In this video, The difference a friend can make, 17-year-old Jonathan and 16-year-old Charlotte sing together for Britain’s Got Talent.

I know the video above has gone viral, but I was so touched by it.  Charlotte is so encouraging to her friend.  Even though he is heavy-set and lacks confidence, she sees him for who he is, a nice guy and an amazing singer.  He stumbles in the beginning, but she still encourages him.  When he begins to sing, magic happens.

As leaders, our goal is to help others achieve their goals by encouraging them to believe in themselves.  Simon Cowell believes that Jonathan should dump her to better his chances, but he is a great friend.  As leaders, we hope those we encourage will outshine us.  Charlotte has given him an amazing gift and she is a graceful leader.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” Albert Einstein

I love quotes! So much knowledge can be garnered from listening to what people say. I recently stumbled upon this quote by Albert Einstein. I would have loved a chance to sit in a room with this man.

I am a “down to basics, bottom line” kind of girl. I don’t need flowery language, (commonly known in America as bs!). Just tell me what I need to know. When I discuss things with people, I push them for simple explanations. I know many times, they believe I am stupid or don’t understand (sometimes they actually say the same thing slower!!) but as a leader my goal is to make sure they understand what they are talking about.

To be a good leader, you have to make sure people know why they are doing things. If they know why, they are easily able to explain their opinions and tasks. If they don’t, they can’t.

What do you think? Is there a time for flowery language? Marketing? Meeting with clients? Or should we always be as direct as possible?

Jesse, Aundria and Noemie, just a few of our great support team!

I went to a pizza joint that is known for selling pizza for $5 that are hot and ready. Not the best pizza, but a great deal for $5, perfect for my son’s classroom party. My son has a food allergy to dairy so I called ahead and ordered the pizzas, along with his cheese-less pizza. I set the time for pick-up at 1:30. I arrived at the store at 1:25 and when I walked in, I heard someone yell, “Did you put those pizzas in for 1:30 pickup??” The response was, “I am putting them in now.” Then the young lady came to the counter and greeted me. I said, “I am the 1:30 pickup. I know I am a few minutes early.” The lady in the back, that was putting the pizzas in the oven, raised her finger, pointed it at me and said, “Give me a minute.”

Now, knowing you are reading this and cannot hear my tone, let me explain that she said this to me like an overly tired mom that is frustrated with her two year old. Not being a two year old, I politely smiled and took a seat thinking this lady must have had a very bad day. The girl at the counter, heads into the back with the finger pointing lady and starts yelling at how she told her the pizzas needed to be put in…the fighting went back and forth and then the conversation turned to yelling about having to wash the dishes.

Oh my!! As a business owner I was shocked at this behavior. The young lady returned from the back and I thought she was going to tell me that it would be just a few more minutes (since they have now serviced several people while I waited for my called in order), but that was not the case. She came up to the counter, looked past me and called to the girls in the back, “Mmmm, did y’all see the Pepsi Man today?!? He is lookin’ fine today!” Shocked beyond comprehension, I stood up and said, “Perhaps you would like to go ahead and ring me up so that once the pizzas are ready, I can go?” She looked at me and said, “Yea, that is what I am going to do.” Oh my…what an impression that experience left on me.

Normally, I am not one to complain to a manager but in this case, I just had too! I put in an online request and asked to have the store owner call me. Within 30 minutes I received an email and a phone call from the area supervisor. She listened to my story and offered me a free pizza. She said I could go in the store and they have a “book of remedies” that would have my name in it. I explained to the lady that I did not really want my name in their book (honestly I was afraid they would spit in my pizza), but she assured me the store had no idea why a person’s name was in the book. If only remedies could be found by offering $5 pizzas….I think life would be a lot easier, don’t you?!?

Everyone wants to feel special. The businesses that create this feeling, are the ones that will have the most success. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world was a place where a “Book of Remedies” wasn’t necessary? I suppose as long as we are all human we will just keep striving.

Where are your favorite places for good customer service? What places are the worst?

Honesty is the soul of Business-Dutch Proverb

 When I read that I couldn’t help but laugh a little.  Even my young children know that the things they see being sold on TV are not as great as they are promised to be.  In America, we are all too familiar with the greed of Wall Street, the ugliness of politics and dishonesty of many televangelists.

So how can the soul of business be honesty? I think that can be found in how we define honesty.  I have had several people tell me that white lies are fine if it moves you ahead.  I have also heard that honesty is fine as long as you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings…Ever been asked by your wife or girlfriend how she looks???

Honesty is not only “not lying”, it’s being honest with ourselves and others about our feelings, not excusing our mistakes or improper actions, but taking responsibility for them. Without honesty, the rest of our virtues are only shadows of what they could be.

Honesty has been defined as fair and straightforward.  I find most business professionals prefer the truth,” I am sorry sir, but we cannot meet the timeline you expect, but can do it one week after that.” rather than…”we will get it done”  (and then deliver late).  Have you ever been stuck in the phone loop at a company listening to the music, praying your time will come soon when you hear them say, “Sorry for the wait, a representative will be with you shortly.”  Ten minutes pass, then 20 and all you keep hearing is that message that is CLEARLY a lie.  I much prefer when I call somewhere and they say, “Your current wait time is 15 minutes.”  At least then, I can make an educated decision on whether I want to wait.

Being honest grows a better business and a better person.  What situations do you encounter where you think Honesty is or is not the soul of business?