The word leadership gets brought up in many discussions. It is the way in which we grow, modify and change our organizational or individual strategy. One characteristic I see many strong leaders sharing is their consistency in behavior. As a solid leader, your actions (what you say, what you do, where you spend your time, what you deem important, the decisions you make, etc.) are being observed and analyzed by others and, thus, demand consistency. This way, the people under you will not be confused, surprised or caught off guard. And, remember it is not the person’s title that makes…
My oldest daughter recently got a job at one of my favorite “fast food” places Chick-Fil-A (CFA). Being that I live in Atlanta, where it is headquartered, they are everywhere. Also, I know many of the stores owners and some of the Cathy family (founders). Needless to say, I am a fan.
Why do I bring this up? First, they offer something that all of us can do a better job of in our organization. They do not say “next customer;” they say “next guest.” Yep, we are treated special, and they mean it. Wow, I wonder how much that costs them to do this. Time out … Let me calculate … yep, ZERO. Second, every CFA I have ever been to does not say “your welcome” but says “my pleasure” when they do something for you. Man, every place and every time, they make me feel special. They move quickly and value our time. Oh yeah … the cost of that is … $0. (As an aside, after a month of working there, my daughter now has a hard time not saying “my pleasure” in her everyday life). So, they are doing something right. Yep, people buy in, love what they do and it shows. The cost … yes again … ZERO! Return on Investment = Amazing!
One more thing. I have recently noticed several Chick-Fil-A stores, now have multiple people outside to speed up (save time) the slower drive-thru window process. The employees use iPad’s to take your order face-to-face (did you see that face-to-face … personal touch … novel concept huh?), a next stop where somebody takes your payment and a final stop where your food is waiting for you (at the window). Genius. Why? They increased their speed, efficiency, added the personal touch and saved us time!
You see, what once was fast … is NOW SLOW! You know, like a sloth. (Note: If you have not seen it, check out the new movie Zootopia, and don’t miss the sloth scene). If this is all not fast enough, CFA has an mobile app where you can order ahead, pull into a space, and they will bring your order out to your car. Here is the point I want you to consider: We must innovate — each year, each month and each day. You are either moving forward or going backward. We must embrace a blank sheet of paper mindset. While things like a drive-thru window, ATM, Fed-EX or movie rental were cutting edge 15 years ago … they are “slow” in today’s instant gratification and rapidly moving world.
So, take a moment and ask yourself: What is your most precious commodity? Bingo. Your time. So you can have more “time” to do what you need to do. The companies that tap into this deep human need in our information overloaded world will be the ones (like Chick-Fil-A) who are not just growing but are thriving.
What other companies can yo think of that are offering such great service and saving us time and why we should follow their lead? Connect with me and let me know and I will be in touch!