Tag Archives | Customer Service

Culture Leadership Charge – WOW Your Customers

What was your best vacation ever? For us, it was our family vacation in 1980 at the Lost Valley Ranch in Deckers, CO.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I share the secrets of this beautiful guest ranch’s service experience.

From the moment we arrived, everything the staff team did was focused on creating a relaxing and fulfilling experience for each guest. The western cabins, assigning horses to each guest’s comfort and experience, the amazing meals, variety of programs, and more – all were delivered by engaged, talented team members that loved working together . . . and loved serving guests.

Your team’s interactions with customers leave lasting impressions, as well. Are they as powerfully positive as those we experienced at Lost Valley? The only way to be certain is to experience your organization’s products and services as a customer, often. Ask customers for their impressions and their suggestions for making the experience less frustrating, more smooth, and more validating of their time.

It takes dedication and refinement to build a skilled, values-aligned team that consistently WOW’s your customers. Don’t leave your customer’s loyalty to chance – watch today’s video episode to learn more about how the Lost Valley Ranch did it so well.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube and Vimeo channels. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

View @scedmonds #Culture #Leadership Charge video series on @YouTube http://drtc.me/ytube & @Vimeo http://drtc.me/vimeo Click To Tweet

Photo © Adobe Stock – Drobot Dean. All rights reserved.



How well does your staff team work together to WOW your customers, daily? Do your team members feel valued, respected, and trusted to do their work as a team? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Cost of Waiting

Crossed fingers!A bit of a wait won’t hurt, will it?

With fingers crossed, you rely on luck and hope. Let’s say you’ve decided to defer getting your furnace repaired. “It’ll last another year,” you tell yourself.

It might last, and it might not. Getting it fixed now might cost money and inconvenience (workers in your home, the mess that is made, etc.). Waiting might mean no heat in the dead of winter – and no one available to fix it promptly.

We humans defer a lot of important things. Investing in our retirement. Changing the oil and filter in our car. Apologizing for a mistake. Losing weight. Exercising.

We when we put things off, we hope that things won’t get worse. We might even hope that things will “fix themselves,” without any change or intervention on our part.

That never happens. I never lost weight when I kept eating fatty foods and didn’t exercise!

Download-the-PDF

What happens when we wait? Logical consequences happen. Logical consequences are things that naturally occur in work and life. If you do (or don’t do) “X” then “Z” naturally occurs. There are good and bad logical consequences.

What is a logical consequence of deferred furnace replacement? You saved money but you froze a couple of nights. Logical consequences of an unhealthy diet? Diabetes, heart trouble, obesity, and worse.

One business issue that is too frequently deferred is dealing with a lousy culture. Business leaders reach out to me because they’ve read my book or my articles, listened to my podcast, or heard me speak. They know their business culture is unhealthy. They’ve tried a number of things but nothing changed. They know they need outside expertise to guide them to a safe, inspiring, productive culture.

My job is to educate leaders on my proven process. My approach outlines specific phases that business leaders must drive. They can’t delegate the responsibility for culture refinement to anyone else.

Most embrace this responsibility. They let me serve as a behind-the-scenes coach so they can define, live, and enjoy their desired culture. Engagement, service, and results grow.

I’m unable to inspire some leaders. One or two potential clients a year learn what’s required and say, “No, thanks.” Most decide to wait.

What are the logical consequences of allowing an unhealthy business culture to continue, unabated? Trust, respect, and dignity continue to erode – between leaders, team members, peers, and customers. Vital information is withheld. An “I win, you lose” environment means that money is left on the table; the few with the best information win, while many others fall short. Results are inconsistent.

Getting things done right in that unhealthy culture takes time, energy, and patience. It’s exhausting – not exhilarating.

Waiting to refine a bent – or broken – organizational culture allows the difficulties to continue, to deepen, to become even more entrenched.

That’s no way to run a business.

Our best bosses figured out ways to ensure our team environment was healthy, inspiring, safe, and productive. There is no reason for you to wait to fix yours.

How healthy is your business culture? What are the strongest features of your culture today – and which are the most frustrating for you? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © djoronimo – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Write It Down, then Act on It.

Closeup of writing hands in a rowI was shocked and appalled. The oft-quoted 1953 Yale Study of Goals was an urban legend. It never happened.

The mythical Yale study “proved” that people who write down their specific goals for the future are far more likely to be successful than those with unwritten goals or those with no formal goals at all.

For a rational thinker like me, that study was pure gold. It validated a systematic, formal approach to goal setting and goal accomplishment.

The only problem is that the study was never conducted. A 1996 Fast Company article completely debunked the Yale study.

And, a new day has dawned on the premise of that Yale study. Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University was intrigued enough by the concepts that she engaged in conducing the research herself.

Download-the-PDF

Dr. Matthews engaged 267 participants from around the globe in her study. Participants included a wide range of businesses, organizations, networks, ages, and backgrounds. Randomly assigned groups were given different activities for their workplace goals.

The group that performed best – 33 percent more successful in accomplishing their stated goals – did five things as part of the study. They formalized their goals in writing. They then assessed their goals on the degree of difficulty, importance, skills and resources available to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation, and their accountability for delivering on those goals.

Third, they drafted action commitments for each goal. Fourth, they shared their goals and action commitments with a friend. Finally, they sent that friend a weekly progress report throughout the four week study.

Dr. Matthews’ study proved that formalizing goals, creating a thorough plan for delivering on those goals, then engaging in accountability practices vastly increases goal accomplishment. The Yale study lives!

Goal accomplishment and delivering promised results (and profits, if you’re a for-profit organization) are certainly important in our businesses. Leaders are charged with inspiring team members to deliver results.

The challenge is that delivering results is exactly HALF the leader’s job.

The other half? Creating a safe, inspiring work culture. A culture that treats everyone in the organization with trust, respect, and dignity doesn’t happen by default – it only happens by design.

Just as Dr. Matthews’ study proved how to increase workplace goal accomplishment with a formal goal accountability system, my research proves how to increase workplace inspiration and respect with a formal values accountability system.

Leaders must make values as important as results. And they can’t just “tell” people to behave nicely. Without an integrated system, values don’t stand a chance up against dozens of metrics on performance dashboards throughout your business, watched by everyone weekly (or more frequently).

Just as with Dr. Matthews’ research, values accountability begins with leaders crafting a written statement of what values the company stands for and what actionable behaviors are required for people to model those values. Once values are defined in behavioral terms, leaders must model those behaviors in every interaction and invite everyone else in the organization to do the same.

My proven approach for this powerful combination of performance and values accountability is an organizational constitution. When leaders formalize their team’s present day purpose, values and behaviors, strategies and goals, then live them, coach them, and align all practices to them, amazing things happen. Engagement goes up by 40 percent. Customer service goes up by 40 percent.

And – just as you’d expect – results and profits go up by 35 percent. These gains consistently occur within 18 months of engaging in my culture refinement process.

By all means, focus on performance. And spend 50 percent of your time proactively creating values clarity and values alignment. Your team will thrive.

How well do your colleagues and teams deliver on their performance goals? Does your organization have formal values and behaviors? How do those values impact your day-to-day work environment? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © psphotography – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Leadership Development in 2016

Two Women Working At Computer In Contemporary OfficeMerriam-Webster declared “culture” the word of the year in 2014. We anxiously await the announcement of the 2015 word of the year. I’m hoping it’s “servant leadership.” (OK, that’s two words!)

With that in mind, here are my recommendations for leadership development in 2016.

For large companies, budgets have long since been formalized for the coming year. Many organizations invest in leadership training. If they haven’t already, HR team members are mapping out their company’s training curriculum right now.

For small businesses, they may have limited funds available to train leaders. There are a variety of solid leadership training programs available for individual leaders – at colleges, by chambers of commerce, in public workshops by training companies, and more.

Leadership training is a good thing, right? The number of hours leaders spend in development programs and the number of dollars spent on those programs are both easy to measure. Solid leadership development programs definitely build knowledge and awareness of effective leadership practices.

The problem is that participating in a training program doesn’t guarantee effective leadership behaviors are applied in daily interactions.

Though training expenditures and training hours are easily tracked, these aren’t the best metrics to use to gauge leader effectiveness.

For example, I’ve studied organizations that met development targets of 40-120 hours per leader annually. However, their leaders were not effective. They didn’t solve problems proactively. They didn’t delegate authority to talented, engaged team members. They mis-treated employees and customers. They didn’t consistently generate budgeted nets.

Yet those leaders kept their jobs. They were seen as “well-trained.”

In 2016, there are better metrics to monitor to ensure that your leadership development efforts result in effective leadership across your organization, whether it is a large multi-national company, a local neighborhood business, or anything in between.

This year, pay close attention to my “big three”: employee engagement, customer service, and results. Each of these is equally important! Most organizations measure, monitor, and reward only results. If leaders get those results in ways that erode engagement or service, so be it. The organization is getting exactly what they deserve – by focusing exclusively on results.

By measuring engagement and service as well, companies have a much clearer picture of the actual impact that their leaders are having on employees, customers, and the business.

By measuring engagement, service, and results, companies can celebrate those leaders that positively impact all three. They can easily identify leaders that fall short of positively impacting all three.

By all means, provide leadership development programs for your leaders. That’s 10 percent of the investment needed to have consistently effective leaders in your company. The other 90 percent is time and energy spent:

  • Regularly measuring every leader’s impact on engagement, service, and results,
  • Celebrating aligned behavior (positive impact on any of those big three), and
  • Re-directing mis-aligned behavior (eroding impact on any of those big three).

Don’t get hooked by the temptation to focus exclusively on the time or money spent on leadership development. It’s much more beneficial to invest time, energy, and mentoring in developing effective leaders and in crafting a safe, inspiring workplace culture, every day.

What is your organization’s philosophy on leadership development? To what extent does your company measure engagement, service, AND results to gauge leader effectiveness? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Monkey Business – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mean Bosses Suck.

Mean looking man in business office gritting teethLast week’s post and podcast examined the impact of mean people in our lives. This week, let’s discuss mean bosses.

When you face mean people in your family or community or workplace, you have three choices.

You can tolerate them by choosing to remain connected to them without proactively trying to change their behavior. You can insulate yourself from them by choosing to limit your exposure to them. Or, you can eliminate your exposure to these mean people by choosing to separate yourself from them. It will require time and energy on your part to ensure you never interact with those mean people but it may be worth it to you.

The stakes are bigger if you are a leader in your organization and find yourself engaged with mean bosses at work.

If you are a leader and these mean bosses are peers of yours or even direct reports of yours, the responsibility to address their behavior goes beyond personal sanity.

Now, it’s about the negative impact on the broader workplace team and even on your customers.

A recent New York Times article, No Time To Be Nice At Work, highlighted the negative impact that mean bosses have on engagement, service, and results.

Officevibe’s research found that employers spend USD$360 billion each year in health care costs as a result of bad bosses.

Mean bosses are bullies – and they bully others with remarkable frequency and intensity. The Workplace Bullying Institute’s 2014 survey established that 72 percent of US workers – 65 million of them – have been bullied, are currently being bullied, have witnessed bullying, or are aware of bullying in their organizations. 56 percent of all bullying in US workplaces is by bosses.

The worst news from this survey? 72 percent of employers do nothing to address this mean behavior. They believe “it doesn’t happen here” or “it’s a routine way of doing business” or “bullying is necessary to be competitive.”

What can leaders do with mean bosses in their workplace? Leaders have the same three choices available to address mean bosses.

They can tolerate them, with the resulting hits on engagement, service, and results. As noted, 72 percent of employers take this path.

They can insulate themselves from those mean bosses – with the same resulting hits on engagement, service, and results. Both toleration and insulation means the leaders are abdicating their responsibility to address mean bosses proactively.

The only appropriate choice is to eliminate mean boss behaviors by anyone in a position of authority in your workplace. This approach requires time and energy to make a stand: “Here is the behavior I have observed. It is inappropriate and must stop.”

This requires giving the mean bosses coaching to eliminate unwanted behaviors and to embrace desired behaviors. It requires giving them time to adapt their behaviors.

If, over the short haul, the mean bosses are unable to embrace desired behaviors, it requires setting them free – lovingly, kindly, and firmly helping them out of your organization.

Doing nothing only makes it worse. Doing nothing gives mean bosses tacit approval to continue behaving badly.

A safe, inspiring, productive workplace doesn’t happen by default – it happens only by design. Leaders, be intentional about workplace inspiration by crafting an organizational constitution that outlines performance standards and values expectations. Then, hold everyone accountable for results AND respectful behavior in every interaction.

What is your experience with mean bosses? Does your organization tolerate mean bosses? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Lane Erickson – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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