This is a photo I took of Chris with an early digital camera as big as a brick. We’re in the home of our host, Eduardo Prado of Guatemala, in the late 1990s. Chris, Pennie and I were there to teach a seminar.
Pointing Chris Like a Gun
A Monday Morning Memo that’s old enough to drive
Just as the UPS package hits the bottom of the post office mailbox, Chris realizes what he has done. Most people would have simply shrugged and said, “UPS must have lost it.” But Chris is not most people. Chris sits and waits for the nightly postal truck to come and collect the mail. When the driver begins spouting post office regulations and tells Chris to go away, Chris politely says he will take it up with a postal supervisor.
Stopping at every blue box along the way, Chris follows the truck more than thirty-five miles to the Central Texas Postal Facility, a huge compound surrounded by a tall, chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. When the guards open the gate to let the postal truck through, Chris nails his accelerator and shoots the gap. No time for explanations. Sliding to a stop in front of the main office, Chris runs inside only moments before the furious guards arrive on foot. There is quite a scene. Thirty minutes later, Chris hands my package to a man at United Parcel Service.
Jon tells me his flight number. I say Chris will meet him at the gate, not knowing that Chris will find a new sign in front of the metal detector: “Ticketed Passengers Only Beyond This Point.” Not missing a step or pausing to think, Chris returns to his truck, where he stuffs his backpack full of things he finds behind the seat. He then digs through the airport trash until he finds an empty ticket folder, which he promptly tucks under his arm. With backpack and ticket folder in hand, Chris runs headlong across the parking lot, through the airport lobby, directly to the head of a long line. Shouting, “I’m sorry, everyone!” he tosses the backpack onto the conveyor belt and flashes the ticket jacket to the guard while diving through the metal detector. Never glancing back, Chris then runs down the concourse to the gate. As Jon steps off the plane, Chris is waiting. “So how was your flight?”
God help the person who stands between Chris and something I’ve asked him to do. If I send Chris to buy fruit and King Kong is guarding the bananas, call Hollywood. King Kong Meets Chris will be a box-office bonanza, but don’t bet on the monkey to win. It is Chris who will come home with bananas.
Every business owner needs a Chris, but I’ll warn you, there aren’t nearly enough to go around. The secret of attracting a Chris and keeping it happy is knowing how to work with one. You see, a Chris will work with you, but never exactly for you, and a Chris cannot be badgered, bullied, frightened, bought, sold, bribed, or manipulated in any way. To attempt these things is to lose your Chris. And never tell a Chris how to do something. You should tell it only what you need done.
And when the thing is accomplished, don’t ask a lot of questions. It would probably be better if you didn’t know.
Roy H. Williams, 1995