“Validate all goals against customer benefit”

Organizations exist to serve customers.  There are many things that must be done well in order to serve customers well, and there are also many things that we may think are the right things to do, but that can create internal noise that lessen our focus on the customer.   As we begin to formulate our plans, budgets, and goals, we must focus on the customer above all else.  Here are some examples and how they relate to serving the customer:

  • Goal:  Have all staff in a certain department obtain specific certifications; Customer Benefit:  Better service from professionals
  • Goal:  Maintain a customer retention rate of 98%; Customer Benefit: Timely follow-up and access to people how are here to serve
  • Goal:  Grow customer base by 20%; Customer Benefit:  Create a larger network of peers for existing customers, and also allows the the organization to gain more depth in regards to resources, which are then available to existing customers
  • Goal:  Implement a new CRM/Accounting System; Customer Benefit:  A more organized vendor will provide better service, and will be able to continue offering great value by increasing efficiency

Organizations start faltering when they lose sight of customers.   This can happen when goals are formed out of individual interest, rather than having a requirement to be customer benefit validated.   In preparing for the new year, may your goals be quantifiable, clear, and most importantly – Customer Focused.

This concept can also be applied personally.  Customers = Family, Friends, Community, and Ourselves (To lead well, we must take care of ourselves too).


“Our reaction is more important than the news”

When deciding how to react to new information, we must focus on what is in the best interest of our family, those we lead, and our ability to continue fostering a productive environment for others.  Leaders value productivity and growth, so as long as opportunity can still be found, growth will continue to be the focus.  Yes, the perceived level of opportunity may change, but there will always be opportunity if we do our job reacting as responsible leaders.