A couple of weeks back I worked with a group at a public utility on the West Coast of the United States. Some of us in the business, more than a few, would agree they have their challenges. We are always called upon to perform of course, but there are also additional pressures of a union environment, senior management that wants you to collect but never receive a complaint and if you do and they want to speak to the boss, may overrule your decision that follows the policy they created in the first place. Bummer.

Like I said, they have their challenges.

One of them I tackled head on was how they saw themselves. I asked the question straight out: “What is your objective?”

There is often some hesitation at this point of a program and it wasn’t any different with these folks.

Eventually, someone responded in a hesitant voice, “Our objective is to collect money.”

“No,” I said. “Collecting money is what you do, but your objective is to provide power to your customers. You are able to “make it so” thru effective collections, working with people who may be facing difficult times, perhaps under the influence of many pressures including financial. Gather information, help and redirect where possible, work out payment plans if that is a reasonable option and yes…sometimes to disconnect a service. Without the latter taking place on occasion, nobody gets any service.

In your situation, when you do your job to the best of your ability – it truly is, Power to the People.”