How many inspirational quotes have you heard since the new year started? There are plenty out there in the world in the form of posters, coasters, calendars and even promotional pens. Not many, however, seem tailored to the life and times of facility managers. To remedy that fact, here are five quotes pulled from a couple different online lists, and how they can lead to better building maintenance.
The first two quotes come from Inc. Magazine, and in a great move by writer Jeff Haden, these words of wisdom are not from famous thinkers, but rather from everyday men and women Haden met throughout his life. The last three do, in fact, come from great thinkers, ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Albert Einstein. They may not have known they were talking about facility maintenance, but in retrospect, it all adds up.
1. "Only a genius can do things his own way. You? You're no genius."
This gem comes from Haden's one-time construction foreman, the point being, unless you're impossibly gifted or extremely experienced, it's probably best that you follow in the footsteps of those that came before you. In other words, rely on other facility managers' experiences and learn from their successes and mistakes. If you don't know how to fix a new piece of equipment, then look to colleagues. If you're falling behind on your work orders, research new ways to get better organized. Maybe a colleague knows of a way to make your facility more efficient or is using a piece of maintenance management software that's making life a whole lot easier. There is no shortage of tasks for a facility manager, and there's no reason to try to go it alone.
2. "Do it or not. There is no try."
Here we have the immortal words of Yoda, but the idea has been reiterated by one of Haden's past bosses. Trying already admits the possibility of defeat. If you decide you are going to do something no matter what, all that matters is the time and energy you put into that task. If you want to improve facility efficiency, or you're looking to lower energy costs, then commit to it.
3. "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Alan Kay, a computer scientist, made this famous statement, and is quoted in Forbes. The importance of initiative is essential in all aspects of life, and the same is true in the world of facility maintenance. In its most simple way, inventing the future could even include efficient and organized planning. Invent yourself a future where all work orders are completed on time and submitted to a database. Tools such as MaintenanceEdge are your crystal ball. The best part is, you don't even have to invent the program - all you have to do is buy it.
4. "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe."
Abraham Lincoln is, as always, being honest here with this quote. Initiative is important, but so is planning out what you want to do before doing it. The tools that help you organize your schedules and routine maintenance checks are the axes that will chop down that workday tree. Also, keep in mind that you don't need a gold-plated axe to get the job done - consider an affordable CMMS with a reputation for effectiveness.
5. "Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
Margaret Thatcher, as quoted by Forbes, hit the nail on the head with this quote. There's nothing like a hard day's work done well. If you follow the advice of those other quotes, you may just find yourself agreeing with Thatcher based on your own personal experience.