Our customers are our lifeblood, so leaders put their needs first. Putting customers first in every decision turns them into promoters who spread the word about our products, which results in long term sustainable growth.
Leaders put the customer first using active listening; ask clarifying questions and reflect by paraphrasing. Empathy is also an important part of a leader’s skillset; it enables them to look at problems from the customer’s perspective, fully appreciating their pain points. Leaders passionately and profoundly understand the customer’s needs and translate that understanding into the best possible customer experience.
Leaders create a culture of taking ownership. When the team takes ownership, this results in a better experience for the customer.
Ownership is about taking full responsibility at every step to make sure an outcome is achieved. Team members don’t say “that’s not my job” and if they delegate the task, they own it. If something goes wrong, they own that too, taking responsibility to make it right. Leaders don’t shift the blame.
When mistakes happen, taking responsibility is hard, but it’s what great leaders do. In a strong team of leaders, each team member will try to take responsibility. This attitude of taking ownership naturally spreads throughout the team.
Leaders have persistence and a bias for action that achieves measurable results. They do this in a way that actually moves the needle, which is a relevant and measurable result. While others might feel like they’re taking action, working hard, and getting things done, leaders tie their actions to specific measurable results known as OKRs (objectives and key results) through metrics and KPIs. Ultimately, leaders move the needle in a way that benefits the customer, earns trust and creates growth.
To deliver results that improve the customer experience, leaders prioritize work that is both important and urgent, rather than work on everything all at once. Leaders truly understand the difference between urgent and important; "What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important." — Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Achieving meaningful results means delivering something good now, rather than something perfect later. Leaders focus on what needs to be prioritised immediately and plan work that will be delivered later. In other words, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
It’s ok to disagree. In fact, combining different perspectives promotes creativity, resulting in a better customer experience. Leaders encourage everyone to share their opinions and discuss options.
Leaders consider all points of view, listen deeply to all individuals, then make a decision and choose a direction, usually with limited time and information. Decisions are made without waiting for consensus; waiting for everyone to agree to drives the lowest-common denominator solutions. Not everyone’s point of view will align with a decision, but it’s important that everyone commits fully to the chosen direction, takes ownership, and delivers what was decided.
When a change of direction is needed, leaders enable everyone to feel that they can raise a concern while accepting that the original plan may remain.
There's always more to learn, even if you feel like you fully understand something, so having a hunger for knowledge is important. Leaders are curious and encourage others to be curious by listening and trying to learn from both customers and team members. Leaders dig into things that don’t quite look right or look like they could be done better.
Leaders adopt a Beginner’s Mind to understand the point of view of someone who has limited knowledge or experience. They focus and explore only the most important details fully while understanding that there is no need to explore every aspect of every issue.
Leaders are positive, asking “how can we” instead of saying “we can’t”. They know that it’s very important to consider the unknowns, rather than shutting the door on possibilities.