I Just Can’t Take The Risk...

Over the last decade, I’ve seen dozens of situations where a senior or incredibly skilled team member has chosen not to exceed expectations. The challenge in most of those instances really boiled down to that team member actually choosing to not even meet the expectations the organization (or business owner, or their team members) had clearly defined for the role they were in.

As we looked at how failing to exceed, or even meet, expectations can impact customer retention and the organization’s overall profitability through the last several posts, it was extremely clear that average performance won’t be what separates any of our businesses from the competition. This is just as true when it comes to the culture we build internally - how tasks get done even when a customer will likely never have direct exposure to them…

Let’s be honest, highly skilled team members are hard to come be regardless of the ups and downs of the economy. That often results in...

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When NOT Exceeding Expectations Is OK...

We closed last time with a commitment to address scenarios where team members refuse to exceed expectations. Before I jump into that, I need to call your attention to something that will absolutely exceed YOUR expectations: the virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience that Cindy and I will be hosting this Friday! There’s so much value (and bonus content) packed into this event that I just can’t fit it all in here… Check it out for yourself!

So when is NOT exceeding expectations acceptable? Believe it or not, there are times where it’s OK. If we don’t mind our customers and team members having an average experience, we don’t need to put in that little bit of extra effort and we don’t need to worry about maintaining a standard for what our team members strive to deliver. That will work just fine in a booming economy where every Joe out there has plenty of money to spend…

But we don’t build the kind of loyalty that brings a...

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Get More Juice From Each Squeeze!

I closed the last blog post with a promise to share some practical steps each of us can build a culture that creates amazing customer experiences and directly impacts profitability. Before I go there though, I want to share what may be the last invitation I can pass along for you to join me and Cindy this coming Friday (Nov 13) for the final LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg virtual experience we’ll be hosting in 2020. This year’s content is incredible but the bonuses are worth as much as the event itself… Hope you’re able to join us!

So how can we get more juice from each squeeze? First, understand I’m not suggesting that we ever try to actually SQUEEZE extra dollars out of the clients or customers we interact with! If we provide them with value through the product or service we offer, we deserve fair compensation for that. What I am suggesting is that we do everything in our power to make sure we capture as much profit as we possibly can from the revenue we...

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I’ll Get Right Back With You...

Just a few days ago, I contacted a relatively new local restaurant to confirm their current business hours prior to setting up an appointment with someone coming in from out of town. I completed the form on their website, hit submit, and received a message saying that I would receive feedback at the email address I provided shortly. More than 72 hour have passed and still no response…

I know it was a simple question with the answer likely already posted on their website, but I’ve seen several other places operating on different schedules than they had listed simply due to Covid. I also wanted to double check this since the person I’m meeting is coming from an hour away and the time we were looking at is right as the place shows it will open.

While whether they’re open or not isn’t a big deal, the point I’m calling attention to here is that their messaging said I’d receive a reply soon and that hasn’t happened…

So what does that...

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Exceeding Customer Expectations

As I referenced in the last blog post, John Maxwell told me several years ago that just five percent of the people we interact with are willing to put in the effort to truly EXCEED what’s expected of them. With the regulations we’ve seen in place over the last several months due to Covid, many businesses in the service industry have taken quite a hit. Times like this make it even more important to have a culture where each team member is willing to be in that five percent!

But before we can EXCEED anyone’s expectations, we need to have a clear understanding of what they really expect from us! And in many cases, we need to take responsibility for setting clear expectations of what they should expect from us... 

Cindy and I were recently on a Zoom call with Jeff Henderson, author of Know What You’re FOR, where he challenged us to consider three seemingly basic but extremely important questions:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you known for?
  3. Do...
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Like It or Not, That’s How It’s Gonna Be… Really?

Have you ever been told that by a company you’ve done business with? Like it or not, that’s how it's gonna be… Have you ever heard a supervisor say something like this to one of their employees? Have you ever been that employee???

I remember being told something very similar to that by an administrative assistant for the attorney I was dealing with about 15 years ago following a nasty car accident and the other party had a less than stellar insurance company. After being jerked around by the other insurance company for weeks and not hearing back from the attorney for quite a while too, I began calling daily until I got a response. After a few days of this, she told me “You’re not our only client. We’ll get to you when we get to you.” That didn’t go as well as she thought it would…

While I can’t say that I’ve ever been anything like that by a supervisor, I’ve certainly heard it said a few times. It’s one...

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3 Main Things That Keep You From Your Goals And Dreams – Even In A Pandemic!

 

A New Year is coming and with it, a new beginning, a fresh start, and a renewed opportunity to refresh your goals and dreams, and what you aspire to be, do and have. Rather than inundating you with a list of power phrases to motivate you (because those are everywhere right now), I'll take this opportunity to share three things that will ABSOLUTELY keep you from obtaining your dreams and goals. These are sneaky…they’re easy to let slip into your daily life and can be hard to overcome. Conquer these and reap the benefits a reached dream and a goal obtained will give you and those who count on you.

 

 1. Settling for Comfort Over Potential 

Reaching our goals and dreams requires growth. 

And, growth is outside of our comfort zone. Every time we chose to stay in our comfort zone, we not only lose the opportunity to grow we lose the self-confidence we would have gained by that growth. And more importantly; we can lose confidence and damage our...

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Shores We May Never See Ourselves...

I closed the last post with a commitment to share an example I’ve personally seen of someone who turned their ripples into waves by selflessly serving the people around them. I’m not gonna do that; I’m going to share two… (but I could easily point to dozens more!)

Yesterday afternoon, I had a conversation with a friend I had worked with several years back. Truth be told, he was listed as my immediate supervisor on the org chart but I can’t recall a single time where I saw him use positional authority - with me or anyone else in the company! While I had a pretty significant amount of experience in the work I was hired to do, I had no experience whatsoever in the industry we were working in. He was extremely intentional about helping me get up to speed and was always quick to brag on the work I was doing to the owners of the company; it was incredibly humbling…

I had started our business around that same time. Where many supervisors and managers...

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Turn the Ripples into Waves!

In closing the last post, I shared a brief warning about the weight of the responsibility that comes with an expanded reach. Since you’ve chosen to read this, I’m going to assume you’re willing to carry that load called leadership… Well done!

So how do we turn those initial ripples into significant waves that make a positive impact on people we may never meet rather than creating an undertow that sucks some of them under and scares everyone else away? That certainly ties back to choosing the harder right over the easier wrong, but making those kinds of decisions are just a starting point!

While choosing that harder right over the easier wrong presents some challenges, it’s really the simplest part of the process - especially once you’ve determined where you’re just not willing to compromise! The tough part often comes when it’s time to back those decisions with action on a daily basis. But even that becomes more routine as...

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Expanding Your Ripple Effect...

Hopefully this comes as good news… I’m still alive! I knew attempting to squeeze in three or four messages last week as Cindy and I prepared for the in-person and socially-distanced LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg event last week was going to be a fairly tall order but I wasn’t expecting to miss the entire week. That said, I believe we had an outstanding event given the Phase 3 guidelines we’re still operating under in Virginia. I’ve posted some of the amazing images captured by Andy Sams Photography on our webpage for this year’s event, as well as the special message that Mark Cole recorded for us while I was with him in Atlanta a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been able to participate in the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience yet, we’re hosting a final public virtual option on Friday, November 13 and registration is open now. Finally, I want to make a special shout-out to Andy Vanhook with Appeal Production for being such a blessing to us...

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