Archive for significance

Delivering Happiness; Proof …the “Golden Rule” is Profitable !

Posted by on July 9, 2010 with 8 Comments

  

 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Does your business (do you) solve your customers’ unresolved problems? Does your team’s culture promote serving your internal and external customers to ultimately deliver happiness in their lives? Or, are you like the 90% of businesses out their hunkered down, focused on your numbers…driving costs out of your business…achieving your objectives…striving to hit your bottom line?

Businesses who passionately deliver happiness through solving their customers’ unresolved problems grow rapidly and are significantly more profitable than those with an inward focus.

 

Market leaders passionately serve their market’s needs and experience greater shareholder value than those inwardly focused.

 

If you read my blog, you know I enjoy reading. Some time ago one of my mentors said “leaders are readers” and this gave me a ravenous appetite to read and learn. I just finished: Delivering Happiness ;A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony  Hsieh the founder of Zappos. The book is a quick read as it is written in a conversational tone that makes its overall message and stories connect. What I enjoyed most is you cannot argue with Zappos success having just recently been acquired by Amazon for $ 1 billion.

We know the “Golden Rule” is something we should all live by….” Do onto others as you would have others do onto you”, however many business leaders are afraid of weaving this into the very culture of their businesses due to fear. The first fear usually comes from the CFO types out there…are you crazy, do you know how much that will cost us? (they are quickly won over when sales and profits grow exponentially)

Then there’s the hard-driving, what DISC would say is a “Driven” personality types, who says…serve my market? I want to drive results through my market.” (they can be convinced)

Lastly we also have the old school (market loser) mentality that says; I win you loose and the delivery of goods and services is about their personal needs and is not in any way connected to their customer’s needs or problems. They look at each day as a competition to sell their product or service, to overcome the buyer’s objections, and create a need for their product in their market. (they rarely change their beliefs and are often removed due to poor overall team performance)

The first two examples, the concerned CFO and the Driven leader can be convinced, however the business leader who is out for his own personal goals …well he or she will take a great deal of convincing and may never see the light based on my experience. The sad reality is this last type often looses what they are working so hard to create since they are focused on the wrong self-serving outcome.

I enjoyed this book as it truly captures the thoughts and emotions involved in the minds of entrepreneurs in the start-up phase of the business. Tony shares those bleeding edge of decision moments that brought me back to a number of personal experiences I have experienced. If you have launched a business or even a new product to some degree, you may have experienced;

Will we have enough cash?

 

Will that promised big order come in?

 

I now know what we need to do but can we truly afford to do it?

 

Will that big receivable we have been waiting on arrive in time for us to make payroll?

 

Should I continue to personally invest in this business or cut bait?

Can we find the funding we need in time?

 

I particularly enjoyed Tony’s account of the roadblocks and the corresponding emotions we all face in launching anything new. In the past 26 years of launching new products, new businesses, I cannot recall one that we did not encounter unforeseen roadblocks. What we must quickly do is identify the issue with unfiltered data, focus on the solution, the objective we plan to achieve, and take action.

Businesses that face roadblocks like the proverbial deer in the headlights get run over.

 

What stands out most is how Zappos is a current example of a business that intentionally has woven the golden rule through their culture and their brand. Far too many organizations launch with an unintentional disconnect between what they say in their mission and value statements and what they actually do. This disconnect is felt internally as well as in their market and in both cases violates trust.

Establishing trust is the most critical foundation in building win-win relationships with your internal and external customers.

 

Zappos intentionally set out to create their culture and clearly defined their culture in terms of 10 core values;

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and a Little weirdness
  4. Be adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do more with less
  9. Be passionate and Determined
  10. Be humble

 

Tony goes on to say; “many companies have core values, but they don’t really commit to them. They usually sound more like something you’d read in a press release….We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to.”

 

So how about your company….

 

Do you have core values? Can everyone on your team rattle them off…or just HR?

 

Are your core values intentionally woven into how you serve your market…or are there exceptions to the rule?

 

Have you intentionally set out to build trust with your internal and external customers?

 

Does your team authentically live the core values of your organization in all they do…or are their very actions breaking trust with your internal and external customers?

 

Do your team members have the freedom (and sense of safety) to boldly challenge practices not in align with your core values?….even if one of your senior leaders is violating them?

 

As I mentioned in a blog that discussed Delivering Happiness, this is not just a book…

 

Delivering Happiness is more than a business model …it’s a Movement

 

So I ask you again;

Is your business, (you), your team, delivering happiness to your internal and external customers?

What is the cost to your bottom line if one of your competitors intentionally sets out to serve their market when you continue your inward focus on your goals and your bottom line?

Market Leaders Don’t Just Serve Their Markets…They Create Movements; as Illustrated by The Ohio State University

Posted by on September 2, 2009 with 1 Comments

 

When you encounter a market leader you know it.

They walk, talk and act differently. Everything market leaders do is different; you know them by their actions more than what they say.

When the competitors are all focused on themselves and how to beat each other, and share why they are incrementally “better” … Market leaders create Movements.

If you are blessed to meet (work with) market leaders as I have, their mission is more of a quest, than a business plan. Their salespeople do not use “why our competition is bad selling”.

My son has a dream of returning to Ohio some day and attending The Ohio State University Law School, and he sent me the below video. (giving me time to figure out how to swing the finances)

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3Z52GKONPc&hl=en&fs=1&]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instantly I recognized a Market Leader.

Market leaders don’t just serve their markets, they create movements…..

 If a University can create a movement, why can’t you?

How about your organization…have you started any movements lately?

Are you on a Quest, or just trying to sell more and Hit Your Numbers?

How did the above video make you feel about The Ohio State University?

 What if you made your customers (and those you want to be customers) feel the same way about you?

 I hope you enjoy this as much as I did….and when my son earns admittance to this school I will find the funds. You see …market leaders are discerning about the customers they choose to serve and they command a higher price.

Their buyers (like me) will work hard and we “find the money” just to be associated with them.( maybe you)

                                                  GO BUCKS!

Brutus

Are You a Sales “Stallion” or an “Order Taking Gelding” Headed For the Glue Factory?

Posted by on August 9, 2009 with 1 Comments

 

When I wrote my post: Are you enabling your Sales Force or emasculating them? I discussed comments made by salespeople selling in today’s economic climate. In addition I shared other leader’s comments about their view of salespeople and my preference to hire sales Stallions over order taking geldings.

 

I had a couple of salespeople contact me concerned if they were sales Stallions or order taking geldings. So I decided to share some of the questions I asked them on the telephone in hopes it helps others determine where they fall. But before you answer these questions please understand that teams require all types of people with varying degrees of gifts and experience. If you are an order taker, then be the best order taker with the greatest accuracy to detail in your company…just do not call yourself a salesman nor expect to be paid like a sales stallion.

 

1. In the last 6 months have you identified a change in your buyer’s buying process that requires a new sales tool?

2. In the last 6 months, have you challenged a corporate norm that is self serving to your organization and not customer serving?

3. Would you describe your role as “fighting for your clients?”

4. In the last 3 months have you experienced conflict with key influencers in other departments in your organization in your efforts to better serve your clients?

5. Has an account thanked you for your quick follow up in the last month?

6. In the last 30 days have you taken a bold action to serve your client without seeking your manager’s permission?

7. Are you in the top 10% of performance to goal in your sales team?

8. Are your accounts in the top 20% of most profitable accounts for your organization?

9. In the past week have you presented your management clients needs for approval?

10. In the last 24 hours have you asked for a clients oder?

 

If you said “No” 2-3 times be careful as you are on the verge of becoming an order taking gelding.

 

If you said “No” 4-6 times, don’t look now but you have become an order taking gelding. If that is who you want to be, then be the best you can.

 

If you said “No” to 7 or more of the above questions not only have you become a order taking gelding, but you are headed for the glue factory if you do not change quickly.

 

Sales Stallions spend 2/3 of their time listening and understanding the needs of their clients. Stallions understand the needs of their clients and solve those needs with the products and or services they represent. They become internal champions who fight for the needs of their clients. Sales Stallions consistently produce profitable sales revenue. Sales stallions are experts in their client’s buying process. Sales stallions are in the top 10% of sales to quota performance.

How about your company….

 

How well does your organization embrace client needs?

 

Does your company welcome your fighting for the needs of your clients? Or do your actions politically hurt you?

 

Have you been told to “sell through your client’s objections” when you share your clients’ needs?

 

Are your companies ‘policies and procedures written to better serve your clients, or your own organization?

 

If you have challenged one of those; “how we do things around here” rules how was it received?

 

The role of salespeople today is to help guide clients to a sale. Salespeople must become internal advocates for their clients and help their buyers buy, versus selling them. If you are a stallion in line to become a gelding to survive in your organization, you need to ask yourself if you will be happy making that compromise for a company that is disconnected to the needs of its market.

It’s never too late to jump the fence before you get your… “Values”…. snipped.

Mentor Moment #6, Seek Significance Not Success

Posted by on July 29, 2009 with 0 Comments

 

Far too many leaders are chasing the brass ring of success and when they finally grasp it they realize how cold and shallow it truly is. The secret is to seek significance and success will come.

So what’s the difference?

Success

 

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

brass ring

3. a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that is successful: She was a great success on the talk show.

Significance

 

1. importance; consequence: the significance of the new treaty.
2. meaning; import: The familiar place had a new significance for her.
3. the quality of being significant or having a meaning: to give significance to dull chores.

 

If you have read my blog, you know I go to the Bible when I am trying to understand something, in Samuel we learn;

 

“Do not turn aside for then you would rather go after empty things, which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing?

 

I have helped many “successful” people over the years but those who sought out to be significant were the happiest. Success, and more importantly your definition of success may be a lonely empty thing once you achieve it. When I was very young, success was tied to money in the bank. Work hard, make money. Work harder make more money. I share how I feel today, (now sneaking up on 50 years old) in my post: What Jimmy Buffet and Bruce Cockburn can teach Marketers about Nailing a Persona? I also discuss how young managers, some soon to be leaders get it wrong when they feel they have to be a Prick –ly person to get ahead in this world.

 

Chasing the wrong goal turns you into someone you were not designed to be and leaves you feeling empty.( been there, done that…have the t-shirt)

 

How about you?

Are you still reaching for the brass ring of success?

Have you achieved success and you think I am full of it?

Are you on a quest for significance? If so tell me about it..