I’ve read countless books and articles, and listened to numerous public speakers talking about the importance of providing outstanding customer service in order to “delight” customers. They talk about “moments of wow” and “fanatical support” and typically share stories about an employee from a company like Zappos or Nordstrum who did something completely unexpected and extraordinary for a customer.
Lately the question of, “What is great leadership? has been coming into my world. It's a question that has never been more important in the business world. We are now replacing low-paid manual labor and processing, with a smarter, more skilled, younger workforce. This is great in some ways, but also the new generation is far more likely to move from company to company than older generations. They are not used to being yelled at, they didn’t get caned at school, and will tell you to jump off a cliff if you deserve it (if not to your face then to their Facebook network which is worse).
I recently read a great interview in the New York Times with David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell. He made some insightful observations about leadership which I have summarized and commented on here.
One of the keys to effectively manage and coach your people is to make everyone’s performance visible. The Harvard Business School calls this management approach “radical transparency” and it has been found to deliver superior results.
Imagine you could go back in time to when you were starting out as a manager, leader or entrepreneur. What 1 piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
If you are anything like me, life seems to be getting busier and busier, and the rate of change means you feel like you are running faster and faster just to keep up. The ability to drive business execution at a rapid pace is a vital ingredient on the path to success, but if you are not careful, you can become so stuck in “busy-mode”, that you spend all of your time “doing” and not enough time “thinking, reflecting and learning”.
I learned many years ago from my friend Doug Hall that the way most companies conduct brainstorming is ineffective. He documented these findings in his excellent marketing book, Jump Start Your Business Brain. Here’s a quote:
One of our clients emailed me recently wanting to know, “How do you hold people accountable or punish bad results and unmet deadlines in a professional manner, especially in a small family business where employees I’m responsible for have more experience than me?”
Much has been written about leadership. Most of it is useless. But there are things you can do, and some books you can read, that are helpful to learn to be a better business leader.
A few years back I attended a presentation given by business author and former Gallup researcher, Marcus Buckingham. One of the highlights of his presentation was how he defined the difference between leadership and management as per his book, First Break All the Rules - What the world's greatest managers do differently.
Since implementing the RESULTS.com software, communication between staff members regarding reaching targets and goals has improved ten-fold. (There is also healthy competition with the new “gamificiation” feature!)
Tania Young – Director – BRAVEday
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