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Business Lawsuit of the Century

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In today’s society, ambition has many definitions. To a man named Dalton Chiscolm, it’s defined as $1.78 septillion dollars.

In a news article printed this week, Chiscolm is suing Bank of America due to problems with depositing some of his checks. In retribution to the damages he’s suffered, he’s requesting not only a huge amount of money, but also that it be paid in twenty-four hours time. Perhaps to the defendant, this request is reasonable; however, to break it down logically, $1.78 septillion equates to “30 billion times the world’s total GDP of $60 trillion.”

If Bank of America agreed to pay what its customer is asking, it would wipe out the bank’s $196 billion in common equity 9.1 trillion times over.

According to Reuters, Chiscolm was unhappy because Bank of America would not deposit some of his checks due to problems with their routing numbers. And his efforts to solve the problem with the help of a “Spanish womn” were unsatisfactory. Chiscolm’s lawsuit requests damages for his suffering, specifically, he asks that “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” be deposited into his ATM account the next day. He also demanded an additional $200,164,000.”

This is not his first lawsuit. In Janaury 2009, Chiscolm sued his landlord for $892 million billion dollars — or $892 quadrillion. In his January complaint, Chiscolm alleged that “Manerment nor mainterntmen had no atcuse’s to go in my apartment what so ever I had to keep a lock no the kichen cabernit.” The court dismissed his complaint.

Business Processes: Courthouse

© Flickr user tdreyer1

This story, as far-fetched as it is, has a valuable lesson: too much ambition creates impossible goals and can tarnish a reputation. In Chiscolm’s case, regardless of the backlash or inconvenience he suffered at the hands of Back of America, his story and request have become a target of sarcasm in national news rather than treated as a serious claim.

Confidence and ambition are important. There are a couple of quotes about basketball that illustrate this well.

“Confidence is everything in this game, if you don’t think you can, you won’t”Jerry West

“Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed” – Pat Summitt

As Pat Summitt’s quote shows, you have to plan and work before you can succeed. Confidence, while important, isn’t enough on its own. Every NBA player needs to go out on the court thinking they can hit every shot they take, or else there’s no way for them to be effective. But that doesn’t mean players should be throwing up half court shots when a defender is right next to them, especially when that isn’t something they practiced and prepared to do. The same ideology should go toward your business. You want to be confident and ambitious, but you also need to know your boundaries. Find a goal that works for your business, without having ridiculous expectations, not only for where your entire organization is headed, but for those you’re working with. If you set up a process that paints the picture of you not knowing what you’re doing, no one is going to respect the goals you’ve set.

As The Methodology Blog has covered before, drastic process improvement measures involve making a decision without first recognizing potential outcomes inevitably decreases the chance for success. By examining all angles of a decision first, and keeping a level head in regards to reasonable options will help you discover an appropriate pathway that leads to opportunity and eventual success. If the methods used in reaching your current business goals seem over your head, talk to the consultants at AccelaWork today. We’ll help bring those goals within reach by building processes that make sense.

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