Join me for the Customer Conundrum Webinar
I will have the pleasure of doing a webinar with Ray Stendall Tuesday March 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm ET. Our topic The Customer Conundrum Webinar will be related to my book, The Customer Conundrum and is about how to win customers and outsmart your competition. I invite you to join us; it’s free to register. Just click the image below or go to http://bit.ly/customerconundrumwebinar and sign up today! We look forward to seeing you there!
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I’ve always loved the final scene in the movie Patton. George C. Scott is walking in the Luxembourg countryside not far from his wartime headquarters. As he contemplates the Allied Forces victory over Germany, he utters the last four words of the film: “All glory is fleeting.”
There is a practical application of these words to our businesses and our personal lives. As we pursue the goals we have set out for our companies and ourselves, we sometimes become too focused on the end results. When the goal line is finally crossed, we are sometimes surprised at the emotional letdown we feel. It’s almost anticlimactic and depressing. The joy we hoped to experience just isn’t there.
What causes these letdowns? As George C. Scott so aptly said, “All glory is fleeting.” This means that the joy of victory, of accomplishment, never lasts very long. That leads me to ask an important question:
Could it be that in the process of achieving our goals, we too often focus on the wrong things?
In his book Joy In The Journey, Guy Rice Dowd emphasizes the fact that the real joy in life is in the journey and not in the destination. As sweet and as tempting as the destination may seem, the real meat of our accomplishments lies in the journey, for it is in the journey that we prepare ourselves and become the people we need to be to receive the reward when we reach our destination.
Stop and think for a moment about your last major life accomplishment. Take a blank piece of paper and write the goal and what you accomplished across the top of the page. Then take some time and write down all of the things you learned in the process of achieving your goal.
- What new skills did you acquire, or what existing skills did you sharpen?
- What new relationships did you develop and what old relationships were changed and strengthened?
- How was your sphere of influenced expanded?
- What are the ripple effects of your accomplishment? How will this change the lives of others as you continue to move forward?
- What in your journey is worth celebrating?
- Who in the achievement process deserves recognition?
- How does your review of your journey make you feel? How has it prepared you for the next steps in your life, your business, or your career?
Set your eyes for achieving your own joy in your life’s journey. As you learn to savor each day, you will be amazed at the richness it will add to your life, and how it will enable you to add beauty and wonder to those around you.
©by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (www.optechs.com). All rights reserved.
Dave Ramsey has coined an interesting phrase:
Leaders pull, managers push
Within the framework of your life and your business, are you a leader or a manager? You can figure this out by asking yourself a simple question:
Am I the type of person who leads by serving others, and by being out in front of the pack and encouraging them to come along for a wonderful ride?
Leaders cast a vision for the future and then serve others, helping them to catch that vision and then working to equip them with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual skills that they need to help in the accomplishment of the goals that lie ahead. They lead and draw (pull) others to their cause.
Managers, on the other hand, are at the back of the pack, constantly pushing people and struggling to overcome the stagnant or backward momentum of the group. They are only concerned with getting to the goal and are not focused on the one thing that will insure the attainment of the goal – their people.
If you really want to achieve unusual levels of success in your life and career, one of the key questions you can ask yourself is, “What kind of person do I really want to work for – a leader or a manager?” All of us want to work for leaders because they are the ones who make life, and work, fun. They are the ones who help build the kinds of businesses that provide job security and profitability. And they are the ones who are people of integrity and who care deeply about others.
If you want to start down the road to becoming a great leader, here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Get over yourself. There is no place for an ego in business. In the long run, selfish, self-centered people will ultimately fail. True leaders are among the most selfless people in the world.
- Fess up! If you’ve been a manager in the past and are truly committed to becoming a leader, come clean and admit your faults to your people. There is no shame in doing this because they already know all of your faults. The keys here are to commit to making the needed changes in your life, asking your people for their help, and then being will to listen to their feedback. If you do this, your people will help you and they will love you for embracing them and including them in the process.
- Communication with your team is critical for success. Be open with them about what’s going on in the business and what you are struggling with when it comes to surviving and growing your company. Include them in the problem-solving process and use their ideas for making and driving positive changes in your organization.
- Celebrate your wins. As your organization begins to move in the right direction, learn to celebrate the little victories. Give people credit for what they do and encourage them to keep the ideas coming. Note that celebrations don’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Something as simple as supplying coffee and bagels for morning break time can be a home run.
- Consider hiring a professional. If you are in a quandary about where to start but know something has to change, engage a professional coach/consultant to guide you and your people through the process of creating and executing a strategy to move you forward. If you hire the right person, the return on your investment will be many times the amount of money you will spend.
© 2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (www.optechs.com). All rights reserved.
Are you doing what you love to do? Do you wake up each morning with an attitude of gratitude and expectancy?
I posted these two questions on Twitter this morning as part of my daily interaction with the online universe. Part of what I try to do with many of my posts is to stimulate people’s thinking and help them to get engaged with their lives, their careers, and their businesses.
Have you ever thought about these two questions?
How about a few more questions, like:
• Would you say that you are generally a happy person?
• How do you think that your current attitudes are impacting your ability to live the life you’ve always dreamed of?
• Have you defined a worthy set of goals and are you pursuing them?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Have you made a conscious decision to be happy? If not, here are some ideas to help you move down the road to happiness:
1. Make a decision. Do something that may seem silly, like writing the words “BE HAPPY” on a piece of paper and taping it to your bathroom mirror, to serve as a daily reminder that you have decided – committed – to becoming a happy person.
2. Smile. As many times a day as you think of it, smile broadly and let out a laugh from your soul. As you do, you’ll find out that you can’t simultaneously smile and be negative.
3. Dream. Spend some time thinking about what really makes you joyful in life. What are the positive things that really get your “happy juices” flowing?
4. Create a purpose from your dreams. Once you’ve identified your dreams, get busy creating and executing plans to achieve them. We are always happiest when we are pursuing, working, and accomplishing worthwhile things with our lives.
Happiness is truly a decision, because it comes from within and not from other people or things.
©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (www.optechs.com). All rights reserved.
You work hard in your vegetable garden and harvest an abundance of fresh produce. You fill a bag full of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash and knock on your neighbor’s door to share the bounty of your harvest. As you hand her the gift from your garden, she asks if she can pay you something. You decline, but you also understand why she’s asking. If it’s not Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary, people are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a gift.
We have a human tendency to want to work for everything we get. That is sometimes accompanied by the feeling that what we don’t earn is sometimes undeserved, and that feeling keeps us from both giving and receiving in a way that blesses others.
Importance Of Giving And Receiving
Life is about graciously giving and receiving in all areas of our lives. We must all bless in order to both be a blessing, and receive blessings, in life. But when it comes to our businesses, what are the practical expressions of blessing others? Consider these as examples:
- Under-promise and over-deliver. Learn to employ the motto, “Always deliver more than you promise.”
- Add valuable content to social media. Follow the 80/20 rule. All of your social media content should follow the rule – 80% value added and 20% asking for business.
- Don’t nitpick the pennies. If you charge hourly fees, as I often do, be more concerned about doing what is right than getting paid for every minute you spend with your clients. Trust me – they know when you do, they appreciate it, and they will bless you with more business because of it.
- Be employee-centric. Developing a profitable business requires a customer-centric approach – and developing a customer-centric business requires an employee-centric approach. Don’t expect your employees to care about and for your customers until they know you care about them.
- Be customer-centric. Focus your business on blessing and delighting your customers. Always remember – people do business with those whom they know, like, and trust. Be known, be likeable, and be trustworthy.
How many more ideas can you and your team come up with?
©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com). All rights reserved.