Developing and maintaining an expectation of success


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“Much of success is about performance. It’s about what we do and what we are able to inspire others to do.” – Zig Ziglar

A while back I received an email from Zig Ziglar that began with the above quote. He went on to say that he has learned there are five simple performance principles that create success. Zig said the principles are “the basis for developing and maintaining an expectation of success.”

I LOVE the last line. That’s a keeper.

I decided to write down my own five principles of retail and service performance before I read the article and then go back to see what Zig Ziglar says they are.

1. Leaders are out front leading. Years ago I talked a lot about leadership from a conceptual viewpoint. I’ve come to see that leadership is action, pure and simple. In most of our client’s businesses, the stores that perform the best have an owner or manager who truly excels at coaching and driving their business. They’re delegating as much as they can so they can spend time with their staff and customers.

2. People are happy. Pretty simple. Happy people treat customers better and create a better work environment than unhappy people. Okay, before you brush this one off as a “duh” moment, I assure you that most companies don’t focus nearly enough on making sure their people are happy. You want to see the true impact happy people have on performance? Compare the performance of a store with a happy manager to that of a store with an unhappy manager. Huge!

3. High expectations and high accountability. I didn’t fully understand this when I ran an organization. I just figured you told people what to do and they did it. I now realize that high performance comes not only from setting standards and expectations at a company level, but making sure that people are meeting those standards and expectations. One of my favorite sayings is, “Most people rise to the level of expectation and accountability, but will slide to the level of acceptance.” We help employees be successful when we raise and maintain the bar.

4. A focus on daily development. Consistency is one of the keys to being a successful specialty retailer. Complacency and the routine of retail are two of the biggest threats to consistency. That’s why we need to do so much more than just training. You create a high-performing organization when everyone is expected to grow and improve every day, and the leadership coaches and guides the individuals on their path.

5. People take action proactively. Many of you have heard me say that the difference between winners and losers is action. Ziglar says it this way: “It’s about what we DO and what we are able to inspire others to DO.” Performance never comes from intent. Performance comes from action. At Bose we used to say, “Try a lot of things and keep what works.” Success doesn’t happen. It’s created.

Those are my five principles that create success. How about yours?

By the way, here is what Zig Ziglar says are his five principles.

1. We generally get from ourselves and others what we expect.

2. The difference between good and excellent companies is training.

3. You find what you look for in life.

4. Never make a promise without a plan.

5. Happiness, joy, and gratitude are universal if we know what to look for.

As you can see, there are some similarities to my list but some differences, too. And that reminds me to add a sixth principle.

6. Never stop learning from others. Thank you to all of you who teach me all of the time.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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