The Other 5%

As a leader, how in tune are you with what I call "The Other 5%". To be totally honest, I didn't coin the phrase. It came about as a result of conversations with some of our IT Services clients . about recent experiences with our team. In both cases the clients were very happy overall with the service we provided, yet, there was a notable difference between what each shared as our conversation evolved and I felt that difference is "The Other 5%".

Conversation #1: The client had some new equipment installed and during the installation process there was an issue with setting up one of the devices in the office. The client shared that after spending a fair amount of time attempting to find the solution online the team member instructed the client that they would need to call the manufacturer themselves because we could not do that for them.

The Importance of Being A Team Player

I recently ran across this version of Aesop’s fable “The Four Oxen and the Lion” on a blog post by writer/columnist Charlie Scott and felt it speaks to a core value most companies have, or want to have. Being a “TEAM PLAYER”. I hope you find some small bit of inspiration from it. 4oxen-lionIn the days before civilization, out on the prairie there lived four oxen:  Frank, Harry, Skip and Greg. These oxen had learned over time that they were safer as a group. Whenever anything that looked dangerous approached, twitches from any one of the oxens’ ears was the signal for all of them to band together and take defensive positions. Their defense was elementary but effective. The four oxen would back their tails together with each ox facing outward. (This may have been the first recorded “I’ve got your back” teamwork.) This configuration allowed the oxen to see in all directions.

The Significance of Alignment

When was the last time you thought about the significance of alignment? It affects performance in so many ways. Our car drives straight and true when it is properly aligned. Doors open and close when they align with the frame as they should. Chiropractic promotes health benefits with proper alignment of the spine. I'm sure at least one or two other things that rely on alignment come to mind when you think about it. How about your business? In business, alignment is when we the entire team is moving shoulder-to-shoulder in the same direction, focused on the same thing, speaking in one voice. This is wholly different from what we typically picture when thinking about company alignment. It is horizontal alignment rather than the typical Top-Down, vertical alignment as many companies focus on.

The Cod and the Catfish

A little while back, a friend and mentor shared the lesson of the Cod and the Catfish with me. He said fisherman discovered that when cod are captured and put in a live well they become lethargic and die before the fishing boats return to shore. This makes the cod useless and uneatable. The fisherman then put catfish in the live well with the cod and they discovered something remarkable. The catfish poke, prod, nip and totally aggravate the cod so that upon return the cod are alive and well.

What’s Your Magic Eraser?

meraser01I recently read an on-line article by Steve Dorfman about customer experience titled “Would you invest a dollar in your business to make four thousand?” In the article, Steve shared an experience he had with a moving company he hired to move some extra furniture out of their home. He shared that they arrived on time, where polite, and did a careful job. Over the next couple of days, he discovered a number of places that needed to have scuff marks removed (a natural occurrence during moving furniture) and spent about 10 minutes with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser getting rid of the scuff-marks. The thought struck him of what the reaction might have been if the moving company, knowing that scuff-marks are a product of moving furniture, spent an extra 10 or 15 minutes scrubbing the walls. I would imagine it would be awesome.

How do we behave?

Cultivating Clarity

Ingredient #1: How do we behave?

I hope you took some time to reflect on "Why we exist" and gained some clarity on the reality that we exist simply because people need us. We have the unique opportunity to solve their problems and bring value to their lives. The value we bring is created through 5 key ingredients.