Silence really is a killer

I have certainly missed my blogger friends over the past month or so but you will be pleased to know that I was distracted with a very good cause!

Ticking off my bucket list which included my long awaited project, self-publishing my very first book.  I can safely say it is now out there for the world to read. Wow what a journey it has been and a great reminder to anyone out there hesitant to turn their dream into reality due to the fear of the unknown, unless you give it a crack, you will never know!  So get out there and give it a go.

Equally if you would like a copy of my book, naturally titled: Challenge the Status Quo please go to: http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/challengethestatusquo/

Or if I can be of any assistance in helping you achieve your goal of self-publishing your book, please reach out!  I would love to hear from anyone who has gone through the process of self-publishing a book and what their experience was like.  Any tips you might give me going forward would also be highly regarded.

Here’s to stepping outside your comfort zone and reaping the success you deserve!

Have a great week.

Lilianna

Don’t let a system beat you!

Regardless of the obstacles before you, do not let a system stop you from achieving your goals.

A system is only as good as the next person who comes along with a strong belief and determination to challenge it. By challenging it, they change the course of not only their destiny but the destiny of those around them. As a society we do our best to adapt to the various systems implemented either by our governments, organisations or individuals. Some with good merit and others with odds that just don’t stack up or are out of our control, such as the forces of nature. However what I don’t believe is that a process cannot or should not be challenged, just because those in authority made it so. So why do most people settle for “sorry but we can’t help you” routine? Because most people:

  1. Would rather walk away from a confrontation.
  2. Give up too easily and settle for the status quo.
  3. Lack confidence to challenge a system – due to lack of knowledge/information or prior experience/exposure.

What we all need more of is confidence, the belief that we can change the outcome. Whether it’s to buy a new car or home, improve your health, get that dream job or change careers. We might have to tackle a system from several angles but as long as we are determined to see it through, we will succeed in challenging the status quo and achieving our goals.

As W. E. Hickson famously quoted: if at first you don’t success, try, try, try again.

Policies are only as good as the leadership that demonstrates them daily. – Lilianna Kovacevic

Organisations in which leaders continuously fail to uphold a united front through demonstrated action and by this I mean stand united in their decision making processes as opposed to voicing their personal biases, will struggle to gain their employees trust.

What does bring strong employee engagement (buy-in) is demonstrated alignment amongst the leadership team through one united voice and consistent language, instead of leadership teams continuously putting each other on the chopping block (dog eat dog mentality).

This kind of approach lacks credibility and influence to bring their employees on board their change initiatives which are supposedly there to better service the customers and the business holistically.

What leaders amid organisations need to realise is that they are representing a company and the company’s ethos and therefore leaders need to park their egos aside and focus on the bigger picture which does not concern their individual biases, especially if they are not in alignment with the company values.

First impressions – why bother?

Whether it’s your personal brand or business, leaders that invest time and money in training their staff to provide superior customer service (value proposition), will place a heavy focus on ensuring their staff deliver such services with absolute confidence. The first step in this process, is to nail the first impression! Do this well (consistently) and the customer will keep coming back. Why, because confident staff, are empowered, energised and enthusiastic to do their very best, more importantly they will make it happen!

Pushing the consumer privacy boundaries

Not one to shy away from getting value for money, I put the top 5 car insurance providers to the test last week. What dawned on me was the amount of information (PERSONAL information) these insurers were demanding before we even got to any questions about the car (yes I made it clear I was shopping around for the best deal) not signing my life away….just yet.

What struck me was the deliberate misleading by Youi insurance which started with Get a quote now on their website. I never got a quote…instead I got a reply saying thank you for your enquiry, one of our representatives will be in contact with you shortly.

The next day a Youi representative rang me and proceeded with an alarming number of personal questions, which in my mind were invasive and inappropriately pitched so say the least. Thirty minutes into the quotation and after just about giving away my entire life story, I finally got the ball park figure for the insurance premium, which was less than desirable.

I felt as though I walked away with nothing and the insurance provider walked away with all this personal information about me. Sure there are privacy laws in Australia, but where’s the guarantee I won’t be contacted in the future, by this insurance provider, even though I’d asked them to destroy all my personal information.

This experience forced me reassess future dealings with service providers and the level of control I have in disclosing my personal information. Namely, a reminder to thyself that I have the power to divulge the level of information I am comfortable with and not the other way around. Service providers can request all the information in the world but it’s up to the consumers to draw the line in the sand and say no if they feel the questions are plainly inappropriate or unwarranted.

Do you feel like your privacy boundaries have been pushed by service providers beyond your comfort? How have you dealt with the situation?

Unless leaders start DEMONSTRATING that they take leading seriously, organisational effectiveness will continue to suffer and in turn so will their bottom line

Today’s leaders need to revisit their mass sacking, redundancy, downsizing or outsourcing plans to address the all-important question of ‘How are you going to maintain (little yet exceed) the same level of service, once you remove a large number of your workforce and/or a key person from your organisation?’

When are leaders going to wake up to the fact that multi-skilling alone will not solve this problem, as you create a workforce that struggles to meet expectations (customer needs) due to, in essence, being hired to undertake a number of roles, yet have accountability for neither. I would much rather pay for a service provider that does one thing very well than another that offers a number of services (product streams) to get you in the door, yet struggles to deliver on either.

Leaders which fail to ensure their communication plans address any workforce changes adequately so as to ensure access to knowledge, information and decision-making is clearly articulated (to those left to pick up the pieces), especially once a critical person is gone, will suffer as their customers go elsewhere and their bottom line plunges.

Instead of mass sacking leadership needs to step up to the plate and seriously address poor performance by being clear, transparent and accountable, rather than firing only to rehire.  As multi-skilling does not deliver sustainable results due to the pressure of needing to wear more than one hat at the same time. Eventually you will put the wrong hat on. The level of catastrophe is not something I would want to weigh up as I do not have an entitlement to mess with someone’s life, nor should anyone else for that matter.

Management that handballs issues…. shows lack of confidence and accountability

Front line managers that fail to MANAGE by handballing issues down the line, clearly need a lesson in accountability. The difference between taking immediate ownership (or even willingness to try) to rectify an issue and handballing to the next person, will be differentiating factor in sustaining customer loyalty in years to come.

This new wave of management that chooses to shift accountability by handballing their issue/task down the line will never truly understand superior customer service. As a customer, you are not interested in excuses, retraining or apologies, you are interested in how quickly your problem will be resolved and who will be held accountable to ensure it happens. Everything else is irrelevant.

If your organisation prides itself on superior customer service, yet its management/leadership fail to demonstrate this, you have clearly missed the mark.  It’s time to hold your management accountable.