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Are you your own worst customer service enemy?

Tell me what these two scenarios have in common: 1] Not long ago, I got a call from a previous client who said I was one of the few humorous speakers they were inviting back to their conference. They had booked a club comedian the previous year who wasn’t used to speaking in the corporate […]

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What if Your Customer Has a Point After All?

Sometime back in the early seventies, I was getting in our family car in a Kmart parking lot when I looked down and found a badly weathered eight-track tape (ask your mom) on the ground next to the car. The tape was in bad shape but closer inspection revealed that it was The Turtles’ Greatest […]

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Christmas Morning Customer Service

I love getting packages in the mail or from FedEx or UPS. Tell me you don’t feel the same way. You see the delivery truck pull up to your house and there’s just a touch more excitement in your life, isn’t there? And when the driver steps out of his vehicle with that box and […]

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Handle the Heat Like Clooney (Director’s Cut: longer article)

With a little prodding, you can get John Hicks to talk about the time he got to act in the Coen brothers’ classic movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” After John saw their first movie he was hooked, so when he learned they were shooting a movie practically in his backyard, he rushed to apply […]

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Handle the Heat Like Clooney (Theatrical version: shorter article)

With a little prodding, I can get my friend John Hicks to talk about the time he got a small part in the Coen brothers’ classic movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” One of John’s principle memories of the experience was the heat. The political rally scene in which John had his part was shot […]

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Life and Death Leadership

Is tearing up a bird’s nest an act of cruelty or kindness? Last year my wife and I noticed a couple of birds flying up to the dryer exhaust vent above the kitchen window. My wife correctly guessed that they were building a nest so I went outside to check it out. After I came […]

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Aliens, Flying Monkeys, and the Coronavirus

These are scary times and I should know because I’m no stranger to fear. When I was nine years old I watched Earth vs. the Flying Saucers on TV and it flat out scared the living bejibbers out of me. Most of the movie wasn’t all that bad. I could handle the flying saucers zipping […]

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Driving in a Blizzard – The Power of Vision

As I drove away from Holland, Michigan, I knew I might be in real trouble. I had read about blizzards and seen them on TV plenty of times, but I had never experienced one firsthand. Creeping eastward on I-196, the dim outline of dark shapes punctuated the whiteness on either side of my car. I […]

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George Bailey and Uncle Billy

It’s a Wonderful Life Leadership Lesson

If you haven’t seen It’s a Wonderful Life, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it. Then call your parents and ask them why they omitted this crucial piece of awesomeness from your upbringing. I watch it every year and, if the other members of my family are to be believed, I always […]

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Inner-Office Conflict When You Work By Yourself

What can you do about inner-office conflict? For the first several years of my career, I was the sole employee of my company. I was both manager and employee. Receptionist and CEO. I was the one and only occupant of my office, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t conflict between me and my coworker. One […]

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