Leadership is Owning Failure

medium_6167125536A lapse of service with my internet provider spawned a rapid exchange of tweets. I even had to tweet via text messaging as I couldn’t get any decent internet connection. Promises from the supplier flowed like a flooded river. But like the debris to be found in such murky waters, I was over-enthusiastic in my hope for spring-quality water to quench my thirst for data.

Fast-forward to the following day… nothing! My broadband software indicates that I have a maximum speed of 2.14 kbps. And that is the bright side! Downloads were non-existent at 0.00 kbps. I was jammed on a narrow snail-track in a throaty Formula 1 racing car waiting to eat up some serious track. I had all the power but could not go anywhere!

With a lot more time in my hands than I had bargained for, my thoughts were naturally drawn to the lessons in this experience. It dawned on me that as a leader, I need to handle my CRAP in a better way. Before your mind wonders off in all directions, I mean that the following should be in my sights at all times: Customer, Relationships, Answers and being Proactive.

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso

Customer is king [TweetMe]. They are paying for the service in the first place. Not only are they keeping their end of the bargain, they have a right to what has been promised to them. As I lead, it may be out of service to humanity. But I always have to remember that those I influence have given me the permission to do so. I should hold that in high esteem and not short-change them. “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” ~ Thomas J. Watson.

Relationship is key [TweetMe]. I think that we forget who our real employers are. Your company may be holding your contract, but ultimately, it is the consumer or shareholder you should be more worried about. They are the source of the revenue that in part ends up in your pocket. If your service or product is poor, it affects your bottom line. Period!

Answers, not excuses, are what a customer wants to hear [TweetMe]. The reason I called customer care isn’t because I have much time in my hands. It is because there is a problem with a service or a product. In many cases, I wish that I am calling to appreciate exceptional service, but that’s not the case in majority of my calls. A 48-hour bullet point in your service level agreement will not cut it. A more appropriate response would be, “We have messed up, have no clue what is going on, but a team is already looking at it. I will personally follow this up and provide feedback in the next few hours.”

Proactive nature wins the day [TweetMe]. I must at all times position myself in a better way to ensure that the issue is captured well before it reaches the user. This is what sharp minds call being proactive. Remember, “All progress takes place outside your comfort zone,” says Michael John Bobak.

“To be successful in the long run, you need to do more than connect. You need to keep connecting, and you can do that only when you live what you communicate.” ~John C. Maxwell, Everyone Communicates Few Connect.

Are you a connector or need to connect better? Share your comments below.

photo credit: Jeffpro57 via photopin cc

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.