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Business Tips From Dexter

If you were a fan of Showtime’s hit series “Dexter” then there is no need to introduce the serial killer – Dexter Morgan – the blood splatter analyst who works in the Miami Homicide Unit. Dexter judged and executed murderers, rapists and other offenders who escaped the hand of the law, based on a “code” that he and his father developed. How is this related to business? Dexter was in the business of murder and he defined success by making the kill and not being caught. There are many lessons for us in this dramatic series.

Preparation is vital. No detail can be overlooked. Dexter has a “kill kit” – stuffed with knives, duct tape, plastic whatever he needed for his ritualistic killings. In our business we need to carefully plan and prepare before we execute any new ideas or projects. We need to analyze what our needs are and ensure that we have the proper tools to execute when the opportunity presents itself.

Adapt your game – New victim, new Dexter. We saw Dexter morph his personality so that his victims got comfortable with him and gave him access to them. Same for us. Not every client, every situation is the same so we may need to adapt to the market, the conditions and the clients to achieve our objectives. We need to be find ways to understand what our clients need and morph our services to suit them.

Have a Code – Dexter has values that he scrupulously lives by. He will not kill unless the victim is a proven offender and then he shows no mercy. So too for the business owner. Determine a value system or code of ethics and keep these in play as the tides change. These are not negotiable and should be part of the decision- making process. Codes will tell if an opportunity is right for you. Values also come in handy to keep us in line, grounded and human. They also set tell us how to treat with people and set boundaries for people who interact with us.

Take a risk – Dexter was often in some highly charged situation that made the show dramatic and exciting. He was a calculated risk taker with a high success rate. We need to take risks to get the highest rewards. We need to manage the risk by carefully planning the approach and be flexible enough to make changes to the plan as new information arises or new scenarios play out.

Abort mission impossible – Even with careful planning, and a love for risk taking, Dexter knew when he was beat. This ability to withdraw and save the kill for another day, kept him alive many times. We need to be able to make a judgement call or do a cost benefits analysis and walk away from some decisions. We need to accept when things are going wrong and pull the plug on an opportunity that is not going as planned. There is always another day for us to pick up the pieces and go again.

There are so many lessons for us in the morbidity of the series. If you are a fan send me a note of any lessons that you gleaned. If you want any more lessons I have a few more notes that I can share.

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About Maxine Attong

Maxine Attong is passionate about writing, facilitation and coaching. Her personal Vision is to "enhance the lives of the people and organizations that she comes into contact with". This Vision is supported by her personal beliefs that all humans are innately intelligent and creative with a desire to do better. Maxine is a graduate of…