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14Apr 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn

Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.

This is the first reader question we have answered in the Five Friends blog. It seems many want to know how we all got started in this business and we are happy to share that with you. Remember, if you have a question, be sure to let one of us know and we will consider it.


From Scott McKain:

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The back row of Loeb Playhouse at Purdue.  I was just an 8th grader — listening to a speaker who moved me to think about my life and potential in a different manner than before. That’s where it started…

A student organization – FFA – gave me the opportunity to serve as a state and national officer. I dedicated two years to speak to students, parents, and professionals across the nation.  By the age of 21, I had met with the President in the Oval Office, dined in the boardroom with the Chairman of GM, and chatted privately with Bob Hope.

Later, I worked as a fundraiser for my alma mater with an annual salary of $12,000. After gifts to the college almost doubled, they offered a raise – to $13,000. I decided that a career in higher education wasn’t my future.

My peers from college were earning exponentially higher salaries climbing the corporate ladder. I loaded my car with meager possessions and drove from speech to speech in a myriad of towns.  I was paying my dues. I wanted to become excellent at my craft – believing that if I did, success would become inevitable.

That worked for me – just as it can for you.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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In 1978 I moved across the country to go into the real estate business.  Shortly after joining a small firm, I became the sales manager, then general manager.  Part of my job was to lead a meeting of all of the agents every morning.  What I liked about that was the challenge of coming up with ideas that could help all of those agents be more successful, as 100% of my pay was determined by their success.

After that job, I move back to Nashville, took that “help them succeed” experience and began offering workshops to businesses around town.  After living on the edge of starvation and holding on by my fingernails for a couple of years, things started to catch on.  Occasionally, someone would ask me to give a speech to their trade association or company meeting.  From those jobs, little by little I learned how to do keynote speaking.

In 2004 my first book was published, and I have since developed a great enthusiasm for writing.  I’d love to make a living 100% from writing, and if I can manage to make my next book good enough, maybe I’ll reach that goal.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.


From Larry Winget:

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My business went belly-up and I lost everything I had. I had a choice to make: get a job or figure out how to make a living doing what I love most: being the center of attention. My ego won out and I became a speaker.  I started as a sales trainer, then became a motivational humorist and ended up The Pitbull Of Personal Development®. From the beginning, I busted my ass to learn how to get really good at telling a story, communicate ideas and be entertaining. But just as important, was that I never forgot that speaking is a business. No room for passion, love or ego in my business plan: I ran my speaking career like a business. I had a product (me) and I learned how to sell it at a profit, bring great value to my audiences, how to become one-of-a-kind and exploit it all via speeches, books, audio and video. Later, I was able to add television to the mix because of the uniqueness of my style and the way I articulate my point of view. I have been fortunate, but I worked hard to become good enough to be where I am today.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Mark Sanborn:

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At the age of 10 I entered my first public speaking contest. I did so badly and was so embarrassed that I committed myself to learning how to be an effective public speaker. I entered every youth competition I could find and practiced constantly. Because of my young age I got invited to speak to civic groups and even churches giving short messages about motivation and patriotism (at the time, mostly ideas I’d read from great books).

In high school I developed an interest in leadership. I was able to combine my speaking abilities with my leadership skills and get elected to state and national office in the FFA, an experience that further fueled my interests.

When I was 16, I drove 90 minutes to hear Og Mandino speak. That’s when I fully realized some people were able to make a living speaking and writing.

I have a passion for ideas and sharing them through the spoken and written word. Although my formal education is in economics, my life education has been in sharing ideas through speaking and writing. I’m blessed to have made my living for the past 29 years doing just that.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Randy Pennington:

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Looking back, much of my life was preparation for what I do today. I started playing in bands at 12 and ended up performing at Six Flags Over Texas. I wrote sports for the local newspaper in high school; learned how to hold a group’s attention as a Water Safety Instructor; and became fascinated with how organizations succeed in graduate school.

But, I had no idea that this could be a career until I read In Search of Excellence and saw Tom Peters present. I naively said, “I can do that.”

My first “paid gigs” were three years of management seminars for the local community college while I worked as an administrator at a child and adolescent psychiatric facility. Full-time consulting and training began when a boutique consulting firm convinced me that I could broaden my impact by joining them. Speaking and writing were a natural outgrowth.

I made partner and might still be there except for a philosophical disagreement with the majority partner. So you could say I was born to do this on my own or that I was pushed into it. Either way, I worked – and continue to work – my butt off to earn the right to be here.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.

07Apr 2015

What does it take to make teamwork work?

Teamwork happens quickly and naturally when: 1) everyone on the team knows what needs to be done, 2) they have the skills and ability to do it, 3) there are 2.17.15no barriers to prevent them from doing it, and 4) they are willing to work together to get it done.

Once you’ve created the foundation of teamwork, here are four more tips that will help you and your team perform better:

1. Your Team Needs to Learn Together

Rarely do teams learn together. Too often, increases in skill are confined to individuals. Sometimes that can become a barrier to teamwork: because there are dramatically different knowledge and skill levels, some team members aren’t able to keep up. When an individual attends a course or discovers a useful practice, he or she should be encouraged to share it with the team. And periodically putting the entire team into a learning environment is critical.

2. Peer Recognition is Powerful

If you’re a team leader, understand that despite your best efforts, you will be incapable of adequately recognizing every team member’s efforts and contributions. Good work will slip by and go unrecognized. If this happens often, the team member may well become disillusioned. Relieve yourself of the burden to be the sole dispenser of recognition: ask team members to recognize each other. Make it a team expectation to thank other team members for their assistance and to look for opportunities to catch each other doing something praiseworthy.

3. To Win More Together, Think Together More

Have you ever held a team retreat? When was the last time your team came together for the express purpose of thinking about the work you do? Do you periodically pause as a group to reflect on what you’ve learned and internalize the lessons? Do you meet to consider opportunities, and not just to solve problems? The team that thinks more wins more.

4. You’ve got to expect it and not tolerate it if you don’t get it

Some managers, knowing how difficult it can be to create great teamwork, undermine their efforts by making teamwork “optional.” That is, they appreciate the people who are good team players but they tolerate those who aren’t. As the old adage goes, what you allow, you condone. Those on the same team should know that figuring out how to get along and work with other teammates is their responsibility. Those who refuse to be team players should at the very least not enjoy the same benefits, and at worse, should be removed. It might sound harsh, but it is necessary if you want teamwork to work.

 

 

02Apr 2015

Every leader yearns for a team that rises above merely “going through the motions” to get the job done. The dream is a team that distinguishes itself by itsBraveheart excellence, a team that displays enthusiasm, innovation, and a sense of ownership. The question, of course, is how to lead a team to that place of self-motivated brilliance.

Getting your team from where it is now to where you would like it to be might seem like a quantum leap. The first step is grasping a solid understanding of the difference between compliance and commitment.

Let’s start with compliance. Compliance is something you probably do every day. Some businesses, especially with a Legal or Human Resources department, deal with compliance issues on a daily basis. It’s a matter of following regulations and rules to avoid trouble.

You probably practice compliance when you get into your car. You follow traffic rules about stopping and starting, turning left and right, and going forward or backward. Even though the speed limit is not always where you would personally set it, you know you must obey the law or face the consequences.

Compliance has its benefits. Generally, people stay safe if they follow the rules. Generally, we all know what to expect from other drivers on the road because they follow the rules. Compliance is great about keeping order. Compliance is all about doing what you are supposed to do, in order to avoid unpleasant results. It’s pretty easy to get compliance – all you have to do is outline the penalties for breaking the rules, and most of your team will comply. They will show up on time; they will cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, they will do just what you ask them to do… but no more.

That’s about the limit for compliance – if your team is stuck in mere compliance, achieving the extraordinary will remain just a dream.

Commitment, on the other hand, is a powerful thing. Commitment is the quality that drives people to greatness. Commitment leads to innovation, to boldness, to above and beyond the call of duty dedication, to excellent problem solving, and to record-breaking results. Commitment stirs people’s sense of honor, of purpose, of urgency.

The movie “Braveheart” is a perfect example. William Wallace and his band of Scots were so committed to winning freedom for their people that they ran headlong into battle. They bound up their wounds and kept fighting. They faced fear and danger as heroes. They were even willing to be tortured and die to achieve their goal. They demonstrated commitment. If they had only followed out of compliance, they would have turned back at the first sign of trouble.

So, how do you move a team from compliance to commitment? It takes more than just delivering a rousing speech or waving a battle flag. It takes more than just a carrot or a stick. Commitment comes from seeing a connection between what you do and why you do it. Commitment springs from connecting action with purpose.

A great leader must take the time to help each team member identify their goals, and the motivation they will need to reach them. A great leader provides the example, support, and resources a team needs to stay the course.

Commitment takes more time and energy than compliance. It requires a leader to demonstrate commitment to the team and to each member’s success. It requires a sense of ownership, of purpose, and of steadfast determination on the part of a leader. It requires accountability – did you do what you said you would do? It looks at results rather than reasons.

Commitment requires more honor, more devotion, more honesty, and more courage than compliance – but it produces a team that accomplishes more than they ever imagined. Working with a team that demonstrates true commitment will spoil you forever for working with mere compliance. The process, the results, and the legacy that is left behind will drive you to re-create the atmosphere of commitment with every team you lead from that point forward.

31Mar 2015

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21Mar 2015

conference1. Ask a question. “What do I most want and/or need to learn at this conference?” Identify your own learning objectives to leverage your results.

2. Have an agenda. Review the schedule in advance and create an agenda of the sessions and events you definitely want to attend. Don’t wait until you arrive onsite.

3. Make a list. Identify key attendee connections you’d like to make. Send an email prior to the event to each. For key connections, try to set a time and place to meet.

4. Go prepared. Know what you most have to offer those you meet in the way of good ideas or suggested resources. Be known as a true resource for others.

5. Pace yourself. As much fun as you might have, having too much fun will ultimately diminish your ability to learn and network and, ultimately, take away from your conference experience.

17Mar 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn
Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Mark Sanborn:

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The biggest challenge businesses will face in the next five years is meeting increasing customer expectations.

There is a current dilemma that will only get worse: the more you do for customers, the more they expect.

Excellent service providers scramble to meet the expectations of customers who have become accustomed to great service. Aggressive competitors continue to bump up their offerings in an attempt to gain marketshare. This has culminated in a perpetual desire by customers for more, better, different and/or improved.

What used to be good enough no longer is.

The great art and science of business is to improve product and/or service offerings without giving up margins or increasing prices beyond what customers are willing to pay. It really is about adding value without spending too much to do it.

Any business that can’t do this will be relegated to competing at the low end of the market on price alone, and that is a difficult place to be.

Rally your team, from engineering to manufacturing to sales and support to regularly brainstorm how you can profitably grow your value proposition. Customers will increasingly demand it.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Larry Winget:

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An entitled, unskilled workforce. Too many children are over-protected, sheltered from disappointment, are not allowed to experience failure and believe they are owed a living. In addition, school systems give participation trophies and don’t allow keeping score because losing might hurt the child’s feelings and damage their fragile egos. Just as alarming is the new Princeton study that says American millennials are the least skilled in the world. They ranked last in literacy and basic math skills, can’t follow directions and can’t use technology well enough to use it on a job. A Bentley University study found that 60% of millennials are not considering a career in business and 48% say they have not been encouraged to do so. Yet, in the next 5-10 years millennials will make up the majority of the workforce.

We used to say that education was about the 3 Rs: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Add two more: Responsibility and Respect. Those 5 are our issues and will be our downfall.

Scared yet? You should be. If we are to save American businesses from going outside of our country to hire a qualified workforce, parents must do their jobs and force school systems to do theirs.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Scott McKain:

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The biggest challenge facing business in the next five years is creating distinction in the marketplace so that customers can tell a difference between you and the competition. Many executives and sales professionals complain about “price buyers” – yet, from the customer’s perspective, if I can see no difference between you and your competitor, why shouldn’t I choose the cheaper alternative?

Don’t misunderstand – this isn’t about being “different” for difference’s sake.  You could slap every customer in the face, and you’d be different.  However, you wouldn’t be successful.

It’s NOT about moving from “good to great.” It’s about creating distinction in your marketplace. You need to find a way to be a source of wisdom — a beacon of insight — to help your customers make sense of the plethora of information now at their fingertips.

If you can create distinction in your market, you’ll find you are not only more successful in your efforts to pursue business – you’ll also be attracting new customers, while simultaneously enhancing both repeat business and referrals.

Distinctive organizations – and professionals – are clear about their advantages, creative in their approaches, communicate through a compelling narrative, and have a customer experience focus.

Can you meet that challenge?

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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The biggest challenge that businesses will face in the next five years is that the internet has killed hype.

Nobody cares what you say about your business anymore, be it in advertising or online.  They care about what your customers say about your business.  Recent consumer research shows that 84% of buyers go online to check out a new product or service’s consumer ratings and reviews before making a buying decision.

My business lives or dies depending on what people say about me online.  I can run a thousand ads telling people how great my latest book is, but if I have a book on Amazon with 3 five star reviews and 53 one star reviews, that book is dead.

In a recent television ad, actor Gary Oldman says ““I could tell you how amazing the all new HTC One is, but I won’t.  Because let’s face it, you either already know, or you want to see what others have to say about it.  So go ahead, ask the internet……..I’ll wait…….”

What this means is that no one can fake it anymore.  You either deliver rock solid value or you’re busted.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.


From Randy Pennington:

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The difference between excellence and irrelevance for your business will come down to this – can you be nimble and adapt to all of the changes and disruptions you will face.

Technology change and disruption are a given. But, you will be in for a world of pain if you assume that is the only change or disruption on the horizon.

Your customers will change their expectations. Joe is right – you will not be able to hide behind hype.

But wait. There’s more.

Your best competitors will change – both who they are and how they serve your customers. Your employees will change. The Boomers will finally leave and take all of that institutional knowledge with them. The people who replace them will bring a totally different set of expectations.

The regulatory and geo-political environment will change. The culture you need to attract the really smart, driven people necessary to win in this type of world will change.

Faster, better, cheaper, and friendlier are about to become four of your most used words for every part of your business. And, you had better learn to be nimble and change if you want to make it out alive.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.

09Mar 2015

artisticeight1. You and I know how good we have become, but we don’t have any idea of how good we could be.

What great projects are you undertaking in your business? In your life? Many people go through life driving with their dome lights on instead of their headlights. What you have become is important, but not nearly as important as what you can be.

2. Pursuing your potential is more important than achieving your goals.

It is satisfying to achieve your goals and objectives, but that’s no proof that you are living up to your true capabilities. Keep experimenting and trying new things in the pursuit of your true potential.

3. Losers make excuses. Winners learn lessons.

Excuses don’t teach you anything and keep you from making needed changes. Understanding why you failed will give you insights for needed changes.

4. Don’t copy the crowd–learn from the leaders.

One of the quickest ways to become a leader is to learn from the leaders. Watch what the best are doing. Learn to do it. Then learn to do it even better.

5. Ask different questions to change your business or your life.

If you keep asking the same old questions you’ll keep getting the same old answers. Rethink the situation and ask a different question.

I like what my friend Eric Chester who once reminded me that to keep growing you need a healthy form of skepticism that can be summed up in these words: “Answer your questions but question your answers.”

6. Live by your values to achieve what is truly valuable.

A wise person once said, “The bad news is that you can’t have it all. The good news is that when you know what’s really important, you don’t want it all anyway.” Clearly identified values keep you on track and allow you to prioritize.

7. Focused attention beats brains and brute strength every time.

Continually ask yourself, “What gives me the biggest payback on my investment of time and energy?”

Focus on your mvp activities (most valuable and profitable). Spend 60-80% of every day on those mvp activities. That still leaves you with 20-40% of your time to deal with interruptions, crises and the unexpected.

8. You can’t put more time in your life, but you can put more life into your time.

Do you “save time”? How much have you got saved up? Saving time is a myth. Time is a flow that cannot be interrupted. The best we can hope for is to use it wisely as it courses through our existence.

Put more life in your time by filling every moment with the richness of experience, learning, love and growth.

03Mar 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn
Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Randy Pennington:

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This is a difficult question for me. I think I do pretty well at staying current in order to stay relevant in my professional life. I challenge myself to examine different viewpoints. I haven’t missed a daily workout more than 50 times in the past 15 years. And, I make a conscious effort to let my wife know that I love her every day.

Those are all pretty good habits. But, I’m not sure that any of them are my “Best” one. In fact, I am the last one of the Five Friends to turn in my piece because I have been thinking about this question for days. This confirms what my friends know: one of my worst habits is a tendency to over-think stuff.

So here is what I believe to be my best habit: I never give up on trying to be better at things that are important to me. It’s not that I’m a self-development junkie. I simply am rarely convinced and sometimes paranoid that my best today won’t be up to my own standards tomorrow.

I haven’t always had this habit. But, I’ll keep it until I overanalyze it out of existence.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.


From Mark Sanborn:

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My colleagues have shared several habits that I also benefit from. Thinking and reading are critical for me as a speaker and author, but critical for anyone who wants to lead well and live fully.

Another habit that has served me well for my entire adult life is exercise.

I expect that to elicit a ho-hum response. Everyone knows it is a good idea but far fewer do it regularly.

As an overweight kid I used running to drop the extra weight. The discipline of running, I learned, could be applied to other areas of my life. And that’s a key benefit of exercise: it develops discipline.

It has also been shown to be as effective as medication in treating some mood disorders. It also enables quicker recovery from illness and setbacks.

And it doesn’t have to be onerous. I no longer run or bike the long distances I once did. Now my goal is 20 minutes of activity a day, whether lifting, running or cycling.

And if I don’t feel great about exercising when I start, I always do after I finish.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Larry Winget:

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I stay current. One of the biggest issues facing us today is that people don’t choose to make a habit of informing themselves about what is going on in the world. They have decided they are somehow above it all and that what is “trending” is beneath them. No, it’s what keeps you relevant. Being uninformed makes you irrelevant. I choose relevance so I choose to stay current.

I do my best to know what is going on in the world, my country, my state and my city. I work to be informed about government, health, finance, business, entertainment, fashion and just about every other area. I stay informed by reading blogs, articles, magazines and books. I start my day with GoogleNews and YahooNews as well as skimming the news channels for the news of the day. I seek out a variety of opinions on all topics to broaden my understanding. I talk about what’s going on with friends like the guys who write this blog in order to surround myself with others who are current and have different opinions. This habit allows me to have better conversations with my online followers, my friends and my audiences. 

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Scott McKain:

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My best habit is daily thinking.

You’re probably saying, “Hey – I think every day, too!”  However, I mean that I have developed the habit of making time each morning for contemplation and creativity.

I heard an executive say to his team, “Our problem is that we think about what we’re doing – but we aren’t thinking about what we’re doing.” While that sentence isn’t elegant, my guess is you understand what he was attempting to convey.

Most of us think about how we can execute what is required to accomplish our assignments. Few, however, contemplate on the bigger issues facing our organizations and the customers we seek to serve.

Want to develop the habit of daily contemplation? Here’s my advice: In the quiet of the morning, take a legal pad and consider the bigger issues that our daily stress and obligations often prevent us from considering.  Simply write down what you’re thinking in a “stream of consciousness” manner.  You’ll be amazed how your creativity and insight will flourish.

Deep thinking is like building a muscle – the more you exercise your mind in a habitual manner, the stronger it will become. Try it! It will become a great habit for you, too.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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I don’t want to be repetitive, so I will think of it as reinforcement to say that, like Larry, I stay current. I read. I read everything. Reading, especially reading that with which I tend to disagree, has benefits too long to list. So that’s my first helpful habit.

But since Larry already claimed that turf, here’s another, equally beneficial, useful, and empowering habit. I get up early. For me that’s 5:00AM on a normal day, 4:00AM during times in which I’ve got a project on my plate that requires maximum clarity and creativity.

If it’s the weekend and there is absolutely nothing to do, I get up early. I can’t help it, I can’t quit it, and I don’t want to.

Scott talked about doing his daily contemplation in the quiet of the morning. I totally get it. For me, the hour before sunrise is the absolute best time of day. My thoughts are clear, I am at my most creative, and it’s when I do my best work.

Whatever your “best” time of day is, I encourage you to be intentional about the habit of putting that time to good use. Don’t waste it.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.

24Feb 2015

When I find myself getting really bad service, I try to extract lessons I can share with my clients.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.23.26 AM

There is a national chain of upscale seafood restaurants where I’ve always enjoyed dining. I took my family, my brother and sister-in-law and mother there to celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.

The experience couldn’t have been more goofed up. Slow service, wrong drink and food orders and much more. But that isn’t the point of my story.

A manager on duty did a splendid job of salvaging the situation. She comped our meal and gave me a gift certificate to use when I returned. I was thrilled.

Until, that is, I tried to recognize her. I filled out an extensive and cumbersome online form and got an automatic response that I’d hear from corporate within 5 business days.

I never did.

I called corporate and explained my frustration at wanting to acknowledge an employee for great service. The woman on the phone noted my frustration and said she’d “pass it on” and started to end the call.

Wouldn’t that require her getting my name and contact information? Oh yes. At my reminder she took the information.

A few days later I got a call from the manager of the restaurant where we’d dined. He left a message. “Sorry I didn’t call earlier. I’m going out of town for a few days but I’ll call again when I return.”

He didn’t.

And when I tried to use the gift certificate, I was unpleasantly surprised with restrictions.

The irony? I had written a Five Friends blog about my favorite restaurants and included this restaurant chain. The ongoing frustrations made me reconsider and I replaced them with another restaurant.

What are the lessons?

1. Make it easy for customers to contact you. Sure, you want as much information as you can reasonably get, but if you ask for too much, it is off-putting.

2. Keep commitments, period. If you say “within five business days” (not very quick), at least make sure it happens. When you say you’ll call back later, call back later. We’ve heard it forever, but some businesses still don’t get it.

3. Make sure the cure doesn’t further aggravate the situation. If the gift card has restrictions, tell the patron at the time you present it. If your offer to make something right has limitations or restrictions, don’t forget to explain them.

4. Creating happiness is hard but undoing it is easy. I really wanted to express appreciation for a good manager. It shouldn’t have been difficult to do. I went from happy to unhappy.

5. Unhappy customers don’t refer you to others. And if they are really unhappy, they send them away. I like to remind clients that word of mouth can hurt you, but word of mouse can hurt you even more. I wanted to include this restaurant in my list of favorite but after the experience I had, I couldn’t in good conscience.

Will I ever eat there again? Possibly. Will I eat there as frequently? Not likely.

Simple service failures result in lost revenue. It is avoidable. Just learn these lessons.

18Feb 2015

1. Who are the best at this?get better

Emulation is one of the quickest ways to learn. Do you know who the best people are in your field or area of interest? Are you familiar with the top performers? Who do you look to as an example to learn from?

Don’t just learn what the best do, make sure you learn how they think. Doing something without understanding why is foolish. And by knowing how the best think, you’ll be able to assess what you should be doing.

2. How would the best do this?

When you’ve committed to a course of action, analyze how the best implement and execute. Study the process peak performers use to achieve results.

Want to be a better speaker? Study great speakers and pay as much attention to how they say something as what they say. If you need to move people to action, study the best inspirational or motivational speakers and learn how their choice of words, use of stories, variance in volume, speed of delivery and other behaviors contribute to their success.

3. How can I do it even better?

Nobody has a corner on perfection. Just as the best performers continue to get better, you can learn what is working now and look for ways to polish, adjust and improve. Don’t stay stuck in the past. Challenge yourself by seeing how you can improve on best practices and make them even better.

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