Read an Excerpt
This Book Is About Your Success
We can have one of three views in all relationships:
The view of me is a self-focused one that's all about getting you to do what I want you to do for me. The view of you can be a sub-servient one, where I indulge you to win and myself to lose. The view of us is a win-win one, where I first give you the value you want and then allow you to return the value I want.
- It's all about me.
- It's all about you.
- It's all about us.
The last is the paradoxical Integrity Service view one of mutual prosperity and abundance for everyone.
Yes, this book is about your success. It's about your life and your possibilities for enjoying more of the prosperity and abundance that await your quest.
Since you're reading this, I assume that you have a strong desire for greater success in all facets of your life in your career, your relationships, and your personal effectiveness. I'm trusting that you're serious about your future hopes and dreams coming true.
I'll share with you time-honored principles that will surely lead you into ever-increasing levels of personal growth and goal achievement. More than 1.5 million people have participated in my personal growth courses in sixty-five nations, and what I'm offering you now is what has worked so well for them.
At this very moment, it's the level of your desire for life's richness that will determine the results you enjoy from reading these chapters.
It's not enough to simply read this book. The book must be experienced. I'll continually challenge you to spend whatever time you need on each chapter practicing the suggestions that I'll share with you.
With a sincere desire plus application, you'll soon begin to enjoy expanded success on and off your job.
That's my promise to you.
Why Do You Work?
Why do you do what you do? Which of the following career views is yours?
- "It's spending eight hours at my job."
- "It's doing a good job."
- "It's creating value for internal and external customers."
Each of these career views results from a choice you've made. This choice predetermines your job satisfaction, compensation, and success level. The cause, your career choice, is inseparable from the effect, your personal degree of success. Every choice ultimately produces a predictable result.
Why You Succeed
Here's a success secret that many people don't know...or practice. They don't practice it because it runs counter to our self- focused human nature. Yet this ageless principle is unerring in its results. It always works in a paradoxical way. Here's the secret: Your success is the by-product of the value you create for others. Your actual level of success is then measured by the amount of benefits you create for the most people.
Are you disappointed with my advice? Or excited? Will you quickly dismiss it as too simplistic, or will you see it for the wisdom it contains? If, indeed, you do understand the common sense of this eternal success principle, and if it's consistent with your values, then you're ready for this book. In the pages that follow, I'll serve as your guide and lead you through a series of thinking patterns, actions, beliefs, and behaviors that will surely elevate you to in- creased levels of success and personal growth...if you make them your own and practice them in your daily life.
Your Two Life Directions
The truth is painfully simple...and paradoxical. We individuals and organizations have two basic life directions that influence our career success and personal happiness. One is to focus on ourselves, get what we can get, and keep all we can keep. The other is to focus on others and to create as much value for them as we can, knowing that we'll be compensated, rewarded, or respected according to the amount of value we create.
Think about these two life and business views a moment. One is driven by our natural, human, ego-focus. The other evolves from an external, outer, success-oriented focus. As you begin this book, take a few moments to review the Integrity Service Values and Ethics mentioned at the beginning of it. After reading them, ask yourself these questions:
- If the people in an organization practiced them, would that company be more profitable? a great place in which to work? ensured of its successful future? trusted and respected?
- If an individual faithfully practiced them, would he or she be more successful? more valuable to his or her organization? happier and more personally fulfilled? more highly compensated?
If your answer to these questions is "yes," then your values are in line with the success principles of this book. You'll discover that it lays out for you a road map for your personal success with
- external customers,
- internal associates,
- family members, and
Practicing these values-driven principles in your real-life experiences will put you into the free-flowing stream of personal and career success, happiness, and self-fulfillment. This state only comes as a result of serendipity the gift of accidentally discovering good and valuable things in unexpected ways. When you make your goal or aim to serve others, you'll dis- cover riches that otherwise would have been hidden from you. Success is the by-product of practicing time-proven, customer- focused behaviors that I'll share with you. Let's begin at the beginning.
A Customer-Focused Individual
Start by defining your job as helping your organization:
- 1. Get and keep satisfied, loyal customers.
- 2. Get and keep satisfied, loyal employees.
- 3. Enjoy growth and profitability.
To the degree that you have this view of your job and make these your overall goals, you'll enjoy the elusive rewards of per- sonal growth, high self-esteem, and increased value to your organization.
A Customer-Focused Organization
Organizations are made up of people. Organizational effectiveness results to the degree that these people can work together in a spirit of unity and harmony toward a common goal. Many organizations miss this point.
Billions of dollars are spent on organizational development. Even more billions are spent on reorganization after reorganization, driven by the assumption that once the company finds the right organizational strategy, everything will be great. So, when it isn't great, what do companies do? They call in new consultants and go through yet another reorganization.
While the proper organizational structure is important, many managers overlook a more important issue their people. Often their people feel like mere numbers, inanimate statistical units that are passed around, handed off, and in many cases made to feel paranoid and insecure. Even in the largest of organizations, it's the development and uniting of people that get the least attention and budget, and too many organizations pay the price of this oversight.
Managers don't harness their people's energies and creativity. They can, though, by developing a customer-focused organization. This gives people a common vision that transcends their own self-focus. Take a look at the following "Customer-Focused Organizations" model. Let me explain the model.
- 1. The purpose of any organization is to serve its owners or stake-holders with growth and profitability. To do this, the organization must get and keep loyal, profitable customers and loyal, productive employees.
- 2. The point of contact includes anyone who touches customers.
- 3. The pillars of the organization are the people and systems that make up the different departments and divisions. They must view their jobs as supporting those who touch customers.
- 4. The foundation is the company's mission, vision, and core values.
Organizations achieve their growth and profitability goals to the extent to which everyone works together, synergistically, to help get and keep loyal customers and employees. A few years ago the Harvard Business Review published an article called "Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work." The service-profit chain established the links in the chain that lead to growth and profitability. Here are the separate links:
- Growth and profitability are driven by
- Customer loyalty, which comes from
- Customer satisfaction, which is driven by
- Value provided to customers, which comes from
- Employee productivity, which is driven by
- Employee loyalty, which is caused by
- Employee satisfaction, which is driven by
- Internal quality, which is a result of
The study points out the sequence that leads to growth and profitability. It also makes the point that a "chain is only as strong as its weakest link." This means that all the links must be healthy in order for an organization to be vital and productive. Examine each of these links, and you'll see that it must be valued before it can be actualized into strategies or results. You'll also notice that some of the links are overlooked in the allocation of training budgets and importance to senior managers. It's people who do all this. So here's where you come in, and where you establish your individual value. Your worth to your organization will be determined by the extent to which you know these factors:
- 1. Who your customers are.
- 2. What their unique needs are.
- 3. Why they choose to do business with you.
- 4. What unique value you give them that they can't get elsewhere.
- 5. How well your role creates value for customers or supports the people who directly touch customers.
How well you understand these five elements will determine your value to your organization, as well as the compensation or rewards you enjoy.
It is my hope that this book will help you discover the path to greater fulfillment and success on and off your job.
By following the Action Guides that I'll share with you, you'll make larger and larger deposits into the bank account of value that you've created for others. The balance of this account, as it exceeds your withdrawals, will pay you compounded interest many times over. The wealth of value delivered to others will then serve you by causing greater self-respect, respect from others, and a reputation for integrity, responsibility, and compassion and, along the way, increased compensation or other rewards.
What You'll Learn in This Book
You'll learn several models and communication principles. First is the G. Val Hi complete customer communication model. G. Val Hi stands for these steps:
- Greet customers
- Value customers
- Ask how to help customers
- Listen to customers
- Help customers
- Invite customers back
We'll weave this system through all the other chapters in this book.
Rules for Using the System
How you use this system is important.
- 1. Totally focus on the person.
- 2. Complete each step before going to the next one.
- 3. Never jump to a step without completing the previous ones.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? Simple, maybe, but just go out and analyze ten contacts with service people and see if they do more than two or three of these steps. When you consciously complete each of these steps, you'll give people a better experience than they receive in most other places.
You'll learn a four-step problem-solving process, shown in the following "Problem-Solving Formula."
You'll find applying this simple, logical process, complete with Action Guides, will assist you in enjoying successful outcomes.
Since so much of your success involves communicating with people, you'll also learn and apply a simple behavioral style language. You'll learn how to unconsciously adapt your natural style to fit those of other people. You'll understand and communicate with them most effectively. It's all there in Chapter 3.
This book will also help you with other customer-focused and personal-growth models for you to apply in your everyday role. But let's get to the real issue.
It Gets Down to Who You Are, Not Just What You Know
To achieve your maximum success with internal and external customers, it really gets down to who you are! Good customer service isn't just a strategy or even a matter of following a set of rules. There are deeper causes that drive successful behaviors.
Let's think of these three causal levels:
1. What you know.
2. How you handle your emotions.
3. What beliefs, values, and ethical principles guide you.
This book differs from almost any other customer service book in that it deals with all three of the above levels not just superficial, surface ones. It'll show you how to practice effective success strategies, how to handle your emotional responses, and how to clarify and access the deeper, underlying values, beliefs, and ethical principles that drive your success.
We'll learn about the three parts of you or, rather, the three parts that make up the one you the intellectual, emotional, and creative/unconscious, in Chapter 1.
By practicing the suggestions in each chapter, you'll develop the strengths that will ensure your success.
What's Different About This Book?
There are enough customer service books published to make all the people who serve customers totally perfect which of course they aren't! So why does the world need another? Most books deal with very surface-level behaviors: Do this. Don't do that. Paint a plastic smile on your face. That is clearly not the answer.
The problem is that as people we don't always practice what we know. Our actual behaviors are motivated by who we are our values, beliefs, views of our own possibilities, feelings of worthiness, and other internal factors.
This book goes much deeper into the real causes of success on and off the job. But you won't get them simply by reading. You'll grow inside this way:
- Learning concepts
- + Applying them in your life
- = Enjoying personal growth
It's your personal growth that will help you advance. It's more who you are than what you know.
Results Are What Count
My organization, Integrity Systems, receives feedback from all over the world about the results individuals and organizations enjoy from our unique developmental processes. Following are a few results of practicing the concepts that have been reported to us.
Employee turnover at the Tennessee Valley Region of the American Red Cross dropped from 80.4 to 26.5 percent in its Hospital Services Division. In its Blood Collection Division, em- ployee turnover dropped from 40.9 to 22.7 percent. In the Central Plains Region of American Red Cross, employee turnover dropped from 48 to 25 percent. The Penn-Jersey Region reported the achievement of its blood collection goal for the first time in eight years, increasing collections by 8.2 percent.
Princor Financial Services, a member of the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa, showed a 35 percent increase in overall customer effectiveness and a 32 percent increase in providing service beyond customer expectations.
Price Chopper, a supermarket chain headquartered in Schenectady, New York, reported an increase in customer service effectiveness of 21.96 percent and decreased employee turnover of 79 percent. These numbers are astounding.
Arvida, the giant home-building company based in Boca Raton, Florida, increased referral business 14.2 percent and enjoyed an increase in customer satisfaction of 25.7 percent.
The Southern Company (Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Mississippi Power) reported an increase in service level from 64.0 to 83.8 percent. Its consumer value increased from 61.6 to 65.1 percent. Georgia Power's internal service scores rose from 4.0 to 5.6 after they implemented our service program.
A chain of credit unions reported that teller error was reduced 40 percent.
UCLA Medical Center reported moving from the 28th percentile, compared with the other academic medical centers, to the 78th percentile, according to the Picker Patient Satisfaction Survey.
The Richardson Regional Medical Center went from being last among eleven Baylor facilities to maintaining a top ranking in patient satisfaction.
What about individual people?
Charles Wilcox, Executive Director of the Tennessee Valley Region of the American Red Cross, summed it up well: "We have already seen a difference in the teamwork between departments, better understanding between people, and greater appreciation for how each of us helps make each other's job possible."
In a manner that's typical of individuals in all organizations with whom we work, the people at Norway Savings Bank in Maine described their individual benefits like this: "More self- confidence." "Willingness to take more responsibility." "More friendly." "Happier." "Personal growth." "Goal oriented." "Improved listening skills." "More at ease with each other." "Better team players." "Better self-esteem." "More energetic." "Not placing blame." "Increased ability to cope with stress."
In addition to their reported personal benefits, we hear even more profound results: Job advancement. Mended marriages. Repaired personal relationships. Commitment to getting help with substance abuse or addiction problems that had been unaddressed.
People grow: They become more successful, enjoy life more, reach higher goals, and discover new talents and abilities.
HOW TO GAIN THE MOST FROM THIS BOOK
This book is to be experienced, not just read. To do that, please consider these suggestions.
- Read and then review a chapter as often as necessary, maybe even several times for a week.
- Don't hesitate to underline, highlight, and make action notes in the margins.
- Assess your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors each week, using the Self-Assessment guide at the end of each chapter.
- Practice the Action Guides in your everyday life-both at and away from the job.
- Evaluate your practice at the end of each day in the Daily Suc- cess Diary pages at the end of each chapter
- Go to the next chapter the next week.
- Don't just breeze through the book and put it aside. After reading all twelve chapters, reread those sections that you may still be a bit hazy about.
By following these suggestions, you'll continually learn, grow, and get better. You'll find that the more you learn, the more you'll learn what there is to learn! Success-oriented people always discover that the room for growth expands as they move further into success.
One more thing: What you'll learn in this book can be experientially learned on many levels. Although the concepts are fairly simple, it's in the application that we discover their profound nature and that the actual benefits happen.
As you sincerely practice the principles of this book, the invio- lable law of reciprocity will increasingly shower you with many benefits, guaranteeing your success in your career, your relationships, and most important with yourself.
You'll discover in the crucible of your life experiences an emotional understanding of an old Hindu proverb: Those who give have all things; those who withhold have nothing.
Copyright © 2005 by Ron Willingham