This morning I was reading up on Marine Corps Sergeant Dakota Meyer’s bravery in being presented America’s highest military award The Medal of Honor. It got me thinking about the word “Service” It is embedded as part of our Industry of IT Service Management. There are Service Catalogues, Service Delivery, Service Strategy, Service Design and on, and on, and on. I realized that it is a word that we have completely over used to the point of it losing its core meaning.
In the fall of 1985 I first learned a defininition of the word “Service” in relation to what it means to be a United States Marine like Sergeant Meyer. Above all else is a Service to God, Country and Corps, in that order. Everything else falls behind it. It was a definition that meant something. Something worth fighting for. I would now of course, add Family next in line, but at 17, it was simple enough as a foundation to believe, fight and if needed die for.
Of course this is extreme, but in comparison to the liberal use of the word “Service” in our industry, it highlights the need to take a step back, define and reaffirm our committment to it. I took a little time today to do just that and I realized that I fight daily in the name of Service. What I didn’t realize is that I fight on as many fronts as I do to defind what I find important. I hear those in IT profess to understand what they do. In reality, I see many more who have lost sight of why they do it.
It is the why which defines my interpretation of Service and that which has put me in the bad graces of some for my stubborn attitude when it comes to doing things right. A manager I once had, broke it down to me in the most simplistic manner. He said:
“As long as you do what you feel is the right thing to do in the deepest depths of your being, you have something to defend and no one can question your justification for doing the right thing. It may not be right, but more often than not it will be, either way no one will question your motives and that you will be able to live with.”
Despite the individuals I have pissed off in my career, there have always been those above me who appreciate my passion for doing things the right way. For not avoiding the hard work. For not shying away from questioning leadership in defense of what I belive in, and giving 100% when those questions have been answered clearly.
What I have found, sadly enough is that for many, more time is spent looking for short cuts and quick fixes instead of “Putting in work.” As with anything else, you are only giving anyone a half-assed solution. If you have a clarity of purpose and a true understanding of the many types of Service you are accountable for, both personally as well as professionally, you can move ahead with a sense of purpose, pride and confidence well positioned to defend any who are looking for the short cuts and easy answers.
So to level set; in a general sense, everything and everyone that touches your life depends on you for some sort of Service delivery. Whether it is your kids, spouse, pets, familiy members or your business cutomers or peers in all of the technology towers you interact with. They all want a piece of what it is you have to offer. That is your Service. That is the responsiiblity that you have to deliver on.
More importantly it is your committment to all of those services which will make you successsful. It takes work and can be overwhelming at times, but understanding your role, what you have to offer with a sense of knowledge and awareness will guide you through making the right decisions, putting in the work necessary and staying focused on what is right, instead of looking for what is easy.
What are the Services you provide in all directions? Are you aware of them all? Do you have a sense of committment to each of them with a passion or are you just running on a treadmil for the paycheck? If not, then you need a gut-check.
Thank you Sergeant Dakota Meyer for winning the Medal of Honor and forcing me back to my basic understanding of Service.
Sgt., Rik Jones USMC (1985 ~ 1993)