Archives for June 2016

The Worlds Simplest Formula For A Happy Customer and Employee

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Do you know what the world’s simplest formula for a happy customer is?  It is surprisingly simple.

Here it is: Do what you say you’re going to do.

Doing so results in happy customers as well as happy employees.  When you articulate what you stand for as a business and or as a leader and act accordingly you’re seen as credible. You build trust and respect with the people who matter most to you because you do what you say you will do.

The moment you fulfill your promise a customer and or employee feels good because their interaction and transaction with you was completed in a way that’s in alignment with what they expected. In essence, you’re making a persons life easier because you are confirming they made the right choice in choosing to do business with you. When you don’t act in ways consistent with what you said you’d do your credibility goes down, trust goes down, and customer loyalty goes down also.

I’m experiencing that firsthand where I have reached out to a particular organization where I shop and asked for an update on a particular product. Not once, but twice. I haven’t heard back from them. The first time I asked, they said, “yes, we’ll get right back to you.” One week went by. One week! And I didn’t hear anything. Then I tried to be somewhat light and said, “hey, whoever has the information about where the particular product is, can you go hit them over the head, can you shake their shoulders and tell them, the customer wants to know? And we can’t tell them one or two more weeks. He wants to know specifically.” That was on Monday of this week. Five days later…no call. Nothing.

So now I’m in a difficult situation. I like the people and I like the product, but they don’t do what they say they’re going to do. Now I’ll have a conversation with the store, but some of your customers are not like me and won’t have a conversation with you. They’ll just leave.

Ladies and gentlemen, this week; where are you fulfilling the promise you’ve made to your customers or your employees? Where are you doing this well? Identify it and celebrate it.

And then ask, “where am I not living up to my promises? Where am I not doing what I said I was going to do?” If it is with a customer, TODAY, not tomorrow, implement one strategy to alleviate this because it is the death knell to your business.

Do not let today go by without identifying one place where you’re fulfilling your promises and one area where you’re not. If you do so you’re going to have a fabulous week!

The Freedom To Choose Is Yours

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Fifty years ago today an extraordinary event happened in the United States that took another fifty years to replicate. On June 20th, 1966, by a vote of 307 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve the Freedom of Information Act. An unprecedented piece of legislation that Lyndon Baines Johnson did not want to sign, but signed reluctantly on July 4th, 1966. This legislation went into effect on July 4th, 1967.

Why is this important to you on this Monday June 20th, 2016? One of the admonitions I repeat to my coaching and consulting clients is that by living in the United States we have the freedom to choose the quality of our professional and personal lives. Make no mistake about it. It is a choice.

And this choice does not require the same kind of bare knuckle brawling type of politics that took place in 1966 to pass the Freedom of Information Act. No, this choice simply requires that we have a conversation with ourselves and ask, “If I look at December 31st, 2016 with the full recognition that my mindset is a catalyst for me achieving it, what is it that I want? Is my mindset aligned with what I want? And if not, how do I get it aligned with it?”

This will sound overly simplified but I’m going to say this anyway, knowing that you can vote unanimously to live a more rewarding an enriching professional life, what choice will you make today? Will you make the conscious choice to live a rewarding and enriching life? And if you have or will make that choice today, how are you going to live it out? How are you going to exemplify your choice? How will you become an exemplar for other people so that you then give permission to others to do the same? The reality is that your choices have the potential of liberating other people.

So this Freedom of Information Act anniversary can be used as a catalyst to live your best life ever and that’s what I hope you will do on this June 20th, 2016. Think of today as the Freedom of YOU day, and I cannot wait to hear what choices you are going to make.

What do corporate fraud, prison breaks and leadership have in common?

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What do corporate fraud, prison breaks and leadership have in common?

They’re all an inside job.

At Enron the corporate fraud there evaporated $78 billion worth of value. It would never have happened were it not for the CEO, Jeff Skilling’s inside knowledge. The Clinton Correctional Facility where two prisoners escaped would never have happened were it not for the seamstress working in the correctional facility that provided the necessary tools to escape.

Leadership is an inside job also. In my coaching and consulting work I see leaders in the face of adversity crumble under the pressure. I listen to leaders conversations and hear their internal self-talk, they too are crumbling. Leadership cannot crumble under pressure and you enjoy extraordinary performance.

So, I am reminding you this week that leadership is an inside job. When leaders get their inside set right; and by that I mean what happens between their ears, when leaders get their mindset aligned / pointed in a direction that is rooted in success, abundance, and about cascading excellence throughout their organization, they experience the performance benefits they want inside their organization.

But, here’s a tricky question for all leaders to ask. When you look at situations inside your organization that are not going well, rather than finding blame outside of yourself, ask  “what is it about my leadership that’s allowing this situation to happen?” Or, “what is my leadership hindering?”

When you start thinking about leadership as an inside job first, what you’ll do is set out to master your mindset. You’ll see what transpires between your ears as THE most important leadership tool you have access to. If things are not working in between your ears you’re going to be toast.

As a reminder, if you have not downloaded the Mastering Your Mindset special report you must do so.

It will help you see leadership as an inside job.

When You’re Afraid…Start Paddling

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On Wednesday of last week Alyson and I drove to Hood River, Oregon to pick up her new Stand Up Paddle Board. It was a whirl wind trip, but one that provided me with a potent reminder of the power of just starting.

We went white water rafting on Thursday morning with a fabulous outfitter by the name of Zollers Outdoor Odyssey in White Salmon. In the safety talk before hitting the water Mark mentioned one of the cardinal rules when hitting a rapid…keep paddling! Even though you’re afraid and want to stop paddling…start paddling.

Our guide was Seth, a 20 something with an unbridled enthusiasm for rafting and helping those in his charge have a wonderful time. Seth has only been guiding for one year, and while that would normally make me nervous, after hearing Seth’s story I was convinced Seth was the best guide for us. Why is that?

Seth has a “yes, I can mindset.” When Seth learned about a guiding school hosted by Mark at Zollers he said yes to going, but didn’t have the money. I can’t remember if he begged or borrowed the money, but he attended guide school. After graduating he traveled the river over 50 times before taking a group down the river solo. Yes, he was required to learn the river by Mark the owner, but he LOVED rafting so much he was excited and eager to travel the river and learn as much as he could. He was so enthusiastic that he didn’t limit his learning solely to the names of the rapids, bends and falls, he set out to learn about the history of the land that cradled the river for seven and a half miles.

We’ve all met people like Seth who have what we euphemistically call a “spark” or a “fire in their belly.” In my consulting and coaching work I recommend leaders hire for mindset and train for skill set. Why? We’re drawn to people like Seth because their first answer to how they’re going to get something done is a simple and unequivocal “yes.” They know they want to do something and they start. They don’t have all the steps laid out in front of them. They just know they have to start. They do what Mark said to do when hitting a rapid…they paddle knowing that paddling is the only route to their destination.

Hugh’s Monday Morning Mindset Challenge:

1. Name the one area of your personal or professional life where the fire is on the verge of being extinguished.

2. Name the destination where you want to arrive if the fire was blazing with regard to question #1.

3. Say yes to one thing this week that fuels your fire. Don’t try and have all of the plans laid out in advance as that is nine times out of ten procrastination. Just say yes and start paddling until you make it through the rapids of not knowing. You may get wet, but the alternative of sitting on the shoreline with no fire in your belly is far more scary than a five foot waterfall.

Happy paddling!