Image courtesy of istockphoto/danwilton
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about how a one-word question can change results. That question was “why?” I suggested that calling your customers and asking why they buy from you is a valuable practice.
As a leader, you should also ask this question. If people are following you only because of your title, then you aren’t a leader at all. Positional power isn’t very valuable. Do people follow you because you help them achieve goals? What value are you bringing to your team? Do you challenge others to help them rise to their full potential?
Understanding why people are listening to you is important. It can help magnify your potential as a leader.
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A crisis. A major problem. A disaster.
If it hasn’t happened to you, my guess is that it will. Most all of us will find a time in our careers when we are right in the middle of it.
Several times in my career, I’ve found myself in difficult situations. For me, I find it may be stressful, but also energizing at the same time. At least a crisis is a reason to take quick, decisive action because a lot is on the line.
What do you do when you find yourself in a really tough situation?
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That’s the number of consumers who switched to a competitor after a bad experience.
That’s the number of consumers who will pay more for exceptional customer service.
These statistics from Harris Interactive emphasize with numbers what we all know: customer service matters. We are more likely to stay with a company, to recommend a product, or to buy more services from companies who do it well. And, when we have a negative experience, social media can become an outlet for frustration.
I’m a believer that everyone in a company is in customer service. Decades ago, Peter Drucker said, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” Servicing the customer is central to success.
Ron Edmondson is quick to tell you that he is first and foremost a pastor. And, while that is true, he also has a strong online presence that uniquely qualifies him to talk about social media. His leadership blog is widely read, and he is active on Twitter and Facebook.
I met Ron online through Twitter, and we began discussing various leadership issues. Just north of Nashville Ron started one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. He recently moved to Kentucky to lead another church. Before he joined the ministry, Ron was a business owner. His experiences running a small business, starting and rapidly growing organizations, and leading online were all topics I wanted to ask him in person.
In this nine-minute interview, we discuss:
- The similarities and differences between leading a business and a church
- How he has grown a church through the use of technology and social media
- Why he was an early adopter of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging
- How he found his “blogging voice”
- Mistakes he made along the way
I especially appreciated Ron’s advice to leaders who want to start building an online presence:
Photo by Ruth Flickr on flickr.
Someone, who I will call Michael for this post, once told me, “If you want to know what Michael thinks, ask Michael.” Apparently Michael had seen this before. Many of the things he supposedly said were distorted when others repeated them. In some cases, his supposed conversation simply never happened. And this was a recurring event.
There are many reasons this can happen. It could be simple miscommunication or a mistake. It could be the sign of a manipulative person. It could also be a damaged culture, creating conversations to serve various political interests. The fact that it happens frequently is definitely a concern. The fact that others may run with it without verifying it is also a concern.
Yogi Berra once said, “I never said most of the things I said.”