You know, it’s not very often that we ‘love’ our businesses. Most of the time, it seems we push, push, push it to go harder-faster-bigger without taking time to show it some appreciation. The funny thing is, it’s that very thing - love and appreciation - that helps businesses to go harder-faster-bigger.
Would you appreciate a loyal customer who has been returning to your business, year after year, spending more than a total of $2500 with you at around $20 per visit? I’m guessing you would…I certainly would…but it occurred to me today how infrequently this actually happens. How often are customers actually appreciated?
When I was a teenager, my mom held the job as the regional sales manager for Del Monte foods. I remember marveling at her confidence in her job. ‘Trying’ to sell to someone was something I always thought to be extremely uncomfortable. By that time, I’d done some retail work and no matter how often I was asked to approach the customer, I felt like such a nuisance. Have you ever felt this way?
A good friend of mine…and amazing designer…Brian Springfield once said this statement to a colleague of ours and I found it so funny that I’ve shared it again and again in different settings. This time, it came to me when reading the popularized New York Times Op Ed piece from last week. The submission was written by an ex-employee of Goldman Sachs who, over his 12-year stint with the global financial firm, became disenchanted with the ‘modus operandi.’ Have you read it?
I had a friend once who worked half of her time in the United States and the other half in Shanghai. At one point, she was managing a large staff in China and interestingly, as an American, she had the most loyal staff out of the entire company. Some of her employees had worked for her for more than 15 years. When I asked about her secret, she told me that she’d managed, rewarded and promoted her employees based on their Chinese horoscope signs.
Last night, I went to a newly-formed entrepreneur’s group event and in a very engaging conversation, I shared a perspective on leadership. Ahhh, the concept of leadership. Yeah, yeah…we’ve all ‘heard’ the talks about whether you’re a leader or a follower (likely on the heels of “if your friends were jumping off a cliff…”), but I invite you to take a moment to really consider how you’re a leader.