Change Is Good...You Go First: 21 Ways to Inspire Change

Change Is Good...You Go First: 21 Ways to Inspire Change

by Mac Anderson, Tom Feltenstein


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492630425
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 11/03/2015
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 500,521
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

MAC ANDERSON is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition. These companies, however, are not the first success stories for Mac. He was also the founder and CEO of McCord Travel, the largest travel company in the Midwest, and part owner/VP of sales and marketing for Orval Kent Food Company, the country's largest manufacturer of prepared salads.

His accomplishments in these unrelated industries provide some insight into his passion and leadership skills. He also brings the same passion to his speaking where he speaks to many corporate audiences on a variety of topics, including leadership, motivation, and team building. Mac has authored or co-authored twenty-two books that have sold over three million copies. His titles include: Change is Good ... You Go First, Charging the Human Battery, Customer Love, Finding Joy, Habits Die Hard, Leadership Quotes, Learning to Dance in the Rain, 212°: The Extra Degree, 212° Service, 212° Leadership, Motivational Quotes, One Choice, The Best of Success, The Nature of Success, The Power of Attitude, The Power of Kindness, The Essence of Leadership, The Road to Happiness, The Dash, To a Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E, You Can't Send a Duck to Eagle School, What's the Big Idea?

TOM FELTENSTEIN is the CEO and Founder of Power Marketing Academy, a leading consulting firm that serves and educates businesses in the industries of franchising, retail, hospitality, and service. Over 38 years of "in the trenches" experience has earned Tom the notoriety of being the most trusted and provocative voice in 4 Walls Branding and Neighborhood Marketing today. He is a keynote speaker, trainer and marketing strategist and the author of fourteen books

Read an Excerpt

Change Is Good You Go First

21 Ways to Inspire Change

By Mac Anderson, Tom Feltenstein

Sourcebooks, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4926-3043-2


Change What Needs Changing ... Not What's Easy

A few years ago, British Rail had a real falloff in business. Looking for marketing answers, they went searching for a new ad agency — one that could deliver an ad campaign that would bring their customers back.

When the British Rail executives went to the offices of a prominent London ad agency to discuss their needs, they were met by a very rude receptionist who insisted that they wait.

Finally, an unkempt person led them to a conference room — a dirty, scruffy room cluttered with plates of stale food. The executives were once again left to wait. A few agency people drifted in and out of the room, basically ignoring the executives who grew impatient by the minute. When the execs tried to ask what was going on, the agency people brushed them off and went about their work.

Eventually, the execs had enough. As they angrily started to get up, completely disgusted with the way they'd been treated, one of the agency people finally showed up.

"Gentlemen," he said, "your treatment here at our agency is not typical of how we treat our clients — in fact, we've gone out of our way to stage this meeting for you. We've behaved this way to point out to you what it's like to be a customer of British Rail. Your real problem isn't your advertising, it's your people. We suggest you let us address your employee attitude problem before we attempt to change your advertising."

The British Rail executives were shocked — but the agency got the account! The agency had the remarkable conviction to point out the problem because it knew exactly what needed to change.

As Yogi Berra once said:

Before we build a better mousetrap, we need to find out if there are any mice out there.

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance a lot less."

Tom Feltenstein

Re-Recruit Your Best People

As the old proverb goes, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Your first step in the change process should be to re-recruit your best people. That of course starts with the managers of each department. Although the culture of any company starts at the top, it is the managers who will make it or break it, especially in times of change. Their attitude, their commitment, and understanding of the change mission will be key to your success.

Don't make the mistake of assuming they're on board, because it can be very costly and disruptive if you guess wrong. Even before the mission is clearly defined, bring them in, one on one, to get their input and their feedback. Get them involved in the planning process. But remember, there will be disagreements regarding your strategy and execution. And of course, that's where leadership comes into play.

In other words, if the manager disagrees with the final plan, you need to know up front. At this point, tough decisions must be made. They're either committed to the team's new plan going forward, or you need to find a new manager sooner rather than later.

Phase II of recruiting your best people will be up to each manager. Once you have mapped out a plan with each manager's input, you must toss the ball to them to have similar conversations with their best people. A rule of thumb is this: out of every ten employees within a department, there is usually 1 that will have significant influence over how the others will think. Each manager should identify those individuals and clearly communicate the changes that must be made. They must also explain the benefits to them and to the team. The manager must make these people a part of the change process and depend on each of them to help monitor the team's progress going forward. This investment of your time, and of each manager's time, will go a long way in helping to ensure your success.

"You get the best efforts from others not by LIGHTING a fire beneath them, but by BUILDING a fire within."

Bob Nelson

Forget for Success

Forget for Success is the title of a book written by Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura. In it they say, "Our brains are like closets. Over time they are filled with things we no longer use — things that don't fit. Every once in a while they need to be cleaned out."

How true it is! A big part of the change process is to be able to walk away from outdated beliefs and practices. But as we all know, old habits die hard. In fact, bestselling business author Peter Drucker said:

It's easier for companies to come up with new ideas than to let go of old ones.

Harvey and Ventura had this to say about cerebral baggage that weighs us down during change:

Our baggage includes everything from once valid beliefs and practices that have outlived their usefulness to misinformation and misconceptions that we've accepted (and even embraced) without much examination or thought.

Why care about this "baggage"? Because it negatively impacts us, the people we work with, the environment we work in, and the results we get. Simply stated, whatever we accept and believe determines how we behave ... and how we behave determines what we achieve (or don't achieve).

Regardless of our good intentions, we're all susceptible to flawed thinking that eventually leads to flawed results. But if we dump this data from our memory banks, we free up space for more productive alternatives — we make room for the good stuff ... "the right stuff."

"It's easier for companies to COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS than to let go of old ones."

Peter Drucker

It All Starts with Belief

At a speech I (Mac) gave recently, I was invited to attend the company's awards banquet the evening before. The previous year, the new CEO had thrown out a challenge for all six regions ... whoever had the highest percent increase in revenue would get to host next year's annual meeting. Well, next year was here, and the winner was being honored.

After the CEO sang the winners' praises, the sales manager for the winning region stood up to say a few words, and here is what she said:

The day after last year's annual meeting, Peggy got us all together and told us, "Here are the rules for this year's contest, and by the way, we're going to win it! Why? Because we've got the best team!"

"Week after week she sold her vision of winning the contest; she praised, she encouraged, she listened, and within a few months, it hit home ... we all believed we could win it." The sales manager said, "It was a magical moment, going from I think we can win it, to I know we can win it." Then she said, "We won for one reason ... Peggy believed in us and believed we could do it ... and we weren't about to let her down!"

I have to tell you, I got goose bumps when I heard her speak about what had happened. This may sound trite to some leaders, but during times of change, getting your team to believe it can be done is the most important thing you can do. It won't happen overnight, but through continuous reinforcement, listening, encouragement, and most of all earning their trust, it will happen. And when it does, a team becomes unstoppable!

"A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader. A great leader INSPIRES PEOPLE to have CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES."


Focus on Strengths

Changing customer tastes, nutritionally rooted lawsuits, globalization protests, and unprecedented brand erosion threatened to bring down the titanic of the corporate world. Triggered by its first ever quarterly loss since becoming a public company in 1965, were rumors of McDonald's demise exaggerated? Could the company that turned marketing into an art form all of a sudden lose relevance? It had gotten so bad that I (Tom) was invited to comment on national TV, and I stated what was obvious — they were spending fortunes on mass media and had lost customer focus.

CEO Jim Cantalupo was brought out of retirement to take over the helm. Along with him came teammates Charlie Bell (COO) and Larry Light (CMO), both seasoned veterans and close friends. Cantalupo announced that he would give himself eighteen months to turn the company around.

Sleeves rolled up, Light directed a worldwide research team to find the brand's strengths. "The first thing we began to notice was a commonality in five continents." He said, "A fun, youthful spirit was at the core of the brand and our most dominant trait. But we wanted to carefully distinguish between 'youthful spirit' and children. Our brand is about attitude, not age." They indoctrinated the "I'm lovin' it" attitude into all aspects of the company structure, including customer service, restaurant operations, menu food choices, and new restaurant décor.

In terms of the global responsibility, they stated "I don't think the question is whether or not it's fair or unfair; I think the question should be how do we make it an asset? We are a corporation that serves forty million customers a day. [McDonald's now serves sixty-nine million people every day.] Because of our size and scale, we have responsibilities. But I don't believe the solution is to grow smaller."

How did they pull it off? McDonald's changed its growth strategy from focusing on building more restaurants to attracting more customers to their existing restaurants.

McDonald's is now an intensely customer-focused company: Listening, learning, and leading. They implemented three corporate priorities — financial discipline, excellence in operations, and innovative marketing. McDonald's changed their fundamental operating structure. They defined the framework at the center, but fostered creative implementation locally. They reinvented global marketing and started gathering ideas from wherever they showed up. After all, a good idea doesn't care where it comes from. "I'm lovin' it" was born in Germany; global packaging was born in England; innovative restaurant designs were born in France.

Recently McDonald's extended its hot streak to four years with a 22 percent increase in first quarter earnings. The once stagnant stock quadrupled in less than four years. It set a record forty-eight straight months of higher sales from established restaurants, its longest streak since 1980.

So how does this apply to your organization? The lesson to be learned from McDonald's is to focus first on your strengths, and make them all they can be.

"FOCUS on the critical few, not the insignificant many."


Remove Barriers

If you're an employee, nothing is more frustrating than to understand the change mission, to embrace the change mission, but to be trapped by barriers beyond your control.

Job #1 for any leader in times of change is to start removing the barriers that will keep your team from executing the plan. For example, if the plan calls for creating a "customer-first culture," you must identify any obstacles or barriers that will prevent you from doing it. Rest assured, however, that the culprits that are creating the obstacles will usually fall into one of four categories:

1. Outdated systems

2. Outdated procedures

3. Outdated people

4. A combination thereof

This, of course, assumes that your products are not part of the problem.

The first, and most important part of this challenge, is to do some serious diligence to clearly define the "enemy." This requires getting input from everyone, especially those frontline employees who are dealing directly with the customers. Your answers will come if you listen very carefully to what they have to say. Fixing what's broken, however, will take longer, especially if the finger is pointed at outdated systems. Fixing problems caused by outdated procedures and outdated people can take less time, but are just as critical to the change process.

In other words, the obstacles to change will vary greatly. They can be 20,000 pound boulders or they can be many small trees. Your job as a leader is to start cutting the trees as quickly as you can so that the people watching will become convinced that good things are about to happen.

"When you're up to your rear end in alligators, it's hard to remember that your purpose is draining the swamp."

George Napper

Simplify Your Message

After schooling in the States, the late Roberto Goizueta returned to Cuba in 1953 to work in his family's sugar business; but he was soon scanning want ads. He answered an anonymous ad for work at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Cuba. There he would begin a famous career marked by his unique ability to inspire people.

In 1979, Goizueta was named the president of the Coca-Cola Company, and in 1981, the company's chairman. Over a sixteen-year span, Goizueta created more wealth for shareholders than any CEO in the company's history and made Coca-Cola the most prominent trademark in the world.

Though English was his third language, his success is primarily attributed to his ability to encapsulate complex ideas and present them in concise, compelling fashion. Goizueta was best known for his oft-repeated description of Coca-Cola's infinite growth potential:

Each of the six billion people [now seven billion] on this planet drinks, on average, sixty-four ounces of fluids daily, of which only two ounces are Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola's employees were blown away by the originality and audacity of the idea when Goizueta first spoke it. Eventually, closing the "sixty-two ounce gap" became a centerpiece of inspiration and motivation within the company.

Nordstrom, the department store known for their great service has mastered the art of "simplifying for success." When it comes to taking care of the customer, they have only one rule for employees: "Use good judgment in all situations." One Nordstrom employee summed it up: "Because we don't have many rules, we don't have to worry about breaking them. We are judged on our performance, not our obedience to orders."

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple — THAT'S CREATIVITY."

Charles Mingus

Lead with Speed

In times of change there is always the question of ... How fast do we move? Although there is no right answer for everyone, the right answer for most is ... as fast as possible!

In John Kotter's book, The Heart of Change, he shares a story by Ron Marshall to reinforce the "how fast question." Marshall talked about how he bought his first house in New York. It was a sixty-five-year-old house ... a real "fixer-upper," as he described it. At the closing, the realtor said, "Ron, you have to immediately make a list of all the things you want done and do it in the first six months." Marshall said, "I'm broke now but I'm a disciplined guy and I'll get everything fixed over the next few years." She said, "No, you won't, because after six months you'll get used to it. You'll get used to stepping over the dead body in the living room."

Marshall then confessed, "She was right and I was wrong. Nothing more had been done when I sold it five years later. The body was still there!"

This is exactly what can happen in the "slow approach" to change. Inertia, if you don't act quickly, will stop you in your tracks. You put out the fire, it feels a little better, and you continue to walk over the other "dead bodies" littered throughout the company. Remember, on the road to lasting change, there will be many tempting places to pull over and park.

Secondly, speed is important in creating short-term wins. Never underestimate the significance of early victories. They nourish the faith in the change effort, they give an emotional lift to those who are working hard, and they keep the cynics at bay. Also, and very importantly, each victory helps to build momentum, which can be a wonderful "friend" when you're riding the wave of change.

"Luck follows SPEED."

Darrel Royal

Let Your Customers Call the Shots

The only two-time recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the service category, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, manages thirty-six exquisite hotels across the world. Known for their mystical aura of customer service, they also have challenges when it comes to change.

A few years back, they decided to upgrade the bathrooms in their signature properties. They insisted on the best and most beautiful décor. The company invested millions of dollars in design fees, they hand-selected the precise hue, color, and pattern of their green marble imported from Italy. After spending millions of dollars and shipping tons of the most exquisite marble across the world, they installed it meticulously in their guest bathrooms.

After all this expense and effort, the company commissioned a research study to ask its customers questions about its service, accommodations, and ambience. The results were shocking to the Ritz-Carlton executives. Guests couldn't care less about green marble in their bathrooms; they wanted the bathrooms to be pure white, so they could see it was clean. Their efforts, time, and money had gone completely by the wayside.

Bouncing back, management took specific actions to capitalize on the other opportunities for improvement. It revamped its strategic planning process and made it more systematic. It refined and integrated its total quality management. Goals for customer satisfaction were raised to the "top of the box." Earning a rating of "very" or "extremely" satisfied became a top priority as well as a key element of the Ritz-Carlton strategy — 100 percent customer loyalty. In its operations, the company set the target of "error-free" experiences for guests and implemented a quantitative measurement system to chart the progressive elimination of even the most minute customer problems.


Excerpted from Change Is Good You Go First by Mac Anderson, Tom Feltenstein. Copyright © 2015 Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Change What Needs Changing ... Not What's Easy,
Re-Recruit Your Best People,
Forget for Success,
It All Starts with Belief,
Focus on Strengths,
Remove Barriers,
Simplify Your Message,
Lead with Speed,
Let Your Customers Call the Shots,
Let Your Actions Speak,
Inspire Personal Accountability,
Celebrate Success,
Take Calculated Risks,
Learn from "Old Warwick",
Respect the Growing Process,
Measure Results,
Set the Stage for Innovation,
Inspire with Stories,
Follow Your Convictions,
Stand with Them, Not above Them,
Pull the Weeds,
Reinforce, Reinforce, Reinforce,
About the Authors,

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