Browsing: Customer Service

Leadership Is… An Ideal Leader #303

Ever wondered about the ideal leader? What skills, behaviours and attitudes would be lived daily? Would the ideal leader be a people person, a number cruncher a Christian servant leader or someone different?

During leadership seminars and personal interviews I’ve asked hundreds of employees and volunteers what skills or attributes they expect, appreciate and want most in a leader. The skills cited are not difficult, but in combination provide a dynamic quality, yet enjoyable working experience. Here are four characteristics to strive for.

The consistent response to my questions, backed by research, is that leaders must be honest. Good news or bad, followers want leaders to tell the word straight. The leader who is honest sets a standard for the organization. Staff will follow the example.

The ideal boss is consistent. The leadership style is predictable. No ups and downs of good and bad days. No favourites. Staff and volunteers can enjoy the work knowing the style of their leader.

The ideal leader works from defined set of values. These values guide decisions, goals, plans and working strategies. Every decision could be traced back to a basic value. These values depend on the individual, but benefit the organization both above and below the leader. The employees can assess their best fit with the leader, and the leader can assess a best fit within the organization.

The golden rule has been around for centuries, but is as current to today’s business and customer service as it was in Christ’s day. “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!” (Luke 6:31 MSG) Think of it in today’s terms. The satisfied customer, follower, supporter always comes back. Every leader has followers. The associates, suppliers, front line staff and volunteers or customers want quality service. The ideal leader treats each of these with the same high quality respect, dedication and service. People will respond to quality service and come back for more.

The ideal leader, could be you? How do you rate on these points?

Leadership is … following Christ’s example of service.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… A Servant Led Church #302

Paul uses a practical construction analogy, “In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord”. (Ephesians 2:21 NIV) You wouldn’t want to live and work within a building that is poorly constructed. The risks are obvious. Yet, many of us work in organizational environments that are ineffective.

The corporate world has been shaken with CEO’s and CFO’s who re-arrange budget and resources for their own benefit. “People value honesty and integrity in a leader more than anything else. Virtually every person they talked with placed integrity at the top of the leadership wish list.”  (James Kouzes and Barry Posner, quoted by Perkins in Awaken the Leader Within) The Servant led church integrates a service philosophy with integrity. Every member is encouraged to live a life of honesty, truthfulness and integrity. This is a church the world will notice.

The Servant led church is a learning and growing organism. It is characterized by a collective unity and interdependence of each individual and team. The teams define their goals, are delegated a budget and resources, and are accountable to each other and the overall Vision. Leadership, decision making, planning and goal setting are shared, not held by the faithful few. The Servant led church knows its own strengths, weaknesses and the gifts of its people. It also knows the power of people working tougher effectively, “Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 TLB)

The Servant led church reduces the emphasis on the power hierarchy while encouraging team work and a service role for each leader. Each leader would interact within a team. The teams would be composed of divergent thinking people, different ages, different occupations, and ideally different cultures. Each would be committed to the Vision, working independently, yet supporting each other. Although the teams may appear leaderless, the leader is the Vision and the team works the mission as a group of equals.

Is your church a Servant led church?

Leadership is … serving individually and collectively. 

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Sharing Jesus #269

Laurie KennedyI have the best job in the world. I get to laugh, pray and cry with Pastors and church leaders all day long.

The newly trained car rental agent, had politely asked what I did and where was I headed. I confirmed my title was a Leadership Coach and we were heading to a conference with Pastors. The rental agent continued to question me. I shared that as a Leadership Coach I speak and consult in Leadership retreats across Western Canada. Further, I consult with people who love God, read their Bible and do their best to share God’s love with their communities. I also connect with leaders in 80 countries through Social Media. It was a short but positive conversation.

In our conference that week the speaker illustrated research that 80% of the population would respond positively if a friend (someone they knew and had a relationship with) would invite them to church, Bible study or a church activity. The data was fascinating. I haven’t met that particular Rental Agent again, but my prayer is that our brief conversation would move him one step closer to knowing Jesus. Then, someone (a friend of his) would invite him to know Christ.

“Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (Matthew 9:37-38 MSG)

It is a special honor. I really do have the best job in the world. I get to share with people wherever I travel about God’s love and my relationship with him.

Leadership is … sharing God’s love.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Loving Your Visitors #257

Laurie Kennedy“Mr. Kennedy, right now you are the most important person in my life.” (Call Centre Technician) With my computer glitch fixed, I wondered if visitors to our churches feel important.

We live in a wonderful small city with a population of 19,000 that is considered one of the best eleven cities in Canada. We have five Grocery stores and thirty five churches. One grocery store opened a month ago. Do we really need another Grocery store?  Each store provides similar if not identical services. The same name and local brands, a Pharmacy, Meat Department, Bakery, Household goods and free dial and pick service. Notice I’ve just described the new grocery store as identical to the others. Yet, this new Grocery story is having a major impact on our city. The difference? Not the price, not the product, not even the location.

Trying to differentiate a Grocery store is a little like describing many of the churches I visit. Each church has a foyer, a sanctuary, meeting rooms, Sunday school space, offices, pulpit, singing, announcements, a bulletin, offering and a sermon. The similarities are endless.

Returning to our Grocery stores. Our newest Grocery store is almost identical to the other stores except for a significant difference. Every staff member in the new store is smiling, friendly and encouraging. You cannot drop in for one item or get a cart full without noticing staff smiling, encouraging and offering to help. Staff are taught that when they love their role and demonstrate it, customers will come back. It’s working, our new store is thriving.

Returning to our churches. When visitors leave your church, do they feel important? Do they feel welcomed? Are your staff, volunteers and regulars trained to make visitors feel important?

Just like a ship in motion, every church leaves a wake. Does the wake left by your church encourage visitors to feel important? Your staff and volunteers need to treat each visitor like the shepherd who left the ninety nine to care for the one. Your visitor could be the one.

Leadership is ensuring visitors feel important.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Guest Services # 224

Laurie KennedyI made a fascinating discovery this week. I found a local business that doesn’t want new customers. I didn’t say they didn’t need new customers. They don’t want new customers. In fact they don’t want new customers so much that they avoid and discourage new customers.

In your church you want new customers – right? Do our visitors feel that?

In your church or mission, we don’t use the term ‘customer’. We refer to our new customers as visitors, guests, seekers or friends. Many of these new friends do their annual visit at Christmas, Easter and Special events. That is great. But why don’t they come back on a regular basis?

Church Boards rarely focus their time on external issues. Our research suggests that 70% of visitors don’t return to your church because they didn’t feel welcomed. They received the Sunday Bulletin. An Usher shook their hand.  But, the people they sat close to ignored them. Every church has a culture, a tradition, the way we have always done it. As a visitor, you are unaware of the culture and you don’t know how to break in, where to hang a coat and find the wash room.

Visitors want to feel a connection. We are in a generation where thriving churches have and live Vision, Mission and Value statements. This public information, is shared on Social Media identifying the Community, Mission and Helping roles of the church. Have you ever seen a visitor ‘customer’ satisfaction survey? You’ve heard of mystery shoppers. How about a mystery visitor to check out your church. Most hotels and venues place a high value on visitors. Does your church do the same? Do you have a Guest Services person to answer questions and encourage visitors to feel, no really feel, a part of the family?

Visitors want and need to experience, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 NIV)

Leadership is … being friendly and designing your church to welcome and encourage visitors.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Positive Guest Service

Laurie KennedyI delivered six boxes of books to a Christian used book store. I met four men sitting having coffee and a lady working at the counter. Without putting down his coffee, one of the men told me they were not interested in my books. I returned home with my Bible commentaries, reference material, some with sermon notes and ideas scribbled in the margin. Many by famous authors. A quick call to another Christian used book store and all my books have a new home.

I bought a new lawn mover. It was hard to start, coughed and needed a rest every 20 minutes. I returned the faulty lawn mower, received my money back less a 20% re-stocking fee (even though they agreed the lawn mower was faulty). I went to another store, bought a similar lawn mower and the sales person confirmed the Lawn Mower hospital would fix it for free.

While travelling to speak at a leaders retreat in a beautiful mountain resort, a major airline delivered me on time, but lost my luggage. Imagine the challenge of arriving in a new location with people I didn’t know and no luggage. However, the next day the Airline found my luggage, accepted full responsibility, gave me a discount on my next flight, flew it to me and hired a taxi to deliver it to our weekend resort. The most amazing thing is they treated me so well. I wrote the president of the airline and thanked him for the great job they did, even though they lost my luggage.

Do guests feel welcome, encouraged and comfortable in your church? Or, do they visit and leave never to worship with you again. George Barna tells us in A Fish out of Water, “The most dramatic effect of Christian leadership… is felt more so by the day-to-day ideas, conversations, choices, and activities of individual believers in the workforce, the marketplace, the halls of leisure and other public forums.” Seek out a few non-church folks this week and ask them what you could do to improve the experience for your weekly guests.

Leadership is demonstrating God’s love through positive guest service.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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