From Stacy’s Desk: Leading With Service

What does it mean to lead with service?

Have you ever been treated exceptionally well by a business that wasn’t doing it as part of a sale? If so, how did it make you feel? Probably fantastic! When someone treats you well with nothing to gain from it, it gets your attention. It’s likely you’ll share your story with friends and colleagues and remember them when identifying an opportunity to refer business their way.

I’ve recently seen an exceptional example of this in someone that I met through LinkedIn. He sent a LinkedIn email noting that we had a similar clientele and asked if we could meet so he could learn more about our business and see how his clients could benefit.

In contrast, another LinkedIn connection emailed saying he had insurance products our clients would want and we should pass his information along to them.

One person led with service – he asked to learn more about us so that he might find ways for his clients to benefit from our services. The other person led with…hey, you’ve built relationships over the 11 years your company has been in business. I want you to do my marketing for me. Sounded a bit like “gimme, gimme”.

The first gentleman (okay, I’ll tell you who this superstar is…Brian Teal from Five Star Bank in Chico) came to our office, met with us, learned about our business and has since knocked our socks off with how often he stays in contact and looks for opportunities to “serve”. For example, when Morrison recently tweeted an announcement about the launching of our new website, Brian re-tweeted it.

Shortly thereafter, he tweeted “Excellent organization to aid in budgeting, cash flow and mtg obligations – personal recommendation @MorrisonCompany”. He didn’t call us to point it out…he just did it. He also recently started a blog that is clearly a service to the agriculture community. You can just see this guy leading with service – every day!

These may seem like small things, and I suppose they are. But the reality is, Brian Teal from Five Star Bank keeps coming up in conversation at the Morrison office as a result of “the little things”. So, let me ask you something. Who do you think is staying “top of mind” when it comes to our clients and their banking needs?

It didn’t take a lot of Brian’s time to do what he did. But he took the time to make an effort to do something that served us, without requesting or expecting anything in return. And that has our attention (and appreciation). It was an excellent reminder that as service professionals, we need to consistently look for opportunities to serve those around us. And the truth is…it’s just fun to do it! What one thing can you implement this week to lead with service? I promise, you’ll not only enjoy it, you’ll be surprised how it pays off in the long run.

About the Author

+Stacy Kennedy is a consultant with Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Stacy directly at skennedy@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 203.

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