There are three realities in leadership: Leaders are defined by their results. The act of leadership is about the ability to influence others to accomplish the desired result. You will never succeed at your first two responsibilities if you can’t or won’t develop others to excel in their work. You [...]
Three weeks back I wrote about my exceptional service experience at Sewell Lexus of Dallas. The theme of the post was that it was the Sewell people rather than their product that has kept me as a loyal customer for over 20 years. The premise behind that post is the same one I offered in my 2006 book, Results Rule!: Fundamentals are the minimum. Being distinctive is the difference if it adds value. I can purchase a Lexus from a number of different dealers. The quality and service of the Sewell staff makes them distinctive in a way that adds extreme value. The very nice folks that service GE kitchen appliances just reminded me that you can’t forget the first part of my premise: Fundamentals are the minimum. Because without the fundamentals, there is nothing you can do to stand out with your customers (at least not in a positive way).
Delivering customer service – at least the way it is practiced in most companies – is easy. The customer asks you for something, and you give it to them. Building a culture that is obsessed with serving customers is hard. Carl Sewell’s family of auto dealerships is at or near the top for sales and service with the brands they represent for one simple reason: They are the best at sustaining a culture that serves customers.
There has to be something we can learn from Washington’s failure to address the debt limit, right? There are three very important lessons about leading change you can take from the chaos over approving the federal budget and raising the debt ceiling.
Why did you write a book about change? The host of a recent radio interview was being polite and, I suspect, genuinely interested. But the question is an important one—a quick search on Amazon.com found over 150,000 book titles that have something to do with change. Let’s assume that some of those titles are duplicates for hardcover, paperback, Kindle, etc. That still leaves thousands of books written on the subject. Aren’t those enough? The short answer is, “No.”
Scott Keller and Carolyn Aiken, consultants at McKinsey & Company, suggest that 80 percent of what leaders care about and talk about when trying to enlist support for change does not matter to 80 percent of the workforce. To gain the commitment for the change that you want, you must connect with people where they are. You do that by making the change relevant and real.
Don Draper, the fictional advertising guru on the television show “Mad Men” says, “Change is neither good or bad. It simply is.” Good luck convincing your team of that. We all want the change we introduce to be accepted based on the inherent trust of followers that we have the [...]
“When will things get back to normal?” That question has been asked countless times since the economic meltdown of 2008. Most people want to know when the job market will bounce back; the economy will return to something close to sustained growth; uncertainty will subside; or the rate of change will slow to a more manageable pace. But, what if this is it? What if instability, rapid change, and uncertainty are the new normal? And, what if I’m wrong and things bounce back quickly? If you can succeed now, you will crush it then.
The old-fashioned view of mentoring is someone outside a learner’s chain of command who equips that learner with new skills and knowledge. It is an archaic expert to novice or smart to unwise philosophy. The goal is the transfer of information or expertise, much like pouring knowledge into the head of a passive learner. It is the model that antiquated teachers used to teach facts students only recalled long enough to score favorably on the test.
Liars – we've all seen them, fallen victim to them, and if we are truthful, joined their ranks from time to time. Some do it for malicious reasons. Others do so out of a sense of kindness or benign indifference. But, we all do it. There are times when that article of clothing makes us look fat. There are times when we feel like crap, and there are times when we feel the pressure to say what is untrue to cover for our lack of performance. And that is why you need to read The Truth About Lies in the Workplace.