Leadership is about the Followers

I have recently had dealings with an organisation who trains people in a specific modality.

A friend of mine went along as my guest. They purchased a program from the training for a future training early in 2012. Total money upfront.

They then came upon a hardship where their car needed replacing anmd money was not as present as they would wish.

They asked if the money, less a discount, could be released back to them, to allow them to get to work and that they would arrange a payment program to ensure that they would be able to attend the training when it arrived.

The answer was no way. There was little compassion if any. No opportunity to talk to a decision maker, The gate keeper was brilliant.

The suggestion was to put the request in an email and it would be considered. But probably not acted on.

Now the issue has been resolved but there is a sour taste in the mouth. This business is seeing itself as caring for people but one could be forgiven for questioning that. Money seems to rate much higher than people.

I know a business has to survive. Making money is what it is all about. However, in my constant interaction with businesses in my role as a coach. I am constantly amazed that the ones who truly succeed are those who put people before profit.

My referral has put some $10000 worth of business their way. They will now loose that ongoing referral because i do not appreciate that style of business.

When a business looks after me, I will go out of my way to be loyal. In fact that is what businesses need to be nurturing. If the right thing is done by the client then there is a great chance that the loyal client will never be lost to that business.

Existing clients are worth holding onto.

It costs a large amount to market to gain new clients. One small act of generosity, (There was no money to lose, only the delay in receiving it), was all that was needed.

I had need to go to a conference at the George William Hotel in George St Brisbane. I was early so ordered a coffee. Went and sat down and started reading. 5 minutes later a waiter asked if I was being looked after. I told him I had ordered a coffee 5 minutes earlier. He acknowledged and left, he returned a few moments later with a coffee, apologised profusely, advised it was on the house because of the slowness in it being brought to me.

This was true service. I had not complained, however, there was a perception with the waiter that the organisation had been remiss in its service protocol. I thanked him and acknowledged his actions as being truly admirable.

I have since mentioned that place to a countless number of people because of its commitment to customer service.

I had opportunity to talk with two separate Used Car salespersons. Contrary to the conventional image of used car salespersons. These were exemplary. They went out of their way to be sure that the product they were selling was put in the best possible light. bending over backward to be sure that the customer was looked after. No they weren’t being Father Christmas or the Easter bunny. They were overdelivering.

My recommendation is that if the leader does not care about the followers, then the followers will lose interest in the Leader.

The Leaders main focus is not to be the Leader. It is to be the followers, clients, customers, staff, contractors.

The true leadership model is the one of serving, of caring for the followers.

I have experienced both styles where the Leaders cared and where the Leaders could not care less.

I know which vehicle I will be hitching my wagon too, and, if you haven’t guessed already, it will be with the one that cares.


Posted on July 25, 2011, in Business, Culture, honesty, leadership, Management, openness, vulnerability. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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