How many times have you had a customer service interaction where you walked away in disbelief over how clueless the person “helping” you was? You’ve sat there at least once saying “I cannot believe they just don’t understand my problem.” Now think about how many times your customers have said this about you or your organization. Scary, isn’t it? I’m not only talking about customer service reps in call centers – I’m talking about anyone who interacts with a customer (salespeople, relationship managers, marketers, executives, etc.). Any one of those individuals can completely destroy a customer interaction by not connecting to the customer’s need. This disconnect occurs because the person providing the service comes at it from their own perspective rather than the customer’s. Why does this happen? Probably because your metrics are screwed up and you create incentives for bad behavior. Remember – Hobbes pointed out that man is inherently selfish. Your people will behave in a manner that maximizes their own well-being (cash, advancement, free time, etc.). But don’t despair. There’s a simple thing you can do to generate the behaviors that will have your customers rave about you: become a mind reader just like Karnak.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-08-24 06:08:002018-06-21 18:23:18Customer Service Isn't Hard - Just Be a Mind Reader
It’s my pleasure to bring Brian Ahearn, a colleague and friend of mine, to you today as a guest blogger. I hope you enjoy his perspectives. – Mike “An” authority vs “In” authority – it seems like a small distinction, a single vowel in front of the letter “n,” but it’s actually much more than that. My guess is every one of you has worked for someone you thought was not qualified to be the boss. Some of you might even say that person was an idiot. Let’s face it, life isn’t fair and victory doesn’t always go to those who deserve it. Neither do raises or promotions. As a result we see people in positions of authority who ought not to be there. Sometimes they’re decent people but just not the most competent for the job. Regardless, they’re in authority over you and it’s usually not the best situation. Now think back to other people who’ve impacted your life not because they were in a position of authority but rather because you viewed them as an authority. Who would you rather follow? The betting man in me believes you’d rather follow someone you view as an authority. The difference is positional vs. personal, and that’s a huge difference. If you have authority because of position and nothing else, don’t expect people to follow you if you lose the title. However, if you are viewed as an authority because of who you are, that follows you everywhere. Having a position can enhance your results but results are not necessarily dependent on the position. Who were authorities by virtue of who they were? How about Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa, to name just a few? None of them held office or had titles that made people follow them […]
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-08-20 06:26:002013-11-08 18:09:41Are You “An” Authority or “In” Authority? A Critical Differentiator in Persuasiveness
High-falootin’ strategery sounds awesome. Unfortunately the best strategic plan in the world can come crashing down if you don’t have tactics in place to support it. And these tactics have to occur on a daily basis. This is where, as a manager, you’re probably missing the boat. I know your intentions are good but your dysfunctional behaviors are the root of strategic destruction (how’s that for being provocative?). I’ve mentioned before that strategy is about saying “no” and I’m unwavering on that point. The organization has to know where it’s going and pursue a balanced set of initiatives to get there. It has to be a mix of building your core business so it can spin off the cash required to invest in new ventures. It’s about hitting the sweet spot on balancing between growing the core or expanding beyond it. Let’s assume you’re already doing those things.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-08-17 07:31:002018-06-21 18:20:31Please Don't - A Great Tactic For Successful Strategy
Your legal department is screwing up. Royally. You work hard to build relationships with other businesses. How many hours do you invest getting closer to partners, customers, and suppliers? And then that wonderful handshake happens and it’s time to hammer out the agreements. That’s when Larry the Litigator takes over. Larry’s a generally good guy. He’s a great corporate attorney. His main mission in life is to protect your organization from litigation. Sometimes he even generates real bottom-line value with the way he constructs contracts. The problem is, he’s gotten so aggressive in constructing legal agreements that he’s negatively impacting all those relationships you worked so hard to build. I’m not writing this to berate Larry – I’m writing it to make YOU aware of the impact Larry is having on your relationships. If you’re not careful, he’ll do things like I mention below. When he does, he can sour a relationship right from the start. Shame on you if you’ve let the following happen to your contracts:
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-08-10 05:45:002018-12-21 14:33:49You Call Them Business Partners But Your Contract Says Otherwise
If you could see me now, you’d crack up. I’m writing this post with my head nodding to the tune of Nelly blasting “Must Be The Money” in the background (and I must confess it’s semi-righteous). But Nelly had it wrong when it comes to attracting talent to your organization: it isn’t always the money. If you’re looking to attract the right kind of talent I’d argue the talent you attract that is only focused on the money is the worst kind of talent you can get (can I get a shout out for Mr. Vick?). Talent that focuses solely on money will be the first talent to depart when a better offer arrives. When that happens, you’ll incur another round of recruiting costs, training costs, and hiring costs. The good news in this economy for businesses large and small is it isn’t always the money. You can attract fantastic talent without having to drop bling (I’m saying that right, aren’t I?) on their resume when they walk in for their interview. Organizations of all sizes from Fortune 500’s to small entrepreneurial ventures can benefit both their hiring and their bottom line by nailing two aspects of attracting talent.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-08-03 05:05:002018-12-28 12:07:50Hey Nelly - Must Be The Money? Not When Attracting Talent
Growth is the lifeblood of your business. A leader’s job is to take that business to bigger and better places. The dilemma lies in how to get there. You’re often faced with a simple choice: keep growing your core or expand into new arenas. It’s a challenge of balance. By growing your core, you’re building what you’re already successful at. Customers have validated that product or service. It’s likely very profitable. And as you’ve heard me pontificate on before, strategy is inherently about saying “no.” On the flip side, your core can only get you so far. The ideas behind it might get stale or run their logical lifespan. Cool new opportunities and ideas spring up all the time. Many of those new opportunities are untested and unproven though therefore they’re riskier. Your job as a leader is to balance between strengthening and growing what you already do well while simultaneously finding new growth opportunities for your business. It’s challenging because you have resource constraints and can only invest so much time, effort, and money into building the core and expanding beyond it. You have to make this tradeoff effectively. This applies to you whether you’re a small business or a monolithic one. So how can you strike that balance?
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-07-27 05:14:002018-06-21 18:10:43The Leader's Balance Dilemma: Grow the Core or Expand Beyond It
Please welcome Belinda Gore to the blog. Today she shares some thoughts on how you can build your resilience to turmoil. Here’s Belinda: Resilience is a hot topic these days as people try to figure out how to bend with the winds of economic change without breaking. I’m reading articles that link resilience with positive self-image, courage and commitment, emotional maturity and integrity. The challenge seems to be what to do to develop resilience when yours is getting low. To start down the path of building your resilience and ability to deal with today’s frantic pace of change and stress, there are three practices you can start building immediately.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-07-22 11:31:002013-11-08 11:46:24Building Resilience So You Can Thrive in Turbulent Times
Every team has key players . They take us to new highs. Innovate constantly. Bring powerful personalities to the game every day (why do you think they called Gretzky “The Great One” huh?). At some point, though, they become such a huge asset that they’re a liability. If you’re not careful, you put all your proverbial eggs in their basket. Without some deliberate planning, you’re going to end up with a big scrambled mess. Why is reliance on these luminaries dangerous? Aren’t they the ones who got you there? Absolutely! However, over time their personality takes over the company or organization. The halo effect of that founder or “hi po” associate becomes a burning flame that, if and when it goes out, the whole organization could go dark. This dynamic happens in both large and small companies. In large companies, these are the rising stars we come to depend on and build teams around. In smaller ventures, they’re typically the founders. What happens though when these people quit, retire or move on to another organization? If you haven’t planned for this event, you’re in trouble. The good news is there are a few things you can do to avoid a calamity (That is such a cool word – I’m thrilled I got to use it today. Related: I’m a geek). How can you reduce these risks? Here goes:
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-07-20 07:38:002018-12-21 14:33:28How To Reduce The Risk of Reliance on Your Key Players