Category: Career Success



Step 2. Live the Frontline Experience. Everyone in the organization, including senior management, should live the frontline experience, both as an employee and as a customer. Spending even a day fulfilling the role of an entry-level frontline associate will provide managers a much more intimate sense of how customer experience is delivered and what will make it as good as possible, and periodic undercover “customer visits” from management are also a must to ensure everything looks as good to the customer as it does to the employees.

Step 3. Smart Tasking. Smart Tasking clearly defines the critical tasks/processes that support the customer service offering and the deadlines by which they must be completed. The most important factor is completing the necessary tasks/processes without impeding the delivery of a customer service experience that shines through the darkest gloom of a recession. Smart Tasking creates a harmonized balance between completing the tasks/processes and delivering a World-Class customer service experience.

To effect Smart Tasking in your organization, simply keep a careful eye on the frontline tasks your employees perform, the order in which they prioritize them, and periodically review them to ensure that they are appropriate and add value to the customer experience. Actively involve the Frontline Employees in Smart Tasking and encourage them to speak up when they find themselves performing tasks that are inefficient, ineffective, or just plain unnecessary.

Whatever time you may “lose” in careful observation and review will more than pay for itself in higher levels of employee efficiency, customer satisfaction, and corporate profits.

Step 4. Create a What-If Arsenal. Inevitably, the frontline employees delivering your customer experience will come across unpredictable circumstances outside their immediate control, such as an out-of-stock product or on-site accident. When fastballs of everyday life are thrown at you and your organization, you need to have a strategy for hitting homeruns in unstable conditions. It’s called life, and the What-If Arsenal is a strategy for life success, regardless of how the economy is doing.

The What-If Arsenal toolbox should be filled with techniques, strategies and scenarios generated by the frontline employees who encounter them every day. Management should then help frontline employees put these ideas into action. The Arsenal constantly grows as the organization grows, and customers will feel confident returning knowing that whatever problems arise, they will be solved quickly!

Step 5. Make-It-Right Power. Once you have given your employees a What-If Arsenal, equip them with the Make-It-Right Power to put that arsenal into action. Make-It-Right Power puts the ability to deliver a world-class customer service experience in the hands of the people who are best able to deliver it: The employees who interact with the customers. It’s about empowering and positioning employees to be able to instantly solve customer problems and view them as opportunities to Make-It-Right now for the customer.

Even once a What-If Arsenal is in place, managers will not always be on hand to supervise employees in executing it. Make-It-Roght power means they don’t have to be.

Step 6. Focus the entire organization on customer service. The entire organization needs to be focused on providing a World-Class customer service experience. The quicker you solve the problem, the greater the opportunity for making the customer happy and keeping him or her coming back. Every program, strategy, and initiative should have an automatic space carved out for providing a World-Class customer service experience.

If the front line is not empowered or it does not have immediate access to someone who is empowered to provide an instant solution to the problem, the problem will remain with the customer longer and fester into something greater and cause him or her to be even more dissatisfied with the experience. And in an ultracompetitive environment for limited customer dollars, dissatisfaction is unacceptable!

Step 6.5 Just Make It Happen. This is a half-step simply meant to remind you that the first six steps do you no good unless you actively put them into practice today and then constantly follow up to ensure they remain in practice (and continue to improve) throughout your organization. It’s one thing to “commit” to fresh customer service, it’s another thing to roll up your sleeves and make it happen.

The cost? Whatever the market rate for elbow grease and determination is these days. Like so many of the most valuable things in life, there is no financial value you can put on them, but they’re worth more than anything you can put a price sticker on. And in a time of scarce resources, they are more precious than ever.





Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.

Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.


  1. Freshen Your Image. Another phrase that is overstated but contains a lot of wisdom is “image is everything.” Look in the mirror. Is your hair neatly cut in a current style, are you well-groomed with trimmed fingernails, white teeth and fresh breath? Is your posture straight with square shoulders? Is your clothing good quality with a proper fit? Are your shoes freshly shined? Do you carry a leather briefcase and hand out professionally produced resumes and business cards? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” do what it takes to change it to “yes,” pronto! Employers will decide whether or not they want to hire you within the first 30 seconds of the interview. Everything else will get you the interview, but the image you present as soon as you walk in the office will be the determining factor in whether you get the job.
  2. Freshen Your Health. Unemployment can be spiritually crushing. It can decimate your physical and mental well-being. Don’t let it. If you are not operating from a place of health, you will not have the intense energy, focus and vigor needed to support the fresh search for meaningful employment. Make sure you go to bed and wake up at a reasonable hour, exercise daily, avoid tobacco and narcotics and if you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Also eat well and stay mentally stimulated. Read a book instead of watching TV or surfing the Internet. Unemployment can lead to potentially stultifying “down time,” don’t let it get you down!
  3. Freshen Your Approach. It’s hard to see and hear yourself as others see and hear you, and it’s very rare to get honest feedback on your interview performance from a prospective employer. Therefore, it’s up to you to freshen your interview performance. Conduct a mock interview with yourself, dressing up as you would for a job interview, entering a room and sitting down as you would in an interview, and then answering a series of commonly asked questions. Use any one of the numerous digital devices that lets you make a video of yourself these days, and critically watch the results. Also have a trusted friend or professional contact conduct a mock interview and then give you honest, constructive feedback. An acquaintance who has your best interests at heart may be a better choice than a friend, who might be inclined to “spare your feelings.”

6.5 Freshen Your Outlook. Above all, stay positive in your day-to-day outlook. Looking for a job is tough and dispiriting work, and even the most determined job-seeker will have bad days where they may not follow all the fresh steps. But by making the effort to keep a fresh outlook, you will survive the occasional bad day and stay on track to end unemployment and find the job of your dreams.


healthEven as the job market has slowly been recovering, many highly intelligent, experienced and qualified people still find themselves unemployed. The job market is historically tight, companies are loathe to hire any employee they do not absolutely have to, and in many cases having skills and experience can leave a candidate out of consideration due to being “overqualified.”

However, even in this difficult environment, if you find yourself unemployed, you don’t have to stay that way. By taking a fresh approach to how you present and prepare yourself for your job search, you can find quality employment that will put you back on the path to exponential personal and professional success. Take the following 6.5 steps, with the .5 as an extra “half-step” to ensure maximum freshness.

  1. Freshen Your Skills. As mentioned above, companies that are skittish about a highly qualified candidate who will require too much money or leave as soon as something better comes along will sometimes reject them on the grounds of being “overqualified.” However, by focusing on developing a “fresh” set of skills that employers desperately need, rather than acquiring flashy or “impressive” skills that demand a high salary in theory but have few practical applications in reality, you can make yourself irresistible to a prospective employer. In today’s market, think about skills like programming, data analysis, and social media marketing.
  2. Freshen Your Network. The phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is overstated, but contains more than a kernel of truth. While you generally need to be qualified to get a job, there also are generally more qualified people than there are job openings. Thus employers usually prefer to narrow the field of candidates by selecting people that they know, or can be vouched for by someone they know. Maintaining an active and growing network of professional and personal contacts is absolutely vital. This means both keeping valuable relationships active and developing new relationships. Attend professional events and seminars, go to your high school, college and grad school reunions, and take full advantage of social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
  3. Freshen Your Education. This step is different than freshening your skills. Learning a new skill can often be accomplished on the job or through personal research, but freshening your education means obtaining credits, certificates and diplomas through accredited institutions. As opposed to focusing on a single skill area, freshening your education allows you to strengthen your knowledge in a whole field of expertise. As with skills, focus on educational areas that will give you knowledge and capabilities employers in your field of interest will find irresistible.


Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.


Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.


Don’t Forget that Presentation Counts!

After developing the substance of your personal brand and landing it, you need to nail, package and market it to your audience (employer, group, organization).

Answer these questions: Who am I? What do I want to be? How do I want to be perceived? Most of us don’t think of ourselves as “a package,” but all of us are packages (i.e., “she is so plain, don’t depend on him he will never deliver, he is just boring”). Here is the trick; you want to make sure that you control your packaging (the look, feel, and experience) and the message that illuminates from it.

Honestly, how many times have you bought something just because of the packaging, or paid more for something because it was presented in an exciting way? That’s the main reason we want to pay less for generic – the packaging is uniformly dull. When we see a package that shouts “Energy, Invigoration, Crispy, Clean, Colorful, Beautiful, Sophisticated, Expensive, “we are willing to pay more.

In essence, good packaging helps speed the purchasing decision and leads people to pay top dollars (and that’s what you want your packaging to do right?). Packaging is how you express your personality. So think about how you want to be perceived, what’ competitive edge you want your packaging to send.

Remember, the way you decide to package your unique brand should be evident in everything that you do and attach your name to, the way you walk, the way your talk, the way you dress, the content and appearance of your resume/cover letter, your award winning interview.

Also remember, the market can spot a phony a mile away! Your brand needs to reflect your core substance. Build your brand around your genuine strengths, not the ones you think the market wants to pay a lot of money for right now. You will always do better in the long run by being yourself, both in business and in life.

Here is a brief healthcare-related analogy to help illustrate exactly what “nailing the brand” means. Imagine you have been through the laborious and painstaking process of “getting in shape,” including efforts like watching your diet, regularly visiting the gym, scheduling appointments with a personal trainer, running every day, etc. Do you declare yourself 100% fit before checking your weight, cholesterol level, heart rate, body fat percentage, body mass index, and generally ensuring you have healthy appearance and demeanor?

Most fitness enthusiasts agree it would be foolish to skimp at the very end of a getting in shape process, since quitting when you may still have a few extra pounds to shed or are deficient in certain vitamins will set you up for years of subpar health to come. Your brand is like your physical shape; don’t slack off when you are almost done. Also remember that like your overall health and fitness, a brand needs constant maintenance and upkeep – “Nailing the brand” is really a continuing process!


Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.



Omit the Negative from Your Life and Career and feel the difference


To test how effectively you maintain brand health by omitting negativity, rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1-5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree. For this particular test, the lower the score, the better!


How Healthy Is Your Response to Negativity?

1. I find myself spending a lot of time worrying about negative things that were said about me.

2. I internalize 40% or more of the negative feedback that people say about me.

3. If you want to stop me dead in my tracks, just give me negative feedback.

4. I learn very little from negative feedback.

5. I don’t know how to extract the positive out of negative feedback and use it to strengthen myself.

6. I often times elect to do something fun and pleasurable even when I know I should be working on something that will bring me a greater degree of success.

6.5. I crumble very easily under pressure.


Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze your openness to negativity:

If you scored from 29 to 35, you are wide open. You are extremely sensitive to the opinions and judgments of others and are constantly second-guessing yourself for fear of doing something that will bring criticism. As long as you carry this self-defeating attitude, you will not be able to build a successful brand or achieve your aspirations. You need to start strengthening your resolve and following the steps to omitting negativity before you find your career on life support.

If you scored from 21 to 28, you are mostly open. You are not completely dominated by negativity in the way a wide open colleague is, and probably function in a fairly positive manner if you are not facing any outright negativity. But once negative people and influences appear, you quickly come under their sway. Negativity instinctively senses and pursues its most vulnerable targets, so you probably encounter it often.

If you scored from 14 to 20, you are halfway open. You have managed to remove yourself from the run-of-the-mill negativity that most of us encounter on a regular basis. You do not allow yourself to become snared or distracted by offhand comments and petty political maneuverings. serious negativity, the type that damages lives and ruins careers if left unchecked, can still find you. You have taken some good first steps, but do not assume you are now safe. You still have plenty of work to do.

If you scored from 9 to 13, you are slightly open. You are just barely open, making it extremely difficult for negativity to get through. But negativity can still force its way into your life by a determined adversary, indicating that you find it hard to resist occasionally glimpsing at negativity and letting it invade your thoughts. Like most things that are bad for us, negativity holds a peculiar attraction. Resist it – there are much better ways to spend your precious spare time than focusing on negativity!

If you scored a 7 or 8, you are completely closed, meaning you’re truly omitting negativity from your life and career. You have erected complete defenses against negativity and are impenetrable to the intrusion of negativity, unless you choose to open yourself to it. The lack of any type of involuntary openness indicates that you have learned to ignore the dangerous allure of negativity and instead put it completely out of your life. You have truly omitted negativity, bringing you one major step closer to building the best possible brand and achieving all of your aspirations.