“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a great leader.” John Adams. During my career, I have worked with several thousand CEOs, managers, and entrepreneurs in every major industry and I will not be judgmental but generally, I would put them all into one of three categories I developed. 1)Open, receptive, flexible, trustworthy, creative, and humble. 2)Guarded, opinionated, resistant, and cautious. 3)Arrogant, ego-driven, insecure, superior, know it all’s. Which ones do you think it was easier to work with? Which ones tended to have open cultures? Which ones do you think over time failed? Which ones had the best employee and customer loyalty? I could go on with these questions but I’m sure I have made my point and that is – the above quote is extremely accurate. One of my most popular speaking and training topics is ”Leadership is not a position or title but a mindset.” The basic premise of this message is that a restaurant server who doesn’t like their job can lose a customer forever with only one interaction. A bank teller can lose a major client in one over-the-counter transaction. The server and the teller are not CEOs or senior managers but their mindsets about their job, the organization can and will impact customers, the organization’s reputation, and success. The best leaders in my opinion regardless of position or title are those people who; are receptive, compassionate, visionary, dedicated, good listeners, and so much more that demonstrate their humility, maturity, and creativity.
“Knowledge is of no value unless and until it is expressed in some form of useful service.” N. Hill. The world today is filled with non-stop information flow and new knowledge, and because of this more confusion in my opinion. Over the holidays I worked for a major retailer in the return department and guess what- the line was non-stop for the entire four weeks I worked. One of my major reasons for taking the position was to get in touch with everyday customers who had product or service issues. The average person returned 2-3 products for a variety of reasons. I will not mention the retailer, the customer issues, or the general attitudes of most customers but what I will say is that I believe many supplier products that were returned by these folks –will never buy another product from them. I believe this is one of the reasons why over 85% of my business as a speaker or trainer has been repeat with the same clients. The contributors to this are for four major reasons in my opinion; 1)Pre-program client and industry research. 2) Post-program follow-up. 3)Promising a lot and delivering more and 4)Getting to know and understand the client and their needs, frustrations, expectations, and “real world concerns”. I call this – the combination of knowledge contributing to wisdom. And this philosophy can work for any industry if you let it.