Category Archives: #ThursdayThoughts
Any meaningful change in our personal or professional lives dictates a change in mindset.
In other words, if we want lasting change, we need to think differently than we did before.
To draw from Apple’s late 1990’s campaign of “Think Different” we should always challenge ourselves to not just think of other ways to do things, but to think in other ways.
Our thought processes can be like wallpaper – barely noticing it’s there as we pass by. We need to be willing to be self-aware enough to look at our thoughts and how they impact our behaviors and see how we can transform our thinking to produce a better self.
It’s not about producing better results, but about producing a better self. When we make the necessary changes to improve ourselves, the result will speak for themselves. Sometimes they are not better finances, sales, fame or followers. Sometimes it’s being more respected, relatable, and credible.
Change your thoughts and think different. You are the product of your thinking and sometimes we need to approach our thinking in new and impactful ways.
A complaint is made by a customer to the corporate headquarters.
Corporate cascades it down to the regional managers.
The region manager addresses the the store manager.
The store manager tells the shift manager what went wrong.
The shift manager reprimands the employee for the issue.
Was it the employee’s fault? Perhaps. But the blame – and ownership for the issue – should be taken by corporate.
The higher level of leadership, the more every issue magnifies your ability to lead and lead through others.
Many times an employee gets the brunt of something that was not their fault. They were poorly trained, or their performance was shrugged off (“it’s a tough employment market you know!”) or the manager didn’t care that shortcuts were made (“it saved labor”). Or sometimes corporate demanded that Q4 number be met at all costs.
While you can’t be responsible for every employee’s behavior, you are responsible fully for ensuring they are hired, trained and led the right way to execute at the highest level of performance they can give.
Don’t perpetuate it rolling downhill. S*** (STOP) the downhill roll and take ownership to fix it starting with yourself.
As a leader, when was the last time you:
- Called your own customer service or customer success department?
- Drove through your own drive thru?
- Shopped one of your physical stores?
- Rode with a driver in your company?
- Stocked shelves with the night staff?
- Experienced your online website?
I would guess that if we did this, we’d be shocked at the poor level of service we’re giving to our customers.
And the fault is not the employee, or their manager. That solely rests on ourselves.
If we have not run through the experience from the customer’s standpoint to see the lack of training, broken systems or bad procedures, then we’re not ensuring our customers get the best service.
It’s easy to tell our people what procedures must be followed, and what should be an outcome. But when the reality is denied because we don’t see the poor experience ourselves, we put the customer at risk of leaving us.
Take a few minutes to see the total experience from your customers eyes. Great leaders like Sam Walton have always done this. It makes strong leaders, and even stronger organizations.