Taking Care of Unfinished Business

ChecklistHave you ever had one or two unchecked items on your “what I’m going to do some day” list?

And then everyone once in a while, the opportunity comes up to check off of as complete one of those items on the “unfinished business” list.

I have worked in the service position for over 25 years.  I started waiting on tables at a Boston Pizza, with the sole intent of being there only until I had put myself through university to get a real job.  It turned out, I loved the industry and have been there pretty much ever since, in a variety of roles. But the one role I hadn’t taken on before starting my own training business was general manager.

And then last month, the opportunity came up to manage a new, beautiful, trendy boutique hotel in Winnipeg and I knew that this was my chance to work with and lead a strong, committed service team. Today was day one and from the moment I walked into the Mere Hotel, I knew choosing to put my training and consulting business on hold was the right decision.

Therefore, Servicedge Training & Consulting is part of my past. However, I will be continuing to post on customer service, my book “Customer Service from the Inside Out” is going to print next week and I will still be taking on the occasional speaking opportunity.

Thank you for taking the journey with me so far.  I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

What’s your Leadership C.A.R.E. quotient?

The ability of service teams to consistently meet and exceed customer expectations is, in large part, dependent on the person leading the team. While each and every individual on the team is ultimately responsible for their personal commitment to ensuring they show up to work each and every day with a positive, customer focused “I am here for you” attitude, it’s the leader’s responsibility to create the climate that makes that attitude much easier to achieve.

When leaders have an “I am here for you” attitude for the people in their service teams, the likelihood of the people on their team owning their role in increases.  Productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction rates all improve.  Leaders that C.A.RE. understand that leadership is not a right; it is a gift given freely when people believe they are valued for who they are, not just what they can accomplish.

Leaders that C.A.R.E.:

Create Connections: Most of us want to part of something bigger than just us. We want to believe we are a contributor.  As the leader of a service team, find ways to create connections, internally and externally. When every person on your team understands how the gifts, talents and experience they contribute helps their team and the company they work for achieve success, a community is formed.  When accounting, sales and marketing recognize and respect individual and team responsibilities, accountabilities and contribution, communication and perhaps even camaraderie result.

In addition to creating connections internally, identify ways to create connections with the community.  Are there local causes you can support?  How can the people on your team become involved with these causes and the people that benefit from them?  Creating connections outside of work, within the community, provides your team members the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the community they live and work in and be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Are Authentic: People may obey a title, but they won’t become loyal to a title.  People don’t offer to stay a little later or take on another project because of a title.  People become loyal to and are willing to take on extra responsibilities (within reason, of course) for a person they like and trust.  Trust is based on authenticity. Leaders who refuse to admit weakness or uncertainty are not authentic.  Leaders who refuse to ask for help or for the opinion and input of others do not gain the same trust and loyalty as those who acknowledge they are not infallible.  Employees want to work for a human being, not a robot.

Recognize Relevance: Meaningful work and the recognition that what we do matters is important to most people.  The phrase “Because I told you so” does nothing to help understand why a role, task or responsibility matters.  When people understand why they are important and why what they do is important, a sense of purpose is created.  Every single person on your team is there for a reason.  Be sure they all know exactly what that reason is.

Exhibit Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is contagious. So is lack of enthusiasm.  If you want your team members to show up excited about the day, you need to show up excited about the day. Enjoy what you do and share that with others.

How do you show you C.A.R.E.?