Sunday, July 26, 2009

Leadership at The Movies!

One of the favorite tools I like to use when presenting on Leadership is a movie. There are so many movies out there that have great Leadership principles embedded in them, so to speak. Maybe unknowingly, even.

I am preparing a presentation that I will do this week titled "What Got You Here...Won't Get You There". I will be using the clip below to chat about what it will take us to get from the 10-yard line to the "end zone". It is a clip from "Facing the Giants". If you have a few minutes, it is a good clip to watch.

Other movies I have used in the past include:
  • Dead Poet's Society - Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) - Make a Difference
  • Hoosiers - The Underdog and overcoming fear
  • Sister Act (Yes, Sister Act!) - Great parts for Identifying Strengths and Putting People in the Right Seats on the Bus
  • Miracle - Several great leadership stories in this movie, including Team before Individual, Standard Work, Passion
  • Who's on First - Communication skills!!

I know there are more that I have used and will use in the future. A couple questions for you as a leader:

  1. Is there a movie you have seen that has a great Leadership topic embedded in it?
  2. When you are watching a movie, are you 'watching' for that possible teaching moment you can use in the future?

Please share if you do. Also, if you have a few minutes, watch this clip below and let me know what Leadership Principles you see 'embedded' in it.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pocket change - Good Government

"A wise and frugal government which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
- Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Don't burn bridges...

I had a recent non-WOW experience with a service company that has been disappointing, at best:

1) Company 'X' installed a lawn in my customer's home in December 2008 (knew there was no way yard would come in and agreed then he would need to come back in the spring to finish the job)

2) I call back in Spring and hear- "Soonest I can come out is a month" - Thus, we miss another good planting season.

3) Comes over does 'some' work...then leaves without finishing...regular ploy by several building contractors

4) Proceeds to push 'blame' on the a) homeowner, b) builder, and c) the excavator as to why the lawn didn't come in

5) Completes work (although he says he does "the best he can" on a $700,000 house). So, the homeowner wasn't happy. They basically give up and do some of the work themselves

6) Bills the wrong people

7) Sends me a SECOND notice with no terms.

8) 30 days later, his accountant calls me and proceeds to tell me her side and is prepared to turn me over to collections without even taking a breath! Guess she didn't want to hear my story at all.

9) She gives me the amount and says she will place the bill in my mailbox the next day

10) Next day, she hands the bill to my wife at the door: "John knows what this is!"

11) When I review it, I find that she has added a 2% late charge. No mention of that on the phone...OR any previous correspondence (2nd notice invoice with no terms).

Now, I am not totally innocent in the matter. I could have paid the bill immediately even though there were no terms OR I could have ASKED what the terms were when I got the second notice.

However, I am:

1) the Realtor in the sub-division who represents the developer of 225 acres

2) the Realtor who represents three other builders in the sub-division who will need to put in more yards over the next 15 years. You see, this development will be 150 home sites and thus, need 150 lawns. Only 12 homes have been built thus far.

3) a builder building a speculative home. I will need a lawn there and I need some lawn work done on my home as well. I had asked this gentleman early on if he had any interest in working on these two areas and he said 'yes' but did not follow-up with any interest.

4) a resident of the sub-division, so I will get to meet each future owner when they come in at the pool or their new home

5) thus, a potential referral machine for this organization in the future.

What are the lessons to be learned?

Business, like life, is relationships...the rest is just details. People do business with people they LIKE.

Don't burn bridges - life is too short. You don't know who you may need in the future. (or, don't tell someone the amount of an invoice over the telephone and then when delivering the invoice, add on a fee you did not previously discuss!).

Take responsibility for your own 'stuff' - don't play the 'blamestorming game'

First, seek to understand...then to be understood (the accountant clearly went the opposite direction)

I am sure there are more.

So, now I must find a new lawn installer...Can you suggest someone who can make it a WOW experience?
And, I probably need to be better at seeking first to understand. Where in my business am I burning bridges?
Do you have a non-WOW experience you want to share?