Characteristics of a “winning leader”
The leaders of larger organizations cannot put a strong enough emphasis on the ‘’Customer First!’’ rule, this rule is often put above anything else for these companies. From a personal observation and engagement with these leaders, they exude motivation and attitudes that should be followed and copied to take the lead in the customer oriented turnaround:
- They build a winning team and culture,
- They have created a compelling ‘’Vision’’ and ‘’Mission’’,
- They care about the customers and actively participate in the solution of even small problems if anything goes wrong,
- They always listen to their customers more than they speak,
- They set extremely ambitious targets,
- They have a coaching role and set examples as a role model in customer experiences,
- They give fast feedback to employees and customers (as portrayed in Part 3 of “Learn how to Put the Customer First!” book),
- They look out the window (not in the mirror) when they have success,
- They make sure their words are backed up by their actions (employees observes everything going on, that’s why actions have to match what is being said: CS-Strategy map),
- They have 3 A’s – always positive,
- They never undermine a person’s dignity,
- They love the products they work with,
- They are visibly engaged (employees do not want to follow someone they do not see).
Display the Winning Leader chart (below) prominently into your office, together with the CS Strategy (described in “Learn how to Put the Customer First!”), for you to follow every day. Several examples of these attitudes are described in Part 3 of “Learn how to Put the Customer First!” .
Examples of winning leaders
There are three noteworthy individuals whom I consider to be great leaders; i.e, Elon Musk (founder and CEO of Tesla), Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), and Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon.com). These charismatic leaders share the following characteristics:
- Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla: He is one of my favorite leaders as he follows the Customer First concept. He also possesses the ability to balance between being a strong leader with 100% focus, to a willingness to change his strategy as necessary. He knows that flexibility is key to maintaining strength and credibility
- Steve Jobs, founder of Apple: Steve Jobs (like Elon Musk) was a visionary leader. He possessed the skill to look ahead to the future. He focused on the customer and customer experience within the Apple retail network, with an emphasis on detail.
- Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com. As a leader he focuses on his team and employee satisfaction. He continually develops his business using a customer centric approach. He puts the Customer First concept at the forefront utilizing technology that supports positive customer experiences. If a new product does not perform to Jeff Bezos’ standards, he does not give up (see Part 3 of “Learn how to Put the Customer First!” ).