Hello Everyone

I just returned from Istanbul where I spoke to a group of professionals from Proctor and Gamble. What an impressive group. My last post told you all about the bad service I got in September. This trip I had a lot of great service starting with the Hilton at Newark Airport. They were very effecient and gave great service. The airport transportation was excellent as well at the food in the hotel. I had really top notch experience at the Swissotel in Istanbul. What a great hotel. And finally my round trip on Delta was excellent as well as well as my final leg on Jet Blue. These experiences give me hope for the future of service around the world.

Today blog post is on FOCUS….

 You team will not be committed to you until they know you are committed to them.

Focus: “paying close attention to something.”  You can focus using a magnifying glass, a telescope, binoculars, or your brain!  

Schedule a two-hour walk of your business for one purpose only:  to focus on each and every person you come into contact with.

Ask them if there is anything YOU can do to help them get their jobs accomplished more effectively and efficiently.Ask them what one or two wishes they have for the business.   Schedule these walks often and make sure you follow up with what your employees tell you or they will quickly stop telling you how to fix the business. The more often they see you, the more comfortable they will become. If your follow-up is excellent they will then begin to trust you. Trust is what moves an organization from good to great….Focus matters….Lee

  1. Lee, you probably have enough sky miles to purchase another home! Your post on Focus reminded me of something I did a few weeks ago, mostly as a result of not just reading your book on Creating Magic but actually studying the material – specifically on inclusion. One of the departments I have accountability for (just recently) is supply management. As you know, I am an executive in a hospital and we have material handlers that will deliver “just in time” medical supplies to each floor. On this particular day, I took off my suit and tie and put on a polo shirt and kakis and worked right beside one of our handlers. I was able to hear feedback that her leader is not hearing, observing things that are easy fixes, simply things like providing the material handler a door stop to keep the door open as they put away supplies rather than using the supply cart to prop the door open. One of the things I observed that I see over and over again in all departments, is the department deciding for their customer what they want rather than asking the customer what can we do to best serve them. When I heard the material handler say “We bill the patient for a pack of bed mats but the nurse keeps taking just two of the mats at a time and putting the rest back, which is why we have an overstock.” Obviously they are not listening to the voice of their customer and it is over charging the patient and creating over stock. Doing a shift with this material handler enabled me to FOCUS on the operation and fix leader communication issues as well as simple things like a door stop.

  2. Lee…I’d like to suggest a slightly different version to your walk-around…

    Every so often, rather than engage your people, try to blend into the background and just watch your organization. There’s no need to don a disguise (ala CBS’s “Undercover Boss”), but put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see how your customers are really being treated.

    I suspect you will be amazed, both positively and negatively. Especially in larger organizations, senior leaders begin to assume that all is well if they haven’t heard anything to the contrary. As you indicated in your previous post, that may not always be the case. And unless a customer has the time and is motivated to tell senior leaders where the problems exist, they may simply stop being customers with management scratching their heads as to why business is declining.

    Doing this also gives you an opportunity to identify your star performers and those you want to groom for future challenges.

    In the end, it’s a bit like the definition many use for “integrity:” Doing the right thing even when nobody is watching…


  3. Lee,

    Good to hear you had some good service. Focus is an important thing in building relationships. Am consistently amazed by people who are answering phones, texting, emailing and generally doing other things while having a conversation. Being distracted kills relationships in addition to not hearing correctly because of it.

    Thanks again for calling this out.

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