The 2012 birthday edition


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It has been a busy week here at our house. Yesterday was my youngest daughter’s thirteenth birthday, which means that I now officially have two teenage daughters. And today is my birthday. I’m older than thirteen.

For years I have put out a birthday posting that listed the things I’ve learned in life, and I would match the number of items to my age. The list was starting to get really long, so for a change I’d like to share fifteen key things that have been on my mind in the last year.

1. It’s easier to tell people what to do than to inspire them to reach new heights. It’s more productive to inspire people to new heights than to tell them what do to

2. The need for someone to be right and someone to be wrong gets in the way of progress and success. It’s also a major stumbling block when working with an unhappy customer.

3. Don’t let your competitor dictate your strategy. Play to your strengths while adjusting to consumer and technological changes.

4. I’ve always said that as a leader you’re responsible for what you say to people, but you’re not responsible for what they hear. I also believe that the more you understand the other person’s perspective, the better you can shape what you say.

5. As a leader you can never talk too much about your customer or the customer experience. The same holds true for the employee experience.

6. Politics are more divisive than ever. While everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, I think it’s healthy to keep that opinion out of the store. Just my opinion….

7. The difference between a great and an annoying store experience lies mostly in the attitude of the staff.

8. It’s easy being the leader when everything is going well, but is through adversity that we grow and develop. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona once told closer Jonathan Papelbon that he would have to learn how to fail before he could learn how to succeed.

9. Grow yourself first, and then your staff. Sales growth will follow. Too many owners and managers think personal development is only for the staff.

10. A lot of people focus on what’s wrong versus what’s right. I think we’re more successful when we focus on what we do well and what we can do even better.

11. You don’t have to believe or agree with everything you read, but you can always use it as a basis to form your own ideas and opinions. That’s the entire philosophy behind the Weekly. I’m not sure I always agree with me.

12. You’re always going to be more successful when you spend more time talking about the solution than the problem.

13. Never underestimate how important being nice to people is.

14. A friend of mine once told me that while he had not yet become the man he hoped to be, he’s happy because he’s better than the man he used to be. I try to remember that every day.

15. I’m truly grateful for my friends, family, clients, readers, and followers. I appreciate everyone who has played a part in my life this year. Thank you.

16. Go above and beyond whenever you can.

Have a great week!

– Doug

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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