Every Decision Comes Back to This

Editor’s Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the “customer” the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of these great minds.


 

I’m honored to be the keynote speaker later this year at Office Pride, a franchisor of commercial cleaning service companies. All of the franchisees will be attending their annual meeting to network and learn about the latest and greatest opportunities happening in their industry. My job is to talk to them about customer service.

As part of my homework, Todd Hopkins, their CEO, shared the Office Pride Culture book. As I was reading it, I came across a concept worth sharing. While Office Pride has created a great set of core values, Todd describes them as decision filters. He writes, “Our core values filter the outcome of what we, either impulsively or mindfully, decide to do.”

Core values are what an organization believes and stands for. These are the principles and beliefs that guide an organization – and the employees of that organization. Many organizations’ core values include words like honesty and integrity. Office Pride’s core beliefs and values are as follows:

  • Honor God
  • Always Do What is Right
  • Increase Brand Value
  • Demonstrate Honesty, Integrity, and Hard Work Ethic
  • Total Customer Satisfaction
  • Go the Extra Mile
  • Persevere with a Servant’s Attitude
  • Accountability to Commitments

The key for core values to work is to keep them in front of you, memorize them, and be conscious of how they tie into your daily behavior with your customers and employees. Just writing them down without acting on them is simply a writing assignment.

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, came up with ten core values for his company. In his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Hsieh says he hires for those core values. He will also fire for a lack of any of the core values. That’s how important they are to the health of his organization.

It was Tony Hsieh’s book that inspired Hopkins to write his own culture book, which is a great exercise for an organization to consider. This short 84-page book devotes a chapter to each of his eight core values, supported by examples of how Office Pride employees and franchisees live by them.

So, back to Mr. Hopkin’s concept of core values being a filter. If you are working for a company or going to work for a company, take time to understand their core values. Do they align with what you believe in? Can you live by these values? Is this the culture that you want to be a part of? If the answer is yes, then let the values be the natural filter that guides the way you perform and treat others.

> Read more from Shep.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Starting Point for Discovering Vision and Values

Personal convictions are the seedbed for forging a compelling vision and shaping core values. These convictions must never be generated out of thin air or influenced simply by the latest leadership fad or trend. Somewhere deep down in the gut you will discover some things you believe in – some things that are non-negotiable about life, work, love, faith, relationships, leadership and the world. That is where you will find your Vision & Values.

So here are a series of questions first for Vision discovery and clarification.

1)     What does the future look like when things are working extremely well? Not perfectly…that’s idealism. You need a vision that can be rooted in reality. So describe the future when the vision is now a fact. What has changed? What problem have you solved?

2)     What does it feel like to be there? You probably have some sense of what it feels like as you imagine your dream coming true. Yes, what are your emotions? What wells up inside you as you see the vision becoming reality – joy, satisfaction, relief, hope, exhilaration, power, or freedom?

3)     Who benefits most from the vision becoming reality? Imagine the people your team is serving or helping or providing a quality service to. Will it be children in poverty, adults without meaningful work, people with disabilities, a company without quality management, a non-profit that lacks solid leadership? What is happening in these people and among them? What new world opens up for them because of the vision becoming reality?

4)     What change is taking place inside you? How are YOU different because the vision is a reality? What character changes are happening? How are you approaching your work? Have your priorities changed?

KEY VISION RESOURCE: Chapters 5 & 6 of The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner are worth the price of the book – and more – on the process of creating a shared vision.

Now for questions to help shape your core Values

1)     What is true for you? This means, deep down inside you, there are things that do not waver – core beliefs that define how you see the world. These may be the result of experiences, values handed down by parents or mentors, religious convictions, or simply things you just know to be true (treating others with respect is the right thing to do.)

2)     What makes you sad? This is a way of discovering values by looking through a different lens. When you view the world or work or you organization, what makes you sad? What do you wish would change? This is probably related to a value or belief you hold dear. For example, in a team meeting you see a weaker person get belittled by another member of the team. The strong personality of the culprit crushes the weak spirit of the team member, who does not respond in the moment but feels shame or intimidation. The anger you feel is tied to something you believe about justice, fairness, or perhaps kindness.

3)    What brings you joy? Now we flip the coin and look at those events or activities that make you smile. You see a need met, a new product developed, a person helped, an obstacle overcome, a friendship grow or a goal achieved. You smile because something feels good at your core.

4)    What gives you energy? Though similar to “what brings you joy?” above, this is a bit different. Yes, energy can be derived from people or events that bring me joy. But energy comes from other sources – adverse circumstances, a challenge, a loss, a unique opportunity, a new friendship, a family event, a kind of work, a new mission. What gives you a “rush” and makes you productive, excited about your work in the world, and givers purpose to your life?

KEY VALUES RESOURCE: Here is a short Forbes article on values-focused leadership by Jansen Kraemer that highlights four core principles leaders can use to lead from a values standpoint.

 

Answer these questions and record them in your journal. It will help you identify what’s in your gut, what makes you tick. Your personal Vision & Values will get clearer which will also allow you to sharpen the focus of your work and leadership.

Read more from Bill here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Donahue

Bill’s vision is: “Resourcing life-changing leaders for world-changing influence.” Leaders and their teams need a clear personal vision and a transformational team strategy. This requires work in 3 key areas: Maximize Leadership Capacity, Sharpen Mission Clarity & Build Transformational Community. Bill has leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit arena. After working for P&G in New York and PNC Corp. in Philadelphia, Bill was Director of Leader Development & Group Life for the Willow Creek Church & Association where he created leadership strategies and events for over 10,000 leaders on 6 continents in over 30 countries.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Everything is an Experiment

One of our core values at National Community Church is everything is an experiment. Let me try to unpack it.

We believe that there are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet.  Our theology doesn’t change, but our methodology does.  Have you ever noticed that there is no “order of service” in Scripture.  Why?  Because it would stifle creativity.  Yes, there are traditions and ordinances that every true church adheres too!  But every church has a unique churchprint.  And I believe we need lots of different kinds of churches because there are lots of different kinds of people!  The one common denominator is the gospel.

One of the great dangers of leadership is that at some point you can accumulate so much “know how” that you stop leading out of imagination and start leading out of memory. That’s when you stop creating the future and start repeating the past.  That’s the day you stop living and start dying.

There is a concept in the realm of science called critical realism.  Think of it as scientific humility. It’s the recognition that every theory is amendable because new discoveries are bound to be made.  Now, please don’t misunderstand.  I believe the canon of Scripture is closed. I believe it is the inspired Word of God.  I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  And I am a sinner saved by grace.  Those truths are eternal and unchangeable.  But systematic theology is an oxymoron.  Too often it’s our attempt to control God by reducing Him to measurable and manageable terms. The moment you think you have God all figured out, you’ve created an idol.  He doesn’t fit within the tiny confines of our logical left-brains!  Yes, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  But God is also predictably unpredictable! He works in strange and mysterious ways.

My advice? Stay Humble. Stay Hungry.

I love the old axiom: live as if you’ll die tomorrow, but learn as if you will live forever! Living experimentally is simply learning as much as you can about as much as you can. You are always learning.  You are open to new ideas.  You are open to new experiences.  In the words of Albert Einstein, “Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Eight times the Psalmist says, “Sing to the Lord a new song.” I can’t remember the original citation, but I remember reading a study once that suggested that we stop thinking about the lyrics of a song after we’ve sung it thirty times.  That’s why we need to write new music.  Every new song is a musical experiment.  For what it’s worth, check out some of our NCC originals.

When we went multi-site, it was an experiment. Our cafe in Berlin is an experiment. So was our coffeehouse. So was the first series trailer we produced.  So is our free market system of small groups.  So is our staff structure. So is everything we tried for the first time!

I’m more afraid of missing opportunities than making mistakes. We need the freedom to fail.  In fact, if you haven’t failed lately it’s probably because you aren’t trying anything new!  I believe that experimentation is an expression of faith. It’s believing that there is a new way, a better way of doing something.  It’s striving toward excellence, which honors God.  And it’s giving expression to the infinitely creative Spirit that dwells within us and sanctifies our imaginative right-brains!

Everything is an experiment.

Read more from Mark here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations. The vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the DC area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark has two Masters Degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of the best-selling books: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, and Soulprint. Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.

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COMMENTS

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Lauren — 02/15/13 10:10 am

Mark - unbelievable stuff here. Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. We've wrestled with this is a bit as church planters in Chicago...believing God is giving us vision for "doing" church a little differently in our context. So often, though, we feel the pressure to just start "leading out of memory" as you suggest, and each time we do God reminds us of the specific vision and calling He has laid on our hearts for the "different kind of church" He wants us to be. Thankfully in church planting there is a lot of room to work this stuff out - so thanks for the compelling call toward continual experiment. We needed to hear this today! Love to be reminded of God's sovereignty in moments like these. Thanks for your faithfulness in committing to these words, blessings to you.

David Ellington — 02/15/13 7:59 am

Thank you Mark for this reminder to stay fresh, have faith, trust God and as Ms Frizzle of Magic School Bus says, "Get messy!"

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.