The Dilemma of Mandates

You might not be aware that the word manage comes from the Latin root manus, which means hand. Quick translation – managers handle things. On the other hand, the root of leadership means to go, guide, or travel. Leaders take people places. Quite a difference, even at the root level. Why do I mention this? [Read More]

Bigger… or Greater

I recently had the opportunity to hear a talk by Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants, and his latest endeavor, Finish Big.  Most of his comments were about lessons learned from his ongoing studies of small, but great companies. One of the common themes of these companies was that the desire to be great was [Read More]

Ruining the Customer Experience

I recently had my annual (and what should be totally unnecessary) confrontation with my local technology provider. Everything was going along fine and then suddenly my bill almost doubled. My call to discover why was answered somewhere thousands of miles away, and I was told that the special promotions applied to my account had expired. [Read More]

Live Your Values

Unless you have been living in a galaxy far, far away, you no doubt heard about and formed an opinion of the recent United Airlines situation, where they hauled a seated passenger off the plane, and as a result, left both him and their company reputation injured. Everyone, including the financial markets had their say [Read More]

Lessons From Chance Encounters

I had two interesting encounters last week that reminded me of a couple important lessons for leaders. Encounter one found me finishing up the paperwork for mailing a package at a UPS store. A woman came in and apparently was hoping to mail a rather large box while using her husband’s company account number. After [Read More]

Don’t Overlook The Feedback

Oh how easy it can be to miss a golden opportunity to get better. A few days back, I was a participant in a class at a YMCA, where the instructor was in the last stage of becoming certified to officially teach the class going forward. The person doing the certifying announced this to everyone, [Read More]

The Irony of Accountability

Not long ago, I was working with a senior team, in a session being held at a country club.  Most golf clubs try very hard to provide a top-notch client experience, and this one was no different. Our past experiences there have always been terrific. Breakfast was scheduled for 8:00, and everyone was going to fill [Read More]

An Unnecessary Sour Taste

The world would run a lot smoother if organizations were more willing to accept accountability and be a bit more empathetic . The setting was LAX, at 10:30 PM waiting on the red-eye back to Cincinnati. The gate was still showing a 10:47 departure time, but no information of any kind had been provided about [Read More]

Another Poor Example

The lengths companies will go to in order to mislead is baffling. My local phone company, Cincinnati Bell by name, is the latest culprit. Two years ago they heavily promoted a program to lock in your current rate for life. I thought this was an unusual offer, but I signed up. I was assured the [Read More]

Be Careful of Catchy Slogans

For some reason, I like to examine statements for their potential mixed messages. Corporate slogans or platitudes are examples which often get my attention. Two of my favorites are “the customer is always right” and “our associates are our most important asset.” They both sound positive and affirming, but unfortunately they are a bit deceptive [Read More]