The Ultimate Leadership Opportunity – The Rest of the Story

In my last post, https://relmes.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/the-ultimate-leadership-opportunity/ I started telling you about an awesome leadership opportunity that a friend of mine just received.

And by now you are probably thinking, “Just tell me what it is already.”

Well this excellent position that my friend is embarking in is the position as a father.

And if you think about it fatherhood (and motherhood) is he ultimate leadership opportunity.

It gives you the opportunity to flex your leadership muscles.

It gives you the opportunity to influence your child, who will help shape the future.

And it gives you the opportunity through your child to leave a legacy and make your mark in the world.

What an awesome opportunity.

What an awesome responsibility.

What an awesome job that he will have for the rest of his life.

Good Luck my friend, I am confident that you will be a fantastic Dad!!!

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The High Cost of Waiting

I just sat there stunned. The phone call had ended a minute ago, but I was still holding the phone.

I was stunned, because my brother-in-law just told me that my Mom was being rushed to the hospital and they believe she may be having a stroke. http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.F922/Heart_Disease_Stroke_and_Healthy_Living.htm

Apparently, she was watching TV last night and she suddenly felt pain in the right side of her head and she couldn’t see anything on the right side of her head. Also, the right side of her arms and legs felt tingly and started to go numb.  http://www.flash-med.com/Stroke_Symptoms.asp

She called up to my sister-in-law, who lives with her and my sister-in-law (who doesn’t drive) stayed with her and quickly called my Sister (who lives 4 blocks away and who drives).

My sister arrived quickly, but it took the two of them almost 30 minutes to convince my Mom to go to the hospital. (She was also disoriented and very scared) I live 30 minutes away and I almost arrived there before them.

They arrived at the Emergency Room at the St. Mary’s General Hospital http://www.smgh.ca/ where they were quickly ushered in and looked at right away.

The doctors and nurse quickly went to work diagnosing her situation and one of the key questions that they needed to find out was what time this occured. Aparently, the treatment is different, depending on how long it has been since the stroke began. They have a small window of opportunity to administer a certain drug, so receiving this information was critical.

It turns out that that treatment was not available, not because of the time window, but because of another complication that we originally forgot to tell the doctors about. And if that information was not provided, the complications from the treatment could have made the situation worse. Much worse.

The doctors and nurses provided another treatment and the symptoms started to subside. Her headache was gone, the right side of her body was going back to normal and she started to regain some of her right side vision.

As the situation was stablizing, she was even able to get some rest.

At the time of writing this she has improved even more and has been transferred to Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/, which apparently has a specialized Stroke Team that will assess her and take over her care.

From this experience, I take away several different life and business lessons.

  1. When there is trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need to seek out professional help and advice. If we have a business challenge and we don’t seek answers outside of ourself, we can end up doing more damage.
  2. When assessing needs, full disclosure can be critical, because it may alter the decision that is made. Although you may risk losing that sale, your customer will appreciate your candor and you will greatly increase your odds of gaining a customer for life.
  3. Timing can be critical. If you find out that you can’t deliver on what you have promised and don’t tell your customer right away, you risk losing the sales (and your reputation). However, if you let them know right away, they may still be able to make alternate plans and still get their needs met. They still will not be happy that you couldn’t deliver this time, but they will know that you are working in their best interest and they may give you a second chance in the future.

Because the high cost of waiting can cost you a sale, just like the high cost of waiting could have cost my Mom her life.

But thankfully, it didn’t. Now she is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing much better than she was 12 short hours ago.

One other thing… the reason that I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital was to:

Support her at her time of need, make sure she was O.K. and to tell her that I love her. The last one was critical, because I needed her to know that in case this situation turned fatal.

Why did I tell you this?

I told you this because I have a 2 favours to ask.

  1. Please include my Mom in your prayers today.
  2. Take the opportunity to tell the people in your life that are important to you that you love them. Pick up the phone, write them a note, or whatever, but do it today. Don’t wait, because if you don’t, you may find that the cost of waiting is just too high.

How to get your customers to buy your business cards

Imagine having thousands of your happy customers proudly putting their good money down to buy your business cards.

What do you think all those raving fans marketing your business would do for your business?

Hi, it’s Richard again, and the reason that I haven’t blogged in over a week is that my family and I just returned home from our vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

We went for the fun, excitement and memories. Which we received many.

But I also came back with an arm-full of great business tips that I learned on my vacation. I know according to my Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vacation means, “a period of rest from work”, but in my line of work I find it very difficult to shut it down (my observation and curiosity radar). Especially when I was experiencing some fantastic examples of how to “Wow” customers. 

So here is the first one:

In the beginning of this blog I started talking about having thousands of your raving fan customers buying your business cards. Well that is exactly what happens every day at Walt Disney World. In fact, when their “Guests” (Disney’s term for customers) purchase T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Shorts, Towels, Golf Shirts, Jackets, Hats, Ears (Mickey Mouse or others), Jewelery, stuffed characters, cookware, key chains, etc. with one or more of the Disney characters or logos on it, you are indeed purchasing one of their business cards.

And not only did  purchase them for ourselves, but we also decided to buy gift “business cards” for our friends and family that couldn’t join us on our adventure.

And since we had such a fantastic time with lots of stories to tell about our experience, we have become good will ambassadors for Disney (which is another way of saying unpaid salespeople).

Imagine what this kind of marketing would do for your business?

Now I am not saying that you have to stop what you are doing and get into the theme park business (which is only part of the Walt Disney Company’s business), in order to get people to buy your business cards.

What I am saying is that in order for you to develop Raving Fans, you need to:

1) Develop an exceptional customer experience: This way they will want to share their story with others.

2) Create vehicle for them to use in order tell their story: One of Disney’s vehicles for this is through merchandise, yours could be through corporate videos, books, referral programs or packaging of your products to name a few ideas.

But make sure you can deliver on #1 before you set up #2, otherwise the story your customers will be telling will not be the story you want them to tell.

So, there you have it the first business tip that I witnessed in my trip to Walt Disney World. (Hey does this mean that I can now write off the cost of this vacation as a business trip?) Stay tuned because I have a lot more to come.