A client and friend of mine sent me this article last week. He said, “I found this article interesting and supportive of customer relationships. A good blog topic — technology vs customer interaction and experience.” I agree.PCC Removes All Self-Checkout LanesIn Seattle, KIRO-TV News reports that cooperative PCC Community Markets is removing all self-checkout lanes from its stores. The company says that it stopped putting self-checkout in new stores three years ago. Heather Snavely, VP of marketing at PCC, says that the company looked “at the relationship our shoppers have with our cashiers and our staff. And what we realized was a kiosk doesn’t create community or connections. So we wanted to take those out so that when someone comes into our stores, they have a human connection with someone and an interaction that will make the experience more special.” Snavely also says that “removing the self-checkout machines won’t create any new jobs, they’ll just shuffle existing employees around. They’ll also build new express checkout lanes to replace the kiosks and keep the lines moving.” The story notes that at t...read more
Do you ever think much about the present moment, the NOW? I think we tend to take the present moment for granted…spending too much time in our heads thinking about the past or the future. But the reality is, all that we really have is the present moment, the NOW. And oddly enough, the present moment, the NOW is timeless. The NOW just is. I have a clock in my office. On the face of the clock, the numbers reflecting clock time (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12) are replaced with the word NOW. Because NOW is the only time we have.Eckhart Tolle, author the best-selling book, The Power of NOW writes… “The present moment has always been available to spiritual seekers, but as long as you are seeking you are not available to the present moment. Seeking implies that you are looking to the future for some answer, or for some achievement, spiritual or otherwise. Everybody is in the seeking mode, seeking to add something to who they are, whether it be money, relationships, possessions, knowledge, status – or spiritual attainment. Seeking means you need more time, more future, more of this or that. And there is nothing wrong with it. All that has its place in this world. To make money, to gather knowl...read more
I’ve always liked the phrase Holy Moly. It has a nice sound to it! Holy moly means “an exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Or, as in Wow! (the exclamation used by the comic book character Captain Marvel.) Holy moly! A whole quarter! Shazam!” Shazam is a pretty neat word too! Holy Moly, as an exclamation of surprise, dates back to at least 1892. Wow! Shazam!However, this blog isn’t about Holy Moly. And it isn’t about the blown pass interference call in the Saints Rams game that may have determined the outcome of that game. Or the dumb NFL overtime rule that doesn’t allow both teams an offensive possession, that did determine the outcome of the Patriots Chiefs game. Though I suppose, Holy moly is an appropriate term to describe both those football games! Shazam!No, this blog is about Ego! Holy moly! We have an ego due to social convention, but the fallacy we all make is that we treat this abstraction (ego) as if it were real and physical. But the ego is merely a composition of ideas and images about ourselves. This image is obviously no more us than the idea of a tree is a tree. Additionally, the image we carry about ourse...read more
“Herb Kelleher, the fun-loving and wickedly witty Founder, Chairman Emeritus, and former CEO of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co., died Thursday, January 3, 2019. He was 87.” —San Antonio Express-News Obituaries.Mr. Kelleher and his business philosophy have been an inspiration to me. He believed in the importance of operating a business from a foundation of purpose. He believed that a successful business benefited all stakeholders, not just shareholders. We strive to do the same thing. Herb Kelleher was a brilliant leader and innovator. Truly a legend in his lifetime.In his HBR article, The Legacy of Herb Kelleher, Cofounder of Southwest Airlines, author Bill Taylor wrote “…here’s what’s so vital for us to understand about what Herb Kelleher built — the essential piece of his legacy. To him, Southwest Airlines was never just a company. It was a cause. The goal was not just to keep fares low and fly to more cities. The goal, in his words, was to “democratize the skies” — to make it as easy, affordable, and flexible, for average Americans to travel as it had always been for business travelers and the affluent. That mission may seem quai...read more
Who you are becoming is more important than what you are achieving.
Many of us feel we are our job, possessions, achievements, and relationships. This is how we know ourselves. If we lose one of them, we feel we have lost part of ourselves. Somehow we have not identified with the basis of all life, which is constantly moving, changing, growing. In order to expand our sense of self it is necessary to stop fighting and resisting life, to become willing to let go.But, whether or not we want to let go, life itself decides for us. Change comes in its own time, both giving and taking things away. When this happens, many suffer greatly from this sense of loss. A usual response is to hold on tighter. By fighting change this way we are insisting that life meet our particular demands, fulfill our needs and expectations. A battle is set up. Much energy is squandered.So it’s important to learn to Let Go, not only in our personal life, but in our business life as well. And this is especially true for leaders of organizations. A long-time client sent me an article on Letting Go. Written by Scott Mabry, Letting-Go Leadership. His words are very meaningful to me and I read them often.Let go.This line of thin...read more
Perspective is a great personal quality. For daily living and for leaders. Too often we make decisions based on a perceived short-term benefit, when a long-term view may be a wiser approach. A short-term loss may create long-term gain.I’ve read that wisdom is perspective applied to any situation. Wisdom consist of being comfortable with certainty and uncertainty. The uncertainty is the hard part. Maybe uncertainty clouds our perspective?Perspective: the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship. A mental view or prospect.Happy New Years to all!
As 2018 draws to a close, I would like to thank our clients, business partners and vendors for your business and for your friendship. I’d like to thank each of you for the positive influence and impact you have had on my life and on my company. I am most grateful and appreciative of our relationships. I am honored to work with you. Thank you.To acknowledge the end of the year, it seems both fitting and proper to share this leadership blessing with you. I am inspired by Mr. Donohue’s words and read them often.For A LeaderJohn O’DonohueMay you have the grace and wisdomTo act kindly, learningTo distinguish between what isPersonal and what is not.May you be hospitable to criticism.May you never put yourself at the center of things.May you not act from arrogance but out of service.May you work on yourself,Building up and refining the ways of your mind.May those who work for you knowYou see and respect them.May you learn to cultivate the art of presenceIn order to engage with those who meet you.When someone fails or disappoints you,May the graciousness with which you engage<...read more
“To thine own self be true” writes William Shakespeare in Hamlet. “Let your conscience be your guide” the Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio and then asks Jiminy Cricket to serve as Pinocchio’s conscience.Integrity is an important and powerful quality. To be referred to as a person of integrity is the ultimate compliment. I have come to realize that my life experience is about the journey toward wholeness, and to seek wholeness, is to live from a place of integrity. Conscience is the alarm that goes off when integrity is at risk, when wholeness is splintered.“The meeting of our inner and outer lives is called integrity, and the health of our integrity often determines our inner strength and resilience in meeting the outer world. This is the purpose of integrity, to balance the outer forces of existence with the inner forces of spirit,” Mark Nepo, The Exquisite Risk. One of the most useful definitions of integrity comes from Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man: Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn’t change, even though the life that carries it may change.So living from integrity is when our actions, our outer life are in sync with our inner life; our heart, o...read more
I attended my sixth annual, 3 day leadership retreat in Seattle last week. Pretty much the same group of amazing leaders. It was an excellent experience. The best one for me to date. One of the topics that came up in discussion was fear. We all experience fear and it can get the best of us from time to time. When I returned home I did a little research on fear. Interesting. The following was written by Rachelle Williams.Fear. That pesky feeling that arises when you are at your most vulnerable. It roots itself deep within you, telling stories that seem so real that your body responds as if it is true. It can be such a visceral feeling that at times you’d rather acquiesce to than challenge it.It’s a given that fear is part of the human experience, but where does it come from and why does it sometimes dominate your life? How do some people navigate through the fear and come out the other end not only intact but even happier? Yes, it’s possible that the best things in life are on the other side of fear.Perhaps it’s not fear itself that you need to be afraid of, but how you carry the fear. Fear will always be a part of your life, but it doesn’t have to be in the way that you may think. What if you turn fe...read more
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I became a non-conformist, a maverick, and a Beatles fan, always questioning and challenging the status quo. I think that’s why the study of brands is so appealing to me. Branding is about connecting companies emotionally to their customers and helping them differentiate themselves in their markets. It’s about leading, not following. It’s about competing with yourself, making your company better, stronger, staying relevant in an ever-changing world and creating the best possible shopping EXPERIENCE for the customer.Take a look at a different organizational paradigm. Consider refocusing on the deep longings we have for community, meaning, dignity, purpose, and love in our organizational lives. Begin to look at the strong emotions of being human, rather than segmenting ourselves by believing that love doesn’t belong at work, or that feelings are irrelevant in an organization. Begin to see ourselves in much richer dimensions, to appreciate our wholeness, and hopefully, to design organizations that honor and make use of the great gift of who we humans are.In a word, it’s purpose. What is the underlying purpose of your organization?