I was having a conversation with a friend recently. We were talking about the performance of a CEO of a company we both knew. His stance was this CEO was doing a good job because he was paying attention to the stock price.
My stance was the CEO was doing a lousy job because he wasn’t paying attention to setting an extraordinary customer experience. My belief is that having a good stock price is a result of running a great company. Those who concentrate on stock prices often don’t have stock prices that are very good.
I believe a CEO’s main job is to set the tone for the company. They are responsible for hiring great people to deliver on a vision they see for the companies they run. Stock price is important. Concentrating on stock price without a passion for what the company provides for its customers rarely, if ever produces products customers rave about.
At the bottom of all great companies is a sense of service towards their customers. Think about all of the great customer service experiences you’ve had in your life. If you look deeply at the companies that provide them, you will see a deep passion for service.
Passion comes from hiring the right people, having a clear direction of what your company is about and having values that support passion. Running a great company is not complicated.
Creating a great company is all about the customer. We always need to remember that when we develop services our customers don’t care about our profits. It’s OK with them if we make a great profit, but we first must provide them with great service. It’s the great service that allows us the opportunity to earn profits.
Peter Drucker in his seminal book Management, Tasks and Responsibilities talks about the purpose of a company….to provide a service or product that customers want to buy. Having an attitude of service is a major part of fulfilling a company’s purpose.
Too many companies get it backwards. I’ve had many unhappy experiences where the company acts like I’m an inconvenience or worse yet, I’m there to let them make money. This starts us down the slippery slope of an entitled society. And, many believe that’s exactly what we have right now.
What about you? Where do you fit in with being of service to others? Does the concept of service excite you? If not, why not?
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