I’ve spoken before about the many lessons that can be found in the show The Office, but here is one of my favorites:
There’s an episode where Michael and Dwight are both at a hotel and Michael finds out that he doesn’t have a hotel room to stay in.
After being turned down, Dwight shows up with his reservation number and gets the material for his room. At this point, Michael is begging Dwight to stay in his room with him and says “I’d do the same for you” at which point Dwight looks quizzically at the paper and says that it says M.Scott.
Michael grabs the paper and Dwight asks him if he can stay in his room, and Michael completely backtracks and says he would, but there’s the possibility he might meet someone and need the room, etc. and
Dwight grabs the paper and reveals that he had the reservation the whole time but he was just testing Michael to see if he really would share his room and Michael failed the test.
It’s a great scene, but there’s an even more powerful lesson embedded in it:
Find out who are the “talkers” and who are the “doers”
When I used to raise money for Broadway there was no shortage of people who would tell you that they could raise a lot of money for a show, but many of those people never actually raised a cent.
Then there were the people who usually never talked about it, they just went out there and hit their fundraising goals.
The only way to distinguish the talkers from the doers?
You give them a deadline to raise the money, they either do or they don’t.
The same concept applies to the world of entrepreneurship and business relationships.
There are plenty of people who will offer to do something with you, but you have to figure out if you’re dealing with a talker or a doer.
If they actually follow through on what they said, you have a doer in your midst.
These are the keepers.
Our success whether we like it or not relies heavily on our relationships with other people, the more we can count on those people, the less we have to worry.
The more they can count on us, the less they have to worry.
It’s worth it every once in a while to ask ourselves if we’d pass the Schrute Room Test.
If the answer is No, then there’s some work to be done.