Last week, I asked you to walk in the shoes of your Customers for a minute — and closed by asking you four questions with easy answers … but without helping you get to those answers. This week, I will close the loop by helping you lead in a way that creates closer, stronger relationships between your team and your Customers (whether they are internal or external). What we are really talking about is moving from having Customers to creating partnerships. Here are four ways to move in that important (and profitable) direction.
Remarkable Leadership with Kevin
Chief Potential Officer
The Kevin Eikenberry Group
Kevin Eikenberry is a world renowned leadership expert, a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach, leader, learner, husband and father (not necessarily in that order). He is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company that has been helping organizations, teams and individuals reach their potential since 1993. Kevin’s specialties include leadership, teams and teamwork, organizational culture, facilitating change, organizational learning and more. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, small firms, universities, government agencies, hospitals, and more. His client list includes the American Red Cross, A & W Canada, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, John Deere, Purdue University, Sears Canada, Shell, Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Mint, Verizon and many more.
Kevin writes two email-based publications: Unleashing Your Remarkable Potential, a weekly publication read by more than 22,000 worldwide, to assist organizations and individuals in turning their potential into desired results; and Leadership Updates, sent several times each week. In addition, his Leadership and Learning Blog has been recognized on several occasions as one of the best leadership blogs in the world.
Let’s say you decided to start a business (I know, some of you have, stay with me). There are lots of things to think about — marketing, sales, production, financials and LOTS more. But regardless of what type of business you are in, you can’t do it alone. You will have suppliers — from insurance to … well, everything. And in your business, since you have so many things to do, wouldn’t it be nice if some of those pieces were easier to manage? Most people look to solve that through strategic and effective hiring, which is a great idea. You bring in a rock star marketing team, a top financial mind, etc. to help you grow the business and make your life easier.
So you are a leader and a coach — and you need to give someone some feedback. Most people would focus on getting their facts together and thinking about how they are going to give feedback. That is fine preparation, but it is only half of what you should do, based on what I call the biggest secret when giving feedback.
We as leaders make a big mistake sometimes, and when we fall prey to this mistake it spreads throughout our organization. I’m going to tell you what this mistake is, why it happens and how to fix it, in less than 400 words. Are you ready?
Yes, there are many times when coaching needs to be a formal sit down, with clear expectations, and planning. But effective coaching can also be a clear, quick conversation that is heard, understood and acted on.
I’m writing this on December 19th, and I believe the only way to prepare for your most successful next year starts now. Don’t worry — the lessons I’m suggesting will apply at any time; my point is you can’t expect a few minutes spent before the ball drops in Times Square (or you leave the office for the year) to set the start for your best year ever.
Perhaps the most viral video on YouTube this week is a Santa Surprise put together by WestJet, a Canadian airline. I’d like to highlight a deeper and more lasting leadership lesson the video provides.
I don’t often (OK, basically never) write about politics or the political system, except to look for lessons we can learn from what our leaders are doing (or not doing). That’s where this piece will end, but first, a bit of a rant. Why can’t our Congress and our president get along? I mean, we have serious issues facing us as a nation and they just keep kicking issues further out on the calendar like a little boy kicks a dented can down the sidewalk.