Book Review: ENGAGED! Outbehave your Competition to Create Customers for Life


Share on LinkedIn

ENGAGED! is a new book by Gregg Lederman of Brand Integrity has a simple overall premise,

You need your employees to be engaged. Engaged employees share a common mindset of values and beliefs. This collective mindset drives behaviors that translate to the customer experience.”

Here is an infographic that brings some of the key takeaways from the book to life:

Engaged! Book by Gregg LedermanThe book shows you how to create the systems that both define these key employee behaviors and measure how they are brought to life.

The book outlines the eight principles to ENGAGED! employees:

1. Get Every Employee on Stage to Deliver the Customer Experience
2. Make Happy Employees to Create Engaged Customers
3. Don’t Just Announce Your Culture, Make it Visible
4. Sprint from Culture Talk to Culture Change
5. Quantify Your Culture to Turn Common Sense to Common Practice
6. Any Monkey Can Survey, Start Building Customer Relationships
7. Put the Carrots Away, Rewards Don’t Work the Way You Think
8. Manage the Experience to Build Trust in You as a Leader

Divided into two parts, the first part of the book shows you the steps on how to define a mindset and determine the behaviors. The second part shows you how to measure and manage the experience. ENGAGED! is one of the few books that makes the critical link between employee engagement and customer experience. Lederman shows readers how to take a 360 degree view of both and how to tie them to financial metrics.

I highly recommend the book. Here’s my final thought. To steal a quote from Thomas Edison, “The value in an idea lies in using it.” As a leader, don’t pick this book up unless you are committed you live it and lead by example, 2. stay on top of the numbers along the journey, and 3. find daily opportunities to weave the experience into conversation.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a fun whiteboard video for ENGAGED! I love the rowboat analogy:

NOTE: I was given an advance reader copy of Engaged!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


  1. Two of the biggest challenges with employee engagement are that a) as determined by The Conference Board, there are so many ways to shape and define it – and this book represents yet another, and b) apart from principle 6, there is no mention, much less inclusion, of customers in how employee engagement is defined, making the focus on customers, and leveraging of their behavior, a fairly superficial or minor byproduct outcome of employee engagement. See:

    Incidentally, the happy employees = happy customers equation is pretty much a fallacy. It assumes correlation, rather than causation; and the podcast’s entire tone is that there is a direct, and significant, connection between engagement and customer-related outcomes. It has been well-proven that employees who are not strongly motivated to be proactive and customer-driven, happy or otherwise, don’t have much impact on customer behavior. If a customer-centric culture, with employees identified as partners and agents, isn’t the primary focus – what I define as employee advocacy or ambassadorship – then all of the employee engagement that can be built won’t drive desired customer experiences and resulting loyalty.

  2. Michael,
    Thanks for your comment. Let me address a few points:
    – My post, not podcast, provides an overview of the book. It isn’t the whole book. I think if you read it, you’ll find that it shares your vision and addresses many of your challenges, even though it lacks labels such as ambassadors, advocates, agents or partners.
    – You mention that the book doesn’t include customers in its definition of Engagement. Yet its definition is very similar to one provided by The Conference Board that you endorse. The Conference Board defines engagement as “a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work.” Lederman similarly defines engagement as “employees who are committed and motivated to act in the best interests of their company.”
    – Engaged! delineates the important difference between happy employees and happy engaged employees.
    – Customers are at the center of the Engaged! philosophy. The central idea is to create a customer focused mindset and then determine the employee behaviors that correlate with delivering that mindset. It then takes it one step further to measure and track against delivering on those behaviors, tying them to customer loyalty and more importantly financial metrics.

  3. What’s missing in most discussions of “employee engagement” is a more explicit recognition that “the best interests of the company” include delivering value for the customer.

    In this case I’m happy to see the customer mentioned in 3 out of the 8 principles.

    In my view, employee and customer engagement are linked. They influence each other.

  4. Great point Bob. Customer and employee experience are linked.
    ENGAGED! encourages companies to take a 360 degree view, tying key customer and employee metrics with financial metrics.

  5. The issue with engagement, as defined by The Conference Board – “a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work.” – doesn’t make the concept of engagement, in and of itself, wrong in any way. But, note that this definition makes no mention of the customer. Engagement’s influence on customer behavior is tangential. By the way, the same applies to Lederman’s definition, i.e. engagement is “employees who are committed and motivated to act in the best interest of their company.” So, my POV is that Gregg Lederman’s concept, especially the extremely vital ‘Living the Brand System’ element, goes well beyond what we think of engagement. From my perspective, this is making the case for employee advocacy or ambassadorship but hanging on to, and endeavoring to extend, an employee concept which is over two decades old.

    Ambassadorship is a far more contemporary and customer-focused concept when compared to engagement. Equating engagement with ambassadorship is, to my mind, like saying that satisfaction equals loyalty, and loyalty equals recommendation, and recommendation equals advocacy, and advocacy equals bonding. All of these are distinctive concepts and customer metrics, yielding different results when measured. I’m happy to demonstrate the point with actual results, if desired.

    Ambassadorship, for example, definitely incorporates the branded customer experience, as I’ve covered it in a blog from a couple of years ago:

    I’ve extensively researched the leveraging impact of both employee engagement and employee ambassadorship; and, not surprisingly, there are profound comparative customer behavioral performance differences where ambassadorship is concerned. You and Bob may see this as splitting hairs, and also be of the opinion that employee engagement and customer behavior are intuitively linked, both of which are your prerogatives; but, based on significant dimensional evidence from multiple industries, I’d respectfully disagree.

  6. I agree the linkage may depend on how employee engagement is defined, and whether the “job” is aligned with customer value.

    Academic research I’ve reviewed seems to indicate:

    1. employee and customer engagement are correlated with each other, and both are correlated with business peformance. But most studies don’t prove cause and effect.

    2. One 2003 report (by Schneider, Hanges, Smith and Salvaggio) of a longitudinal study found a stronger “causal directionality flows from financial and market performance to overall job satisfaction.”

    3. Gallup’s recent research concludes that “the path from the individual engagement elements to financial performance is stronger than the path from financial performance to engagement.”

    My view is that employee engagement is a necessary but not sufficient condition for customer loyalty which is a factor in business success. Loyal customers also contribute to a more positive employee experience.

    I don’t think it makes much sense to separate the two. Research is hardly conclusive, and we all know correlation doesn’t mean causation.

    My view is that employees should be “engaged” on activities that drive value for customers and the business. I think your concept of employee ambassadorship which includes commitment to company, value proposition and customer is right on!

    My article on the subject here: Employee Engagement: Putting the Cart Before the Horse?


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here