I was in a pretty interesting meeting this past weekend. A leadership team invited a special, and highly successful, guest speaker to give them a few words of wisdom and direction on moving their organization forward. His key word was “Vision”. However, what’s interesting about the meeting is that this same speaker was invited by basically the same leadership team to the exact same meeting place just 5 years earlier. The speaker gave pretty much the same message this past weekend as he did 5 years ago. In fact the speaker reminded everyone of that fact and went further by saying if we don’t get a clear vision of what we want to be, who we want to serve and how we’re going to measure our progress, he’ll probably be back again in 5 years to give the same speech for yet the third time.
Here’s the point… All of these leaders want to move their organization forward. But why don’t they? If you’re a leader reading this I would assume you want to move your organization forward. But why are so many organizations, teams, managers and employees still in the same place they were a year ago or five years ago? Thousands of books have been written about leadership, management, etc. Conferences and workshops are as popular as ever. It kind of seems like we’d have it figured out by now. But statistics for employee engagement remain pretty much the same at 17% year after year. Most companies maintain the status quo and seem either satisfied or resigned to their fate. So what’s the deal? In it’s simplest form, the deal is we have to get off go and begin the implementation process. You can’t just think it, you have to do it. Don’t have a vision? Get one today and write it down. Already have a vision? Then what are you doing today to bring you closer to that vision? What are you spending time on that has nothing to do with the vision? How are you tracking your progress toward that vision? Answer these questions and you’ll at least get off go and begin the process of implementing your vision. Or… you can go 5 years, look back and be pretty much in the exact same place with the addition of a few extra pounds, a few more gray hairs and couple more wrinkles. If you’re going to get the gray hairs and wrinkles anyway, you might as well see some successes to make it worth the time.
Schools in my area are closed today. The reason… it’s raining and there is a threat of a thunderstorm… really??? This isn’t an area of the country that gets serious tornados where it may be best to yield on the side of caution. We have closed schools for hurricanes but a rain storm is no hurricane. I’m not old enough to say I’ve walked 5 miles in 3 feet of snow to get to school but I do remember going to school in much worse weather than this. I don’t get it. It just seems to me far too many people are looking for an excuse to close for the day. Sadly, this same mentality seems to be creeping into the workplace as well and it may be partially due to the fact we’re teaching our kids to shut down for rain. When school closes for the day it doesn’t just affect the kids. Now many of the parents have to make adjustments and changes in their day. They have to find babysitters or get family to change their plans to watch the kids. Some parents may have to stay home from work and now the boss at work has to make adjustments in staffing. It’s a domino effect. When you shut it down for the day, many others are impacted.
Think about this today… What is your thunderstorm or rain? What makes you close or shut it down for the day? Is it any of the following?
Let’s stop the madness. Don’t let a “whatever it is” day shut you down. You deserve better, your organization deserves better and your customers certainly deserve better. Feel free to add to our list! By the way, it’s 7:58am as I’m writing this and the rain has stopped. Just saying.
Great leaders spend 40% of their time in the field with their people. This is a primary discipline of great leadership. Unfortunately, many leaders, unbeknownst to them, have voluntarily checked out. In other words, by not spending this time in the field the leader can’t possibly know the pulse of the organization and can’t possibly lead in an effective manner. The leader that chooses to lead exclusively from the board room as a so-called decision maker will miss the mark more often than not. Many times these types of leaders will create unintended consequences through their decisions. Take a look at the article we linked to below, “Lessons from the water-boy: How to lead and serve“. Your actions as a leader will have an impact. Your visibility on the ground floor will have an impact. Here’s the deal. If you’re a leader in the organization then get involved in the organization. It’s not about what you are willing to do. It’s about what you are doing. The article below speaks of “servant leadership”. With that in mind, here’s the question of the day… How are you serving your organization? Are you serving from the mountaintop or are you a 40%’er who is serving where the people are?
Take a minute or two and read the article we’ve linked to below. As you read, be honest about where you are; where your team is; where your organization is. Most don’t want to be be extraordinary… Are you part of the most or one of the few? Don’t just read this article, act on it.
Over the past 14 years we’ve conducted thousands of mystery phone shops. Over that same period we’ve had countless numbers of employees approach us saying they were “just shopped”. Some were right buy many more were wrong. In fact, we’ve had employees open large customer accounts that started with a phone call they assumed was a shop. Just this past week I’ve had five people tell me they were shopped. The reality… they were not shopped by us, but they were shopped by a real live customer. Personally, I’d be more concerned about the real live customer than a mystery shopper. Are you more concerned with how you’ll look to a shopper and your supervisor? or… Are you more concerned with how the real live customer will score you?
Service matters. How you handle the phones with a customer, or potential customer, is typically how you will handle the customer in person. Whether a mystery shopper calls you or a real live customer calls you, it shouldn’t make a difference. In fact, what do you care? If you’re handling every caller as if they are your #1 priority and abiding by your organization’s standards then you’ll have a remarkable score on any shop. More importantly, your customers will have a remarkable experience every time they call.