Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Keep It Simple, Make It Fun, Make It Everyone

Please compare this recent article with the words of Jim Nordstom. Did the company become highly acclaimed as a benchmark for extraordinary service with the complexity of the approach to excellence outlined in The McKinsey Quarterly ?

Jim Nordstom said, "People will work hard when they are given the freedom to do the job the way they think it should be done, when they treat customers the way they like to be treated," observed Jim Nordstrom, the former copresident of Nordstrom. "When you take away their incentive and start giving them rules, boom, you've killed their creativity." (Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy,
The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company, reprint edition, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.)"

I have shopped at Nordstroms for decades. Well before that HR department arrived. In the early years every frontline employee was excellent. Every one, no exceptions. All departments were led and managed by the department mangers. They had total control of all human relations. Walking into a Nordstrom store was exciting because what you planned to purchase as well as who knew you would be there to help you.

I live across the street from tha Nordstrom Flagship store. I love Nordstoms. I have especially liked their great selection in shoes for my size 15 feet. But they lost their high level of enthusiasm, sincerity and energy as the years went by and they recieved the acclaim they deserve.

They still have a mission to be the best of the best, but it's never quite the same after a business becomes extraordinary. HR departments are well-meaning, but they often get in the way of leadership. And after a few years of buying into the latest agenda, cause, management system, campaign, or whatever, many frontline team managers lose their passion to lead a winner. They are no longer in it to win it.

I am not a fan of HR departments or anything else that can take control away from frontline team leaders.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Do these conferences actually create excellence?

I get a reminder of this Sales Leadership Conference in my in box about every three or four days. I truly hope these go well for the attendees. I hope something they learn gets passed on the the folks at lower levels and it actually improves their organizations and the experience of their employees and customers.

Another one,
Leadership Conference, just arrived this morning. It will, if it can deliever on the sales pitch, rapidly change organizations with cultures, systems, and new software that is going to really, finally, get a company up to speed in sales and service excellence.

The ads for these are exciting, but how often does reality come close to their claims of improvement? Do they lead to excellence? The testimonials rave about them, but why does it seem like the same people give testimonials year after year?

Speading the word on excellence is what I hope to do with this blog. It has one topic. How to become the best of the best as a frontline team leader. How to create teams that are among the best of the best. How to personally have the motivation, mindsets, and methods for getting everyone to love working together and contributing to the success (passion) of the organization.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Keep it Simple, Make it Fun, Make it Memorable

I live downtown Seattle two blocks from the Pike Place Market. Right under the sign, is the Pike Place Fish Market which has been the topic of a plethora of books about having fun on the job. Fish!, Fish! Tales, Fish! for Life, Fish Sticks, Catch!, and-one of the few books I recommend that frontline team leaders buy-When Fish Fly:Lessons for Creating a Vital Energized Workforce from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market.

Every day I see the crew in action. A daily show for their fans.

An entire team of memorable top achievers. None got their job through politics, favoritism, nepotism, or good ol' boy network. It's all about ability and making an impression that inspires people to remember, return, and recommend.

Hard working, smiling, energetic, excited, and enthusiastic employees making a challenging job an entertaining game, day after day, one by one.

Just Imagine an Entire Team of Top Achievers

It's been a long day of learning how not to do things with my new toy. (I'll save the good stuff until tomorrow.)

My business, and this blog, is about how to create an entire team of frontline achievers. (When my book is published, I'll expand that to any organization, but right now it's all about sales and customer service teams.)

This is the deal. A sales staff with ten top achievers-in a staff of ten-will generate more revenues than one with less than ten. A service staff with ten memorable top achievers-in a staff of ten-will generate more repeats, referrals, and revenues than a staff with less than ten.

If you understand that simple concept you are in a small group because most managers are comfortable with letting the principles of the 80/20 Rule determine their daily tasks-recruit, train, recruit, train-and using it as an excuse for not having an entire team of quality achievers.

That's what I do. Show people how to get everyone to buy into an exciting, enjoyable team building project focused on creating entire teams of top achievers and teams (businesses) that are among the best of the best, if not the best.

One location or one hundred, it's all about learning, teamwork, and achievement.

Welcome to Frontline Team Achievement

Welcome to my to Frontline Team Achievement. Please forgive me if I put up a number of posts that ramble on about who I am and how I plan to change the world, or at least the part of the world that wants to create great sales and customer service teams.

This blog hopes to get people excited about creating a great employment experience for their staff and improving their leadership skills so they can transform their staff into an extraordinary team. Or, if they need help doing it, get someone to help them.

The goal is an entire team of achievers who enjoy helping each other succeed and, in the process, provide an experience that inspires customers to remember, return, and recommend.