Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Tips for New Employee Integration
Tips from Our School for Managers
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Third Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:
I am very pleased to introduce to you a new contributor to the MASET NEWS, Mr. Jim Bracher. I
have known Jim for well over ten years as a fellow consultant and a great person. Jim has spent
considerable amount of time spreading the word on leadership and integrity. Beginning in this
issue we will feature a Question and Answer on Integrity in every monthly issue of the MASET NEWS.
If you have a specific question concerning integrity in your personal life or your business please
send us the Question and we will have Jim address it for you.
Unfortunately there have been too many leaders in the United States in politics and business who
have crossed the line. I am sure the same issues exist in many other countries around the world.
It is time to refocus on integrity by each and every one of us. Please let me have your comments
and thoughts on this addition to our newsletter.
As mentioned above, Jim Bracher will be addressing Questions on Integrity in this and future issues.
Jim and his associate Dan Halloran have written an excellent book titled INTEGRITY MATTERS.
I have enclosed a picture of the cover and some of the endorsements of the book here (PDF).
INTEGRITY MATTERS provides insightful guidance on one of the most critical issues facing the
institutions that our world depends on - integrity. I strongly urge each of our readers to
purchase this book and read it. A link to Amazon has been included in the pdf for your use.
The first Question that Jim will address is "You write about integrity-centered leadership. What is your position on war?" Jim holds no punches and addresses this question head on.
In the last couple of issues of the MASET NEWS we have covered a number of examples of poor customer service and the importance of ingraining a culture of "Customer Service" in every organization. Our second feature article written by the Editor in Chief of "Quality Digest", Dick Dusharme, presents an example in which an individual takes personal responsibility for satisfying the customer despite his boss's direct orders. It is a shame that this is such an isolated occurrence. It is very pleasant to see that some people really care.
In our continuing series on the Expert Performance System, Linda Stimac describes one of the classic symptoms of salespeople which she calls Attention Deficiency. Even though Linda concentrates on sales individuals, I have seen this same symptom with many leaders, managers and associates. Read about Attention Deficiency in the sales environment and how to eliminate it.
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
"Jeanne Neff's letter supports my belief, if you have only one tool in your management tool bag, Cross Functional Process Mapping should be that tool." - Retired COO Massachusetts
NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:
We have introduced a new section on our web site that will provide you links to a number of our partners as well as other sites that have valuable information that might be of interest to you. If you can suggest other sites that I should add please let me know.
Tips for New Employee Integration
Provided by Orientation Passport
TIP 9: How to Anticipate and Answer?
Give them "Silly Questions" currency they can give to people any time they have a
question they feel is silly or dumb. This helps ease the fear of asking questions. The person who receives the currency gets their name in a drawing for a reward.
This encourages employees to take time to answer the questions and rewards them for their efforts.
TIP 10: Celebrate the New Hire Joining Your Organization
Schedule a breakfast or lunch for new hires and the General Manager. Send out invitations to the
new hire encouraging them to take this opportunity to ask questions.
Visit the Products and Services describing the Orientation Passport
Tips from Our School for Managers
- by Andrew E. Schwartz
When entering into problem-solving activities, it is good to remember that it is unlikely that the
best solution will be found on the first attempt. Good problem-solving can be viewed as working
like a guidance system: The awareness of the problem is an indication of being "off course",
requiring a correction in direction. The exact form the correction is to take is what problem-
solving is aimed at deciding. But once the correction (the implemented solution) is made, it is
possible that, after evaluation, it will prove to be erroneous-perhaps even throwing you even more
off course than in the beginning. If this happens, the task then becomes to immediately compute
what new course will be effective. Several course corrections may be necessary before getting back
on track to where you want to go. Still, once the desired course is attained, careful monitoring is
required to avoid drifting off course again unknowingly. Viewing problem-solving in this realistic
manner can save a lot of frustration that comes from expecting it to always produce the right
Copyright A.E. Schwartz & Associates, all rights reserved
For more information: Charles.Loew@masetllc.com
ONE LINERS - "To make you think and/or smile"
- Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman -- already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet -- who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital. After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him. "I don't know," he said. "She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown!"
- Everyone should have a spouse, because there are a number of things that go wrong that one can't blame on the government.
FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
Integrity Matters Broadcast
By James F. Bracher
"War should be last resort to solve problems"
You write about integrity-centered leadership. What is your position on war?
A special friend of mine, a retired colonel, spent his 30-year career defending the United States, on five continents. He has seen of the horrors of war, up close and personal. He carries shrapnel in his body in several places and has been shot more times than he cares to remember. He even risked his own life to protect a colleague by smothering an exploding hand-grenade. He tells me war is the last resort because it is an awful way to resolve differences. Lives, families, dreams and legacies are destroyed when leaders declare war. My personal position on war is to pray for the safety of those who lay down their lives to protect and preserve the way of life my society has afforded me and those I love.
The integrity of life itself is placed at risk when war becomes the path forward, for any reason. Yet, the history of the United States of America was created from an armed conflict that challenged taxation without representation and oppressive "foreign" intervention. Without the American Revolution, there would not have been a United States emerging at the time of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Hamilton, in the last quarter of the 18th century. Was that war necessitated by integrity-centered leadership issues? Millions would say it was.
War is appropriate when it its purpose is to fight poverty, disease, intolerance, drunk driving, and irresponsible behaviors including violence, ignorance, corruption, and graffiti, killing in the name of religion and drug abuse. With more thinking time, there are probably other powerful battles that would make it onto my "sanctioned" integrity-centered wars list. War is the escalation of disagreement beyond the willingness of opposing forces to resolve differences peacefully. When positions are hardened, by either side, and conversations stop, which often means that relationships have broken down, conflict is inevitable. Individuals experience "war" everyday when they get fired, divorced, arrested or jailed. In global conflicts, soldiers and civilians are wounded and killed by rockets and bombs. Do integrity-centered leaders choose war? Yes.
When children are no longer singing, it may be time for war. Adults owe the next generation a wholesome place to be loved, nurtured and educated. Those responsible for young people must create and preserve an environment that is free from destructive tension, fear, hunger and homelessness. When that is not possible, then it may be time for actions to be taken to restore a safe-haven where children can again laugh and sing, play and learn. When the music of the children stops; when youth no longer have confidence that those around them care for them as people, not property, as the promise of the future, not as cheap slave-labor for today; then it may be time to demand changes, with little willingness to compromise. Integrity-centered leadership can choose to re-shape the future by enabling all the children to sing again. Neither integrity nor safety is free.
Published in Jim Bracher's Integrity Matters newspaper column on April 27, 2005
SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
It Only Takes One First Word
Published in Quality Digest - News Digest Section
By Dick Dusharme
One good customer-service experience can turn you around.
Very often in this space (but mostly in my grouchy boss’s “Last Word” column) you read horror stories about poor customer service. It often takes only one or two bad experiences to make us never want to visit a business again – unless we really need to.
But as important as it is for business owners to recognize the customer-losing effect of poor service, it’s just as important to realize the flip side: A positive customer experience can turn around, or at least dramatically soften, the effect of a poor one.
I live in a relatively small city and if I need specialty computer supplies, I need to drive about 30 minutes to reach a store handling computers, peripherals and supplies. In the past, my experience at that store was rarely good. It usually took forever to find someone to help me, the clerks seemed bored and I once had a problem returning an item I had just purchased (the manager wasn’t happy that the manufacturer told me I should return the product to the store). So I put that store on my “do not visit” list and went anywhere else to avoid shopping there.
A couple of weeks ago, however, I needed a particular kind of paper for my Epson inkjet printer. The local Staples didn’t have it but I knew that CompUSA did. So I tightened my belt and headed over there.
I walked into the store, quickly located what I needed and headed over to the checkout stand. As usual, I picked the wrong line. It was the shortest at the time but the person in front of me was experiencing some complex problem that required the help of two clerks, the manager and, I think, a call to CompUSA CEO Larry Mondry.
In the meantime, the adjacent checker quickly rang up everyone in his line. He was just ringing up his last customer when the manager told him to take his lunch break.
The checker finished with his customer, but rather that take his break, he motioned me over.
“I’ll take you,” he said. “I see you’ve been standing there for a long time.”
So I darted over and dumped my two items onto the counter. “This will only take a minute, right? No need for you to wait,” he said with a smile.
“Bob, you gotta take your lunch,” his boss repeated.
“OK, right after this guy; he’s been waiting for awhile,” Bob called over his shoulder. I thought I actually saw his eyes roll.
I declare, I actually felt all warm and fuzzy there for a second. Not only did Bob take the initiative to serve me when he didn’t have to, he did it after his boss had told him to do something else. A man after my own heart!
Two events actually happened there. The first was that Bob was aware of what was going on at a check stand other than his. The second was that the environment was such that he felt comfortable ignoring his boss’s order to take lunch in order to do something more important . . . serve me.
Did all this suddenly make me love CompUSA? Not completely, no. However, it did soften my view and make me more willing to go back.
It only takes one.
Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally appeared in Quality Digest, June 2005, p. 4.
RxSales: An Expert Performance SystemTM
Oil and Water, Sales and Multi-tasking
By Linda Stimac, Author, RxSales: An Expert Performance SystemTM
Today Jim Kinney is the president and managing broker of Chicago’s preeminent real estate brokerage, Rubloff Inc., with seven offices and 225 agents who average $7.1 million each in sales. But Jim remembers the day he knew it was time to hang up his agent gear and accept the call of sales leadership.
“I was sitting with a prospective buyer, nodding my head as he talked, smiling at all the right moments,” he told me. “But I was actually thinking about my upcoming vacation. Suddenly I was capitulated back into the present, and I realized that I had not heard what my prospective buyer had said for – how long? I had no idea.”
Jim Kinney explains a classic symptom of salespeople who suffer from Attention Deficiency. It is the bane of seasoned professionals. They have a command of their subject and extensive experience with similar conversations. It is easy to perform several tasks at once – plan ahead, think about other things, and listen (well, sort of).
A more commonly known condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), makes it difficult for children and adults to focus, organize, and finish tasks. Treatment includes medication, counseling, and, in some cases, behavioral therapy. While the exact cause is not clear, researchers have found that ADD tends to run in families, so a genetic factor is likely.
In the RxSales Expert Performance System, we examine sales professionals for signs of a disorder that is specific to their profession. Instead of a genetic cause, research shows that Attention Deficiency in sales is often linked to length of time in the business. It is people, not tasks that do not receive the attention they deserve. And the results can be devastating. Sales professionals pay a high price to engage in a behavior that the rest of our society condones: multi-tasking. They often miss the most important thing that the potential client says – the buying signal. While Jim was mentally landing in Jamaica, did his prospective buyer say The One Thing that would cinch the sale?
Lack of attention is one symptom. Another is impulsivity, defined as “acting before thinking.” This happens when the sales professional is taken off guard and loses control temporarily. A potential client says something or does something that has the effect of a curve ball in baseball or a tough shot in tennis. Every sales professional has a different list of tough shots. One says, “Oh, I hate it when prospects say ‘All right, show me what you’ve got,’ and I feel like I must perform on cue, like a wind up toy.” Another says, “I get annoyed when people take phone calls or other interruptions when I have an appointment with them.”
Despite the nature of the tough shot, a salesperson’s response is often impulsive and ineffective. Sudden moves are common for sales professionals whose style is alert, fast-paced, eager, and change oriented. However, in sales as in sports, sudden moves can lose the game.
For Attention Deficiency in sales, treatment involves behavioral conditioning. Part of the prescription lies in learning time-honored ways to achieve the state of concentration – or “one pointed-ness,” as the definition suggests. Many top producers’ results improve dramatically when they perfect the art of staying in the moment. Some realize that both their personal and professional lives have been running on automatic pilot. They get serious – Yoga classes, books and tapes help them regain focus and control. The second part of the prescription involves developing a response sequence that allows sales professionals to move through their tough shots and regain control of the process once it enters more comfortable territory.
Since Attention Deficiency often plagues the seasoned professionals in a sales organization, Jim Kinney was wise to authorize a Group Diagnosis of his agents. In the first group, we discovered that Attention Deficiency was a major problem. Fifty-percent of the agents showed some evidence of the condition and, for thirty-six percent of the group, Attention Deficiency had become a critical problem. Their leader, Jim Kinney, could have basked in the glow of a record year in 2004. He could have, but he didn’t. With an eye to the future and a track record of investing in advanced learning, Jim convened a group of agents for lunch one day and recommended elective “surgery” (The Clinic for Sales Professionals™) for this and several other early warning signs.
With proper treatment, sales professionals enjoy Attention Proficiency. They successfully perform their essential role - expert facilitator of decision-making. Anything that takes professionals or their prospects and clients off the natural path of decision-making is an obstacle. That is why Attention Deficiency takes a place, along with Decision Making Dysfunction and Enlarged Approval Gland, as a Killer Condition.
To learn more about RxSales: An Expert Performance SystemTM, visit the Guest section at www.rxsales.com or contact Charles Loew at Charles.Loew@masetllc.com
COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:
- Many more "Tips for New Employee Integration".
- Future tips from Our School for Managers will include topics in coaching, goal setting, time management, communication, delegation, and others.
- Many new ideas and concepts from "RxSales: An Expert Performance System"
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