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Get-cha vs. Got-cha Culture

In your day to day relationships, do you or your organization operate with a culture driven by a get-cha or got-cha attitude? It can make a tremendous difference in your success and effectiveness.

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I heard Hank Nothhaft speak at the Manufacturing Leadership Council meeting held at Rockwell's Automation Fair and I've been reading his book Great Again: Revitalizing America's Entrepreneurial Leadership.  In it he relates a number of anecdotes about how difficult it is to get local, state and federal agencies to expedite the process of starting a business in the United States.  One executive lamented that the bureaucrats just seem to wait in the wings until you make a mistake by tripping over some obscure rule and then jump out and say "got-cha".

That "got-cha" culture is one intended to exercise power at the expense of all things good. It creates delay, adds cost, and discourages development.  In contrast, I would suggest that it should be the role of every bureaucrat to act in a way that conveys that they are going to help "get-cha" here and help you succeed.  

A "got-cha" culture is one of entitlement. It assume that you are going to open a business here anyway, so we're going to make sure you do it our way and that you pay every homage and tax that we can extract from you.  A "get-cha" culture is one of hope and encouragement.  It assumes that you could open your business anywhere, so we're going to make it as easy for you as legally possible and provide for you all of the proactive assistance that we can so that we "get-cha" here and that you succeed.  

These two opposing cultures can apply to any relationship: between government and business; between engineering and IT; between customer and supplier; between husband and wife; between parents and children.  As you go about your activities this coming year, ask yourself which culture you are portraying.  If we all apply a get-cha attitude to everything we do, it will improve our economy, our society and our personal and professional relationships.

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