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CHAPTER 8 Trust Thrives When Leaders Lead Naturally

Bell, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

1. You want very much for your immediate family members to be open and honest in their dealings with you. You are eager to have relationships that lack suspicion or mistrust. Would you:

A. Periodically sit down as a family and talk through thorny issues and conflicts, openly resolving all you can on the spot, or:

B. Hire a colleague to prepare an anonymous, written attitude survey he would administer to your family members and then come to dinner one evening to present the results, still protecting each family member’s anonymity.

2. Using a participative style, you frequently have encouraged your immediate family members to help you identify ways to make home management more efficient and effective. Without warning, your spouse is unemployed and you must make major cuts in your family budget. Do you:

A. Ask family members to help you solve the challenges of the economic crunch just like you have sought their input in better times, or

B. Encourage your oldest child to join the army early and send two of the kids off to live with a distant cousin several states away.

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SECRET #7: Reveal Your Character by Unveiling Your Courage

Bell, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Without hesitation, Davidson put the part into the hands of an employee and got the employee on the next plane to New Orleans, where he delivered the part and then stayed overnight before returning home.

Was Davidson driven by some official service guarantee or legal obligation? Nope. What was the cost to Southern Pipe & Supply? More than $1000. What possessed Davidson to take what any cost accountant would see as a foolish move? The answer lies not in the fanatical customer devotion and word-of-mouth marketing that occurred as a result of Davidson’s decision—those were the happy consequences.

The answer lies in his character.

“I have learned one thing that has made my business a success,” says Davidson. “You cannot live your values only during the good times. The real test is to live them during the bad times. Besides, the

$2.50 part incident was a good way to remind everyone in my shop about what is really important around here.”

The Colors of Character Revealed

“Character” is one of those vibrant words that can be used to paint many colorful word pictures. Webster’s really big dictionary has twentyeight definitions! The word is derived from the Greek word

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CHAPTER 14 Character Is Revealed If Leaders Have Soul

Bell, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

The Swamp Fox’s hotly pursued Marion’s Brigade frequently embarrassed the British Redcoats by using bold tactics that completely altered the way battles were traditionally fought. The British soldiers proceeded with orderly precision and methodical planning; Marion pitched battles from trees and bushes. The British wore bright red uniforms; Marion’s Brigade donned camouflage.

The Swamp Fox’s hit-and-run methods typically caught the British army completely off guard. Creatively engineered guerrilla tactics enabled Marion’s small, under-resourced unit to take on a well-supplied enemy who had many times more troops. In one decisive victory, Marion was outnumbered twenty to one, and his soldiers had only three bullets each and no artillery. It was guerrilla warfare at its finest. Magnetic service is like guerrilla warfare—unconventional, maverick, and out of the ordinary. It requires a leader like Francis Marion, with courage enough to take the road less traveled

Francis Marion Was Courageous

Magnetic service leaders are, like Francis Marion, courageous. Not the show-off, fearless kind of courageous, but rather the “I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country” kind. Their courage wells up from a devotion to duty rather than from desperation. Such courage is seen in leadership that has its source in a deep commitment to customers as well as an insatiable desire to serve.

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CHAPTER 10 Service Can Be Charismatic If Leaders Exhibit Boldness

Bell, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

“Charisma” refers to a spiritual gift or talent or to the personal magnetism associated with some celebrities and political leaders. It connotes a trait, something ingrained, not something that service providers can do. Service with charisma, on the other hand, has to do with a willingness to take bold action. It also has to do with trusting your employees enough to encourage boldness.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin in boldness,” wrote

German poet-philosopher Johann von Goethe. “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Scottish explorer W.H. Murray echoed the same sentiment when he wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. . . [T]he moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”

Charismatic service is countercultural, unexpected, and goes against the grain. It is sometimes cut of unfamiliar cloth. And while any specific act of charismatic service might not be that unconventional, it springs from a place that is. It is that place—that restless, unsettled place—that leaders must occupy if they are to model and encourage boldness. This is the habitat of ground-breaking pioneers and norm-breaking entrepreneurs. It is also where inventors and artists of all types reside.

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CHAPTER 9 Hopes Spring Forth When Leaders Foster Revelation

Bell, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

his or her expectations. Customers make such revelations only if the front-line service provider demonstrates respect, understanding, empathy, and confidence. These qualities are found in employees who feel good about who they are and what they do, and that “feel good” can be nurtured by leaders who create a setting of safety.

Magnetic service leaders, in turn, create a setting of safety precisely by embracing the concept we are talking about here: revelation. In other words, they open up, exposing themselves to full view. This, in turn, enables front-line employees to better exude to customers the message of “you can be open with me.” Bottom line: leader revelation produces employee safety; employee safety begets customer revelation.

Revelation also means “an eye-opener or a surprise.” When customers reveal their hopes and aspirations, the service provider’s assumptions or conjectures about the customer are erased. Knowing the customer’s needs and expectations gives the service provider a target for good customer service. Learning about the customer’s hopes and aspirations positions the service provider to deliver magnetic service. The effect? As a customer might say, “Fulfill my requirements and I will return to you; fulfill my dreams and I will be devoted to you.”

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