Following on the firework theme from my last blog, here are my top tips for making sure your teams are designed to WOW your customers and clients and leave them talking about your business for months and years to come. If you didn’t read the last blog, I’d suggest having a read first, click here.
1. Great leadership provides WOW impact
Too many cooks spoil the broth goes the saying and I can see how some of the bonfires I’ve attended have clearly tried to be managed, simply ticking off a list of things that a bonfire should have, or community led rather than inspired. Do you want average or do you want “WOW”?
Great leaders are visionary, and inspire. They instill a sense of challenge and optimism but at the same time they are approachable, trusting, honest and authentic. What great leaders don’t need is operational skill & knowledge, the right team and the right people will deliver that.
Ultimately they provide the inspiration and guidance to those around them to deliver a vision that Wows.
2. Have a plan that WOW’s customers and the team who are going to be delivering it
What’s your vision? Do you want to merely tick a box which said, ‘we did it’ because all the fireworks were lit, or do you want to create something that leaves an impression? If it’s the latter (which I’m sure it is for all of you), then you need to have a vision that WOW’s. Most companies (and bonfire organizing parties) focus too much on the ‘what’ and ‘how’. The missing ingredient? The ‘WHY’. It’s very easy for customers to compare what and how. They are your commodities and can be easily negotiated down on price. But appeal to your customers emotional decision with a compelling ‘Why’ and the buying process just got a whole lot simpler.
I’d much rather go to a bonfire party that promised me the Heston Blumenthal style assault on my senses. “because life’s too short to walk around sleeping”. So how can you add some wow into your ‘WHY?’ and are you thinking big enough to be inspirational?
3. Play to your strengths to optimise the resources you have
As I mentioned before, a leader doesn’t need to know how to do everything. They attract the people with the right skills and attitudes. I’d say that attitude is actually way more important than skill. With the right attitude, we’re able to learn any skill. For me the key here is to ensure your team are playing to their strengths. Do your team even know what their strengths are? Do you know what they’re strengths are? When was the last time you asked them, “what do you enjoy most at work?” You wouldn’t necessarily put a sous-chef in charge of the fireworks if there are food related activities which need doing.
4. Engage with your team prior, throughout and after
Imagine a bonfire party committee, they meet six months ahead of the event, agree a plan, have a wow vision, get everyone playing to their strengths, they review the weather forecast, dry. Perfect. No need for tents and gazebos and no need for toilets because there are three pubs all on the outskirts of the green. Job done. Only two of the pubs shut, the third is run by a grump who wants nothing to do with the community, oh and a freak weather front shifts across the Atlantic around the same time. Disaster?
Most companies follow this same approach. They go through some form of business planning ahead of their new financial year (bizarrely some wait well into the year). They usually communicate the plan to their teams, then expect their people to just crack on. But life is unexpected; what if the market changes or customer needs adapt, maybe a competitor acts out of character? Teams who are briefed only once have the potential to fire off in all sorts of directions.
I hope this year, you manage to pick a bonfire that WOW’s rather than disappoints and I sincerely hope your teams are already following my formula for a winning team.
Inspirational leadership – are you wowing your people?
A vision that WOW’s your customers and your people
A team that knows how to play to their strengths and replaces all conflict with opportunity
Regular communication and engagement with your team
To find out more about how I can help you with all or some of these elements, please call me on 07786 250 175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org