Lie: The customer is always right.
Truth: The customer is always the customer.
In Outstanding! we included a chapter titled, Never Forget Who Pays the Bills. The story below is a perfect picture of that fundamental yet powerful—and sometimes still forgotten—principle.
From Matthew, in Dublin, Ohio …
I don’t like fake humility, do you? This anonymous quote says it well:
“Most public ‘humility’ is actually successfully disguised arrogance.”
And not always successfully disguised, eh? Like this author’s email to his/her list:
In 1973, just weeks into 10th grade, I came home and made this wise and prophetic (NOT!) statement to my mother:
“Mom, I’m quitting typing class. I’ll never need it.”
Forty years later, as I create this blog using only my middle fingers—can you say “clumsy, awkward, and slow”?—I will now share 7 additional amazingly dumb proclamations I’ve made:
An email from a reader of our QBQ! QuickNote blogs …
I just read your blog titled “Why I’ll Never Go Into the Woods Again!” You wrote, “Sometimes our fears hold us back from ‘climbing that mountain,’ ‘reaching the summit,’ and ‘being our best.’”
Prior to getting into my “fear” story, I should tell you that wherever I go, I carry your QBQ! book. A little tattered and torn now, but by reading a chapter each day, I am able to stay on track. I’ve learned that personal accountability is what I need to practice at work and at home.
My story is about a “fear” that just became part of my life in the last few weeks and how I am managing it.
Or maybe I should say fears.
Like any parent—and now grandparent—I do fear the danger our children face “out there” in the world, especially on the road. It’s not stifling, but I’ve expressed it often enough to our kids over the years (now ages 31, 29, 26, 24, 19, 17, and 16) as they’ve reached for the car keys, that they have all nicknamed our residence “WSH”:
Warm Safe Home.
Because, more than once, I’ve been known to say, “Don’t go out! Stay home! It’s safe and warm!”
So now they make fun of me.
On a much less serious note, but still terrifying to me, is this:
Choices. We hear all about them. We’re told motivational “fluff stuff” like, WE MAKE OUR CHOICES AND THEN OUR CHOICES MAKE US! We tell our teens: MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!!
All well and good. Just not very practical. And not specific enough to be doable.
As I began to lose weight—full story here—people would ask me what I was doing to burn calories and I’d say, “Walking.” Many would respond with, “But what are you doing to build muscle?” or “That’s it? Walking!?!”
I’d respond with, “Well, I figure if I’m walking around the block, I’m not on the couch watching ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ reruns.”
That’s when I realized the whole concept of choices comes down to this:
Engaging in—or selecting—a better action over a not-as-good action.
Said another way, if I am doing X then I cannot be doing Y.
Here are 21 #CHOICES anyone can make:
Our veterinarian is featured in the Outstanding! book in Chapter Twenty—“Be Flexible: Put People Before Policies”—as an example of not-so-great customer service. Unnamed, of course.
Unnamed because “Dr. D” is a nice guy and a terrific doctor for our pets. But the good doc needs to wear his other hat, though I fear he’s misplaced it.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER.
Let me be transparent regarding my veterinarian philosophy:
If you like Twitter, find us here, too: @ExcuseSleuth
This is a working blog. It’s not funny or cute. It’s just content that we all need to think about, talk about, and act upon.
So let’s get to work!
What level of morale exists in your organization today?
Choose an adjective:
Author, Ken Blanchard (and fellow Cornell University grad), speaks to how critical it is to have “raving fans.” Certainly, we all love to have some of those!
So I asked a guy who was raving about the QBQ! book’s message of personal accountability to tell me why he feels the way he does. Just doing research.
In response, Jerry Rogers, an outstanding leader to anyone who works with and for him at the Stapleton Mall Bass Pro store in Denver, Colorado, shared this:
“QBQ! is exactly what those who sincerely want to be better leaders, parents, and people need. The reason QBQ! fits so well at Bass Pro Shops is we sincerely want to be better at serving others. I cannot be an effective servant leader if I’m not willing to look in the mirror and acknowledge not only what I might be doing wrong, but what I can do to make it better. QBQ! speaks to exactly this and eliminates the victim mentality and blame that our society perpetuates. We all make choices and many of us at Bass Pro Shops have chosen to adopt QBQ! and its personal accountability message to help us improve our service levels every day!”
“I can sum up all our problems in a few words: ‘silos and butt-covering.’”
A good author doesn’t date stories or quotes in his books because doing so gives the reader or audience member a built-in objection. They might think, Hmm, old. Must not be relevant anymore.
In this case, though, knowing that an executive made the statement above to me in the mid 1990’s might actually help. You might think, Huh, I see nothing has changed!
That is, you could think that if you work for an organization …