February 25, 2008

My Blog Has Moved

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Sanborn @ 10:34 am

With the relaunch of www.marksanborn.com, I’ve decided to do all my blogging there. To read my latest thinking, click here.

February 20, 2008

39 Books

Filed under: Observations — Mark Sanborn @ 5:07 pm

My friend Michael Caruso is a guy full of good ideas. I was delighted to see my book You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader made his list of the 39 books he read in the past year. Check out his blog here.

Extraordinary Service

Filed under: Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 10:44 am

My friends at Impact Innovation sent some great stories of exceptional customer service. Here is one of my favorites:

Scenario: A family holiday celebrating special anniversaries and birthdays. !2 people went and had all been given personalized matching baseball caps and T-shirts as souvenirs before going.

On the last day of the holiday 8 of the party went on the Log Flume in Disneyland. One of the party was upset to lose his baseball cap which had blown off during the ride. With not much hope he went and reported it to their Info/Customer services office, saying that we were going home the next day but he left his name and address. Ten days later a dirty but otherwise undamaged hat arrived in England having been found in the filter.

February 19, 2008

A Blockbuster Service Failure

Filed under: Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 8:34 pm

My wife Darla rented two movies for our boys to watch. One was scratched and played erratically. When she returned the movies to our local Blockbuster in Highlands Ranch (the Broadway location), she asked for a credit on the scratched movie. “I can let you watch it again on a different DVD but that’s all I can do,” was the response.

My wife pointed out that they’d viewed the substandard DVD enough to get the gist of the movie and she’d like to see a manager. All the managers (how many does a local Blockbuster have?) were in a meeting.

“Okay,” Darla says, “then credit me for the inferior movie.” The employee said she couldn’t and would need to get a manager. Suddenly the “managers are in a meeting” was trumped and a young gal named “Emily” (who refused to share her last name) showed up.

Darla said she like a credit on the $4.49 movie. “Nope,” Emily responded, “I can’t.”

“Fine,” says Darla, “you just lost a customer.” Emily didn’t seem to care.

Emily and her team of customer service zeros thought once they stonewalled my wife and kids their troubles were over. They were wrong. I’m contacting Blockbuster corporate–not because of the trivial $4.49 rental but because of the grievous travesty of customer service–and will let you know how they respond.

February 18, 2008

Be Clear About What You Don’t Do

Filed under: Selling, Customer Service Strategy, Speaking and Communication — Mark Sanborn @ 9:12 am

Lately I’ve had some email correspondence with Impact Innovation, a small firm in the U.K. As I was surfing around their website to learn more about them and their services, I ran across a list of things they don’t do.

Comparison and contrast are effective communication tools. A list of what you don’t do can be very successful in focusing your audience more clearly on your service or product offering. It can save time and spotlight your differences and distinctives.

Not all the clients I work with are necessarily clear about their core strengths, what they do best. A starting point exercise would be to eliminate those things you either don’t do, don’t do well or don’t want to do. From there, search for the sweet spot of what you do best (and, ideally, enjoy doing).
Too often we succumb to the temptation to take money from clients we shouldn’t. We know we won’t be able to make them happy, or that it will be painful trying.

Be clear about what you do and do well, but be even clearer about what you don’t do.

February 16, 2008

An Industry Leader

Filed under: Leadership — Mark Sanborn @ 5:01 pm

My brother owns a brewpub in Pueblo, Colorado called Shamrock Brewing. He called me this morning with an interesting story about Boston Beer Company, the brewer of Sam Adams.

If you’re not really into beer, you probably don’t know that there has been a serious shortage of hops. Limited availability and rising prices have been difficult for all brewers, but especially smaller ones. In some instances smaller brewers stopped making beer.

Boston Beer decided it had some extra hops to make available to smaller brewers who really needed it, so founder Jim Koch offered up ten tons. And they’re selling the much needed hops at their cost, not the elevated prices hops are currently commanding.

You can read more at the Sam Adams website about this generous hops sharing program.

My brother is greatly impressed and so am I. There are many ways to define “industry leadership.” In my opinion, one of the best measures is being willing to help smaller players and contribute to the improvement of the industry as a whole. That makes Boston Beer an industry leader.

February 12, 2008

You Don’t Need a Title Leadership Training Available Now

Filed under: Non-titled Leaders, Leadership, Success, Leadership Lessons — Sanborn & Associates @ 6:40 pm

You Don't Need a Title Leadership TrainingWe’re excited to offer anybody who leads, or who desires to lead, regardless of title a new DVD training curriculum based on Mark’s best selling, You Don’t Need a Title To Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference.

Mark’s impactful new leadership training program begins with the story behind the title of a woman who sought to make a difference, not gain a title and consequently had enormous impact on her company, colleagues (and everybody who’s bought the book!). This concise curriculum will teach you and your teams that anyone can be a leader on the job and in life by embracing the qualities that genuine leaders share:

  • Thinking about what you want to accomplish before beginning a project
  • Caring about and listening to others
  • Focusing on the success of those around you rather than on individual achievements
  • Looking for ways to encourage the contributions of everyone around you
  • Drawing on the power of shared values

You Don’t Need a Title Leadership training takes you beyond simple authority and shows you how to achieve true power with people (leadership) as opposed to merely having power over people (title). The idea of an Army of Lions led by a Lion is a central theme of Mark’s speaking and writing. Imagine that kind of power and purpose in your organization!

The You Don’t Need a Title To Be a Leader DVD Training Curriculum is now available through Mark Sanborn’s Store at Mark’s main web site. By the way, in addition to many fine products for sale at that site, Mark also has a number of downloadable free leadership resources and a wealth of other articles, archived ezines and just great content in general that will help aspiring and experienced leaders alike, lead better.

By the way, if you want to know what kind of impact You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader can have on training up your leaders, read this case study from the VP of Human Development for a $200 million medical equipment and services company.

February 5, 2008

New Website and New Blog

Filed under: Observations — Mark Sanborn @ 11:05 am

We’ve relaunched www.marksanborn.com and hope you’ll visit. There is a new design and a vastly expanded list of resources available.

I will also be blogging from that site as well. Click here.

Book Statistics

Filed under: Observations — Mark Sanborn @ 10:07 am

My friend Dan Poynter at Para Publishing has compiled an amazing array of statistics about books and publishing. Find it here.

February 3, 2008

One Remarkable Thing

Filed under: Success, Difference Makers — Mark Sanborn @ 11:10 am

What one thing this week will you do remarkably well?

The important things we do at work and at home should be done well. The unimportant and necessary should be done well enough. Some things merit a remarkable performance.

My next book The Encore Effect: How to Give a Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do will be released in September of this year. The manuscript is already finished.

As my publisher and I debated subtitles, one idea was How to Give a Remarkable Performance in Everything You Do. I was opposed for two reasons: not everything requires a remarkable performance and we aren’t capable of being remarkable at everything we do.

A key to remarkable performance is in knowing both what deserves that extra effort and what things you are passionate about that makes you want to be remarkable at doing them.

If the week ahead holds nothing that either doesn’t deserve a remarkable performance and/or you aren’t particularly motivated to at least attempt at doing remarkably…

…then you better replan your week.

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