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Feb 16, 2012 | Post by: regangossett 1 Comments

Potatoes and Leadership

Reading time: 54 seconds (longer than usual – and worth it!)

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Here’s a shock from the past: Back when Boomers were growing up it took an hour to bake a potato.  No, really.  And if it was a big potato, it took longer.  Just imagine having to plan that far in advance for dinner.  Gives me a 21st century headache just to think of it.

Now, of course, we pop a potato into the microwave oven and it’s ready in 4 minutes.  And I wonder if you’ve done this, too:  Have you stood there impatiently waiting for the microwave to finish?  Four minutes isn’t fast enough for us.  It’s crazy.

That surely says something about our increased pace of life, as well as how jam packed our lives have become.  The focus here, though, is on expectations.

Back when it took an hour to bake a potato, that was our expectation.  Now, though, that baking process happens twelve times faster and that’s our expectation and even then we’re impatient and tapping our foot while we wait.  And counting down seconds.  Yes, I do that, too.

We all know we can find anything better, faster and cheaper some place.  We all know we hate automated answering systems, in part because they’re so slow and cumbersome when we have to wade through layer after layer.

The point is that life is different today than it was in the last century and we have trained ourselves to have different expectations and that often includes nearly instant gratification.  Having different expectations surely describes everyone who looks to you for leadership and that means that if you are to be the best leader you can be, you need to find out about their expectations.

For just a moment think of those who look to you for leadership as customers.  Then check out this finding from a 2009 Gartner Research study:

          “Fewer than 10% of companies that gather customer feedback take action on it.*

Imagine that: 90% of those who take the time and spend their money to collect customer feedback do nothing with it.  What a waste.

Find out about your people’s expectations.  Then be a part of that enlightened 10% that takes action and see what that does for your people’s engagement and for your results.

If you’d like to look together at this or any of the Fully Alive© topics, just click here.

*Source:  Fifty Things to Do Right Right Now to Improve the Customer Experience, Gartner Research, 2009

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