Roy's Blog: June 2010

June 28, 2010

Leadership by serving around


Tom Peters has always been an advocate of MBWA as a tool for managers to promote Excellence in their organization.

I’m a fan of MBWA but I think the idea needs to be refreshed and more directly connected to the principle of Serving and Servant Leadership, hence my term Leadership by Serving Around (LBSA).

MBWA needs a purpose for it to be strategically effective. Its not about aimlessly wandering around chatting people up and listening to their issues. Rather its about exploring the nooks and cranny’s of the organization looking for an opportunity to SERVE people in ways that will enable the organization’s Strategic Game Plan to be executed. Furthermore I think we need to question whether the “Management” word should be retained given its connotations that fly in the face of the behaviors required in a SERVING leadership culture: control, momentum-based thinking, top-down and directive.

So what does LBSA look like?
> leaders wander with the objective of spotting a Serving Moment. An opportunity to SERVE someone. To help them in some way that will allow them to get on with their job more easily. Removing roadblocks. Bashing barriers. Destroying Dumb Rules. Enabling people to do what they know is required to do a good job.
> leaders allocate significant calendar time to this ritual. You can’t spot a Serving Moment if you are in your office. Get the hell out of it and do something strategic!
> Leaders serve well by receiving information, processing it and then acting on it. The process begins with REALLY LISTENING.
> INTERRUPTING is verboten. Give people time to tell their story. Allow them freedom to express their issues on their terms.
> ASKING QUESTIONS is the tool the leader uses to understand, to engage and to connect with the individual in the discussion. Questions “Rain Down” until the leader is satisfied they clearly understand the matter being raised by the employee.
> the specific question “How can I help?” is the theme of the conversation.

I want you to move beyond MBWA to Leadership by Serving Around. LBSA is a critical strategic act that leaders must perform. Strategy execution depends on it. Frontline success depends on it.

What else is more important?


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.28.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
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June 24, 2010

The frontline leader should “rule the charts”

The frontline leader position is THE most important position given the strategically critical role it plays carying out the strategic game plan of the organization.

When describing this position, consider the following labels….

> Barrier Basher
> Roadblock Destroyer
> Execution Maniac
> “One-And-Only” People Server
> Dumb-it-Down Fanatic
> Ultimate Cheerleader


> Praise Lavisher
> Celebration Host
> Recognizer and Rewarder of Dazzling Moments of Service
> Chief Custodian of The Customer Moment
> Relentless Advocate of the Frontline “on the inside”
> Customer “Secret” Gatherer
> Service Recovery Addict
> “Get-Me-The-Results”
> “SHE”. The fact is that women are generally better than men at the above!

Recruit individuals in the image of these Labels.

Hold them accountable to perform these responsibilities in a superlative manner.

Pay them for doing this stuff.

The result? Customer moments that will create fans and advocates for your business for Life.

Worth doing? You bet!

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.24.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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June 21, 2010

Unbelievable customer service boils down to seizing the moment

If your organization really is obsessed about customers, the following happens routinely because it is a fundamental part of your strategic game plan, but for most it’s not even on their radar.

I’m talking about the inclination and ability for someone (normally a Customer Server) in the organization to anticipate an opportunity - a Moment -  to do something UNUSUAL for a customer and do the thing that will dazzle them.

Give them something they don’t expect. Blow them away. Surprise them. WOW! them.



My son and his family recently vacationed with us in Maui and they took the opportunity to spend an evening in the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, comforted by the fact that the kids were in good hands with Gramma and Papa.

Knowing that I am an absolute service fanatic, he told me the story of what happened to him around the Ritz pool; he was obviously very impressed.

Apparently he was lying in his lounger struggling to adjust the back position of his chair and was startled when a pool attendant came up to him and said “Here, sir let me help you”, at which point the attendant adjusted the chair back to the precise position my son desired. My son said he did it cheerfully, with a gleam in his eye and an attitude that shouted out “I want to help you (no, I really do)!”.

A customer opportunity spotter in action! Not serendipity. Not a fluke. Not an isolated incident. This was an occurrence that I would bet is hammered into Ritz employees heads as an expected behavior. Look for every moment to serve a customer in a way that they DON’T EXPECT.

This is the essence of creating dazzling customer moments.

If you can surprise them and do something they don’t expect you will “take their breath away”. They will remember the moment and they will tell others about it.

They will take every opportunity to visit you again, and again, and again…..

So if your organization professes to provide great customer service, does your strategy include the customer opportunity spotting tactic?

Does it articulate this specific expectation of customer servers? Is it included in the server oerformance and compensation plan?

If not, your customer server journey has just begun.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.21.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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June 14, 2010

What’s your remarkable point of view?

It is critical that organizations declare their position in the market in simple, clear and compelling terms.

Seth Godin says “If you can’t describe your position in 8 words or less, you don’t have a position.”

I agree that a positioning statement is critical, but I think we need to be a little clearer in terms of the competitive element. I would amend Seth’s statement to read “If you can’t define your UNIQUE position…. “.

An 8-word positioning statement that DOESN’T deal with how you are DiFFERENT won’t have any impact at all.

Winning and survival demands that organizations create unique value differences between themselves and their competitors.

Failure to do so gives customers no compelling reason to do business with them as opposed to others with a predictable end result.

If you’re not DiFFERENT you’re dead (or soon be) reflects the ultimate price paid by the lack of a truly relevant and distinct value proposition.


I would like to offer up a simple, practical and proven method of:
> creating a positioning statement of distinctiveness, with
> a minimum number of words.

The ONLY Statement is a way to crystallize uniqueness - the “elevator speech of strategy”.

This claim is the ultimate manifestation of differentiation, a rallying cry for the organization and the guiding light for all marketing communications activity.

Complete the sentence: “We are the ONLY ones that…” and you have a positioning statement that works.

Examples of ONLY work?

I recently helped MUG Solutions of Vancouver BC create:
We provide the only permanent solution that prevents biohazard contaminants (such as used syringes) and all other debris from entering manholes.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.14.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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