Last week's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia was a horrible tragedy, killing 8 people and injuring hundreds more. Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman's communications to the public, however, have been stellar examples of how to effectively respond to a crisis.
Boardman reached out to Amtrak riders with an email that discussed the tragedy. He took full responsibility for what happened, expressed sympathy for the families of those affected, thanked the local first responders, and discussed how committed his team was to understanding what happened so that improvements could be made to prevent similar incidents in the future.
His emails went out to everyone for whom Amtrak has an email address--even people like me who haven't taken the train in years. He reiterated that even though service was resuming, his organization still had work to do, both to mourn and to learn from the tragedy.
The message made it clear that unlike many companies that have not faced tough challenges head on (think Malaysian Airlines or Takata air bags), Amtrak is on track to recover the trust of its customer base.
Scott Edinger is recognized as an expert in helping organizations achieve top and bottom line growth. He has worked with leaders in nearly every industry sector, helping the formulate and implement growth strategies, increase revenue and profit, develop leadership capacity, drive employee engagement, and attract and retain talent. He is the co-author of The Hidden Leader and The Inspiring Leader, as well as a contributing author to the American Society for Training and Development Leadership Handbook.
In this podcast, Scott discusses the hidden leaders that are often not given credit within an organization. He also talks about the 4 characteristics of leadership behavior that all employees can exhibit and why it’s so important that employees understand what it means to really act as a business owner.
Mocha, my Siberian Husky, wound up wearing "the cone of shame" this week because he scratched at a spot on his back until it was raw. The problem was the cone didn't stop him from scratching the same spot with his back paw.
While I'm sure there's an expensive solution available at pet stores and veterinarians to address it, our vet had a simple suggestion: put a t-shirt on him to cover the spot so he can't reach it and itch.
Voila! Problem solved, and we now have the best dressed dog in the neighborhood, too.
How often do we look for complicated technological solutions when there's a perfectly good answer right at our fingertips? Sometimes we just need to look at what we already have in front of us, doggoneit.
Sales reps sometimes have a tendency to sell a customer the solution they think the customer wants--regardless of whether that's exactly what can be delivered and installed.
The disconnect between expectations and reality can get businesses into trouble. It's easy to sell the promise of what can be. It's not as easy to implement something that fulfills that promise in the light of day and on an ongoing basis.
Be careful not to set expectations you can't deliver. Instead of being happy with something that isn't exactly what they had been dreaming about, your customers are likely to be quite disappointed.
The sales process moves quickly, but you'll live with what's really installed for a long, long time.
Justin Foster has over two decades experience in sales and marketing for small businesses and large corporations. He's cofounded two marketing/branding firms and a successful start-up, and he's worked with the leadership teams of hundreds of organizations to help make their culture the number one differentiator in the modern economy. He's the author of two books on branding: Oatmeal v. Bacon: How to Differentiate in a Generic World and Human Bacon: A Man's Guide to Creating an Awesome Personal Brand.
In this podcast, Justin discusses how to find our internal "bacon" that makes us naturally interesting. He also talks about the five natural forces that shape a brand and explains why a successful brand needs to start with leaders articulating their core values.
Yesterday, for the first time in the history of Major League Baseball, two baseball teams played a game in front of a live audience of none.
Because of this past week's violence in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, the decision was made for the Orioles and White Sox to play to an empty stadium. The goal was to avoid potential violence in the proximity of Camden Yards, and to comply with a citywide curfew.
The first two games in this series were cancelled because of the same protests, yet it was the game played with no audience that captured the attention. That's because cancelling a game happens all the time; playing one to a purposely empty house is not.
By doing something totally different, Baltimore and Orioles sent the message that this was not business as usual. Sometimes the best way to stand out above the noise is without absolute silence.