and one that I am VERY grateful for.  Thank you to all the men and women I served with in the 62nd APS, you taught me lessons that I will never forget.

Now, you are the employer and you find this amazing person to fill a position in your company.  They are willing to take the initiative on projects and will do “Whatever It Takes”  to get things done.  Lucky you! As the boss, you now have to figure out how to keep this gem working for you.  This is a major undertaking for all businesses, especially in the service based industries, where employees often take their clients with them.  Employees are more transient than ever because most organizations don’t promote employees like they used to.  Remember that “Whatever It Takes” attitude?

You need to work hard for your employees and do “Whatever It Takes” to keep them loyal to you.  This concept is exemplified by the work of W. Edwards Deming.   He suggested that your first customers are your employees and you need to engage them to determine dissatisfaction with the job and areas for improvement with any processes being used.  During the 1940’s, this concept was largely rejected by American business owners.  When General Douglas MacArthur ask Deming to help with the reconstruction of post-World War II Japan, he knew it was the opportunity he needed to use his model.  In Japan, he is credited with being the inspiration for the Japanese Economic Post-War Miracle.  He helped turn a war torn Japan into the economic powerhouse it is today.  This was all started with one simple concept, “Your first customers are your employees”.

I carried these skills forward to today, where I run my own business, Excerebus CPA Firm. When you join the Excerebus Family as a client or an employee, you will always get the “Whatever It Takes” service.

After reading this, you need to honestly ask yourself; are you giving ALL of your customers the “Whatever It Takes” service?

Categories: Life Discussion

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