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Archive for September, 2010


One Step At A Time

I recently finished a book called “Never Be the Same” by Marc LeBlanc and I hope what I share with you from that book can help you reach your dreams.

No matter what your current situation is, good or not-so-good, hang in there.  Miracles do happen, memories can be healed, and dreams do come true.  Make a commitment to yourself first, not to the finish line.  Celebrate the effort, and remember you can always take another step.  Take that step deliberately in the direction of your dreams.  It may be a baby step, but you can take one.  Today.  Tomorrow.  The next day.

Whatever your challenges are, keep going and always keep your dreams in site, taking one step at a time.

What are your dreams?


What’s Your One Thing?

Just this week I heard it again.  “This won’t work for me.  You don’t know my boss”.  You’re right.  I don’t know your boss.

If you constantly have the attitude that you can’t change, you can’t get more productive because of your surroundings, boss, job, etc. than you won’t.  5 years from now you’ll be in the same position, still feeling overwhelmed and overloaded, and complaining about the same things.

Instead of telling yourself the ideas that I teach won’t work for you, ask yourself how can they work for you.  Only you have the ability to change your environment and reduce your stress. 

I challenge each and every one of you to pick one thing that you can change that will make your life better. 

What’s your one thing?


City Among the Most Stressful

I was reading the Birmingham News on Tuesday, Sept 7 and there was an article in the Business Section titled “City Among the Most Stressful”.  I couldn’t believe it!  As I scanned the list I saw that our great city of Birmingham was ranked ninth.  It’s hard to imagine that we are in a list that consists of Detroit, New York and Los Angeles…and I have lived many years outside Detroit and Los Angeles.  I’ve only been to New York once, and I can see why they made the list.

Also included in the article was a list of the least stressful cities and Raleigh, NC was ranked fourth.  I lived there for six years prior to moving to Birmingham…and in my opinion, people there are much more stressed out than Birmingham. 

The results were based on a survey that considered factors including unemployment rates, living standards, crime and health risks.  I’m not sure if traffic made the survey, but Hwy 280 during rush hour is like riding in the express lane compared to most big cities.  And a lot less stressful! 

Interestingly enough, the subheading read “But 9th place doesn’t mean every resident feels worked up”.  Well, perhaps they should have just asked 1000 people everywhere they surveyed if they felt “stressed out”.  Sure, statistics play an important role in surveys, but people’s feelings are rarely taken into consideration.  Also, exactly what part of town did these people survey?  Was it over the phone or in person?  Hmmm!

I moved to Birmingham almost four years ago – from Raleigh – and I have to say it is the friendliest, most active, athletic and family oriented city I have ever lived in.  The people here are great!  What do you think?  Is Birmingham stressful?



Service Cycle Thinking

Think of everything your customers do to conduct business with you as a customer experience cycle.

Customers start interacting with you. Then they take steps toward satisfying their wants or needs. Hopefully, they eventually get closure related to their wants or needs. Maybe they want to purchase something, return something, ask about something, or yes…maybe they want to complain about something.

Use cycle thinking to determine how your customers “experience” your organization. Look at the steps your customers must take in the beginning, middle, and end of the cycle. What is the experience like for them?

Say, for example, a customer wants to buy something from you. What are their options at the beginning of the cycle? A phone call, an email, an online inquiry, walking into your physical location, etc.

Look at each of these options and see how you might improve the customer experience. Use the more-better-different-less approach when looking for areas of improvement: what can you do more of, what can you do better, what can you do different, what can you do less? When you finish improving the beginning, evaluate each subsequent step in the cycle of service. How can it be improved?

For those of you who have attended the GO System training course, the more-better-different-less approach should sound familiar.

Have a positively productive day!

Written by Chris Crouch, developer of the GO System training course.