Many people want the results of a high performance culture, but are not ready to pay the price. You have to get to work.
Likewise, you can’t get a high performance culture by hearing about it. In many organizations, people have heard so much about culture that no one wants to hear the word anymore. Why? Because every time they heard it, nothing changed! They have developed cultural fatigue.
What makes a strategy work is the environment in which it will be executed.
When two people sell the same product, in the same place and at the same price, what determines who makes the sale is the person who sells it. This is where a person can differentiate themselves.
A perhaps more effective way to demystify the customer experience is to give it a different name. Another word for customer experience is customer memories. What memories do people have when they interact with you and your business? This is what defines the experience.
Memories are important because they never travel alone. They are always accompanied by the emotions felt during the creation of the memory.
As a leader, it is important to note that emotions are contagious. Your organization or department permeates the environment you lead. The people around you will be inspired by you. Your leadership must therefore appear in your mind and your emotions. The core of leadership is self-leadership.
Respond, don’t react
After taking charge of your emotions, you will be able to respond instead of react.
What is the difference? If a sick person responds well to medication, you would be relieved. If, however, you hear that the person is responding to medication, there is a problem.
When a person wants to join the firefighters and has gone through the training and preparation, the day that person starts working as a firefighter, they will look forward to a fire. This expectation is born out of preparation.
I once worked with an institution that had issues in their stores that affected business. We asked them to recall their worst customer interaction. What came out was the story of a stranger who walked in and was exasperated because they didn’t understand each other, leading to a surge of anger.
All we did to address this was to help them move from reaction mode to response mode. When the customer finally showed up, the salespeople were excited because they were now in control of the situation. No more frustration and anger.
Once you have mastered your emotions, you have taken the lead. It has a way of directing the emotional direction of the business. A lot of people don’t pay attention to this. They don’t realize that emotional state determines financial state. When there are leaders who are emotionally responsible, they will be focused and not be pushed around by every situation and circumstance.
Many people did not handle the Covid-19 pandemic well because they were reacting instead of responding. So they went into panic mode, which led to panicked decision-making, which is not sustainable.
This is one of the reasons why it is good for leaders to have coaches. There is no champion without a coach. The importance of getting a coach is that you will find a place to express yourself.
Keeping your emotions in check is a fundamental pillar of great leadership. Once you enter this area, you are on your way to a higher dimension of victory.
Wale Akinyemi is the Organizer of Street University (www.thestreetuniversity.com) and Chief Transformation Officer, PowerTalks. [email protected]