That’s Our Policy


On June 1 one year, my wife and I checked into a beautiful resort hotel at about 6:30 p.m. and were greeted with enthusiasm, courtesy and efficiency, and given tickets for a complimentary continental breakfast.

We went to our suite, freshened up and enjoyed a marvelous dinner, then had a wonderful night’s sleep. The next morning, we enjoyed coffee from the coffeemaker provided in our suite. We decided the continental breakfast wasn’t what we wanted, so we ordered cereal and a bagel.

The continental breakfast cost more than the breakfast we ordered, so when the breakfast arrived, I asked if we could use the ticket on the breakfast we ordered instead of the continental breakfast. The clerk said she would have to check with her manager.

Later, the manager called and explained that the continental breakfast tickets were for May 31 and June 1. I laughed and said, “Well, we didn’t arrive until 6:30 last evening. Could we use it this morning?” She explained that their policy was set, and she was not authorized to change it.

I laughed and said, “I understand,” and cheerfully hung up. I was cheerful because I knew the incident was providing material for this column. It reveals an unfortunate mistake I see being made in business today. To give someone responsibility without the accompanying authority creates confusion and problems.

Most guests would have been upset by the policy, as I might have been if it were not for the fact that it was an example of the principle I’m sharing with you as a result.

Message: When you give someone responsibility, give them the authority that will enable them to fulfill that responsibility for the best interests of all involved. See you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free e-mail newsletter through [email protected]

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