During a recent trip out of town, I learned something about equipping our teammates to make decisions and to make them quickly.

One evening, while away from our hotel room, we returned rather late to a room that was flooding. Clearly, the person in the room above us had left the bathtub to overflow, and a lot of water had made it’s way down the walls and out of the light fixture in the ceiling. The sound was alarming to walk into, but the appearance of that much water was even more surprising.

Immediately we called the front desk and the young man on the phone promptly put us in another room. They didn’t wait to see what was happening. They didn’t come to check out how much water was there before they reassigned us. No, there were few questions asked. In fact, it took him only one question to make us feel valued as customers.

“Ma’am would you like me to send a Bellman to your room to assist with moving your luggage?”

That was exactly what I wanted to hear. An employee that was working the very late shift who was empowered to act quickly, and to honor the customer in the process. And he assured us that we were moving to a nicer room to compensate for our inconvenience.

All this before they even assessed the problem in person.

That experience has stuck with me for a few days now as I have watched others in action for their customer. There are some who are equipped to make decisions quickly, and some who are not. To me, the latter is a lack of clear leadership and a breakdown in empowering your team to do their job well.

As we move to the end of the year, at a rapid pace. Take a moment to assess whether you will finish the year strong, with your team empowered to do their job, and do it well. Also look for the dripping faucet that may be pouring out all over your customers, leaving them feeling a bit soggy and less than important.

By taking time to assess your present operating procedures, by asking your team whether they feel able to make the decisions without you in the room, by checking with your customers to see how they experience your team, you will finish the year stronger than you began it.

Because at the end of the day, you are not able to be there 100% of the time for your team and your customers. Everyone will shine when your team is fully equipped to make decisions for the good of the whole.