There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach

Credit Controllers and Credit Managers everywhere have so many choices to make every single day. They can keep their heads down, call all the overdue accounts, pass on the queries raised by customers, raise a few credit notes, (when they are finally approved!) and make sure the cash target is either achieved or explained why it hasn’t been reached. Release some orders and hold some more. They can give out to every other department for their shortcomings and go home every evening wondering why they haven’t got an interesting or important job. Or…

They can take ownership for the entire function from the time the first lead is contemplated by the sales team right through to putting the money in the bank. They can take a pride in sending out correct invoices to the correct people in the correctly named organisations. They can communicate clearly exactly what is allowed and what is expected from every single customer and every single member of staff. They can set ambitious targets and using their superior communications skills to pull it all together. They can take the time to get to know everything about every significant customer, and suggest required systems and procedures to make everything run smoothly and efficiently.

They can work every minute of every day to do what is best for their business, on what will improve their reputation, on what will increase profitability, on what will improve cash flow, on what fosters cooperation and a sense of all working together on the same team, with a common goal of increasing profitable sales. (In case you are wondering: profitable sales are the ones you have a reasonable margin and are paid for on the due date).

So, in the two scenarios painted above, which one looks like the better job?

The first one where you react to what is happening around you and do what you have to do?

Or the second one where you are engaged and committed to making a positive impact on every aspect of the business?

I hope you will agree with me that the second one is better.

Now, here is the punchline: whichever job you have, is up to you! Yes YOU!

I don’t care if you are earning €25k a year or €125k a year, you can still take ownership for the function, you can be fully engaged, you can be fully committed – you see, it is simply a state of mind, it is an attitude and you decide on your own attitude. Anyone who has attended one of our day courses or the Certificate and Diploma course I have delivered will know that you are the creator of your own destiny, so I urge you today to create it consciously and carefully. Be the best, encourage everyone around you to be the best that they can be and remember my simple rule: “It you have to say, it will do, it won’t!”

There are very few careers better than credit, where you get to see the whole business from start to finish, and where you can make such a positive contribution.

Declan Flood, Chief Executive of Irish Credit Management Training.