Halloween = Creativity = Exceptional Leadership

untitledHappy Halloween!

Halloween is a fun time for the kids. It’s also an opportunity for the adults to enjoy the kids and the ‘spirit’ of the Halloween – which is many things, including the massive amounts of creativity surrounding this annual event.

There are creative costumes, creative decorations, creative treats, creative tricks, creative invitations, creative parties, creative food, creative drinks … Halloween is full of creativity.

It just takes a little imagination to get everyone enthused and engaged … but the effort is always worth it. .

My leadership tip for you this week is to heighten your organizations level of creativity. Think about how the simplicity of Halloween can inspire you and your organization to become more creative, which can lead to a more fun and productive workplace … which can lead to improved customer satisfaction and greater employee engagement.

Creativity is not a leadership characteristic that we all possess …for some, creativity comes naturally, but for others,

it is a painful challenge that we struggle with, so we avoid it or ignore the importance of it. Don’t give up, creativity can be developed.

If you need a little creativity boost, here is an article entitled 25 Ways to Be More Creative which may help you.

Creativity is work and it requires us to embrace change – which could be the root of the problem – most people don’t like change … however, exceptional leaders do.

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The Cost Of An Unsatisfied Customer

dollarsAs customers, at some time in our lives, we have all experienced bad service somewhere. When we do we should learn from it and prevent a similar occurrence from happening in our organization.

Last week, while in Phoenix I was picking up some dry cleaning at a local dry cleaner. I chose their drive thru window pick up option and sat there for 30 seconds while the 3 – workers on the inside of the building were interacting in what appeared to be a social conversation (lots of laughter and animation going on). I did get a glance from one of the workers but apparently it wasn’t her job to acknowledge customers or serve those waiting at the drive thru window.

When one of the male attendants finally greeted me, I gave him my name and told him I was there for a pick up. He came back with the order placed it in the back seat and took my $40 for the $27 charge then brought me my change and I drove off.

I got home and realized that I had our dry cleaning as well as someone else’s too. So I got back in the car and returned to the drive thru service lane and explained the situation. After great confusion, the attendant acknowledged I paid $15 too much and explained he would arrange to have a check sent to me in the next 7 – 10 business days. I told him I preferred cash – I paid in cash and would like my refund in cash. Apparently there’s a policy of no cash refunds.

The attendant got his manager on the phone and after a few minutes of explaining the situation – no cash is the final answer  – check in the mail in 7 to 10 business days.

This is the thanks I get for returning clothes that are not mine? You would have thought they would have thanked me for returning the other customers clothes and gave me a full refund for my inconvenience … no, that didn’t happen.

I officially became an unsatisfied customer. The cost ? … I told them they have lost my business for the rest of my life and that of all my family and friends who I touch with my story … all because they wouldn’t give me a cash refund for my cash payment. Irrational I know, but I am the customer.

My leadership tip this week is to remind you that there is a huge cost associated with an unsatisfied customer and that you can’t afford to have any. Here’s my formula for ensuring your success:

1. Hire the right people
2. Train them – teach them to solve problems before they’re problems,
3. Empower them – teach them to use common sense in handling situations that arise
4. Measure and ensure they are engaged
5. Formally measure customer satisfaction
6. Fix reoccurring frustrations
7. Re-train your people

Customers are why your organization exists. They contribute to your top line, your bottom line and your position as a leader in your industry … you must be relentless in looking after them.

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Are You Ready For The Unexpected ?


Unfortunately there are a few people in this world who make it dangerous and unsafe for the rest of us.

I read an article about an upset customer in Kansas who returned to the fast food restaurant to complain about a mix up in their order, which led to a confrontation with another customer – a crow bar thrown – a shotgun blast – a police standoff … fortunately no one was injured.

You can read the article here if you’re interested.

This, plus the other incidents that we hear about has to heighten our awareness for preparedness and challenge our mental toughness.

My leadership tip for you this week is to have you think about 3 – different workplace scenarios that could go bad for you. In the office – on a flight – driving to work – in the lunchroom – there is no shortage of. Then ask yourself do you know exactly what you’d do to calmly divert the pending disaster?

If you do, then keep searching for the scenario where you’re not fully prepared, because there is always something out there ready to challenge your preparedness and mental toughness.

If you’re not sure, think through the solutions / actions you would take now, so in the event something unexpectedly bad happens, you’re ready.

Exceptional leaders who are good at mindful preparedness are always ready for the unexpected.

Enjoy your leadership journey !

Make It A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching and my Leadership Tip this week is to urge you to accomplish the following 3 – things during this time:

  1. Make a special effort to remember those lost while serving this country. It is because of their sacrifice that we have the freedom that we do.
  2. You’ve been running hard since the beginning of the year, so spend some good quality time with your family … what can you do that will be special and unique?
  3. Spend a little time alone to reflect on your business thus far this year … make a list of  the 3 – things that you are most pleased with … and make a list of the 3 – things that you are least pleased with.When you get back to work next week acknowledge and appreciate the contributors to the first list and get to work on fixing the second list … this is what exceptional leaders do.

Sounds like a great weekend doesn’t it ?

Enjoy your leadership journey !

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For more leadership development tips, join Randy at www.FaceBook.com/LeadersEdge360

Leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

Next Monday (16th) is Martin Luther King Day. It’s a day that we should reflect on the life and work of a great American leader.

Dr. King left us a leadership legacy and wisdom that I admire and continue to be inspired by.

One of my favorite quotes of his is: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Think about this quote … what does it really mean to you ?

Another one of my favorite MLK quotes is: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

I believe Dr. King inspired many with this quote, but unfortunately as time as gone on we see many who are just going to work and doing as little as possible to get by until the next pay check.

As a leader, how are you doing with inspiring those in your organization to do their jobs with the magic and artistry of Michelangelo and Beethoven  … and are you fully prepared to stand strong in times of challenge and controversy ?

If you’d like to download a complimentary copy of my collection of MLK Quotes – click here.

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For more leadership development tips, join Randy at www.FaceBook.com/LeadersEdge360


Think Things Through In Advance

In my opinion, one of the most neglected attributes of a leader is ‘preparedness’.  

I see too many leaders’ ‘busy doing’ with plenty of reacting and fire-fighting happening, but little thought given to effective implementation or preparation for the future. 

Think about this … as a leader of your business or your family, there will come a time when you will be looked upon to solve an unexpected and likely unwanted problem. 

It could be an accident on the way to the office or a flat tire-yours or someone else’s. The problem could be a short-term financial challenge you or someone else incurs. It could be a key employee who quits unexpectedly or a serious illness. 

Regardless of what the world delivers, an exceptional leader must be prepared to demonstrate leadership by taking action and creating a solution quickly for any and every situation. 

The leadership tip that can help you prepare for the unexpected is to allow yourself a minimum of 20-minutes a day to be alone to slow down and think … think without distractions.  

Think about the scenarios that you could be faced with and mentally prepare what you would do if they were to materialize. Or if your plans don’t turn out the way they were supposed to. 

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”  

Never put yourself in a position where you say, “I never saw that coming.” 

Enjoy your leadership journey!

Randy Goruk develops business leaders through his coaching, training and professional speaking services. His book ‘Sparks – A Business Fable; Leadership Actions That Will Ignite Your Organization’ is available at www.SparksTheBook.com

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Cheaters Never Win

Cheaters Never Win

I really don’t know what’s going on in this world … but once again, cheaters never win !

From my book ˜Sparks – A Business Fable’ I share this segment with you:

 ‘I never want to be in a situation where so many business leaders have been lately-where they were caught doing something wrong and their actions were made public,’ he mused. ‘Adultery, stealing from the company, ripping off a customer, knowingly put out poor quality or dangerous product for personal or company gain or even anything as simple as lying to someone. It just isn’t worth it.’

And then just in the past week;

  • We’ve had a number of Atlanta police officers fired and suspended for lying about the details of a case they were involved in
  • Also in Atlanta we’ve had the Atlanta Public School superintendent resigning her leadership post because of a cheating on school test scores scandal. So now we don’t need to worry about kids cheating at school, we’ve got to worry about the teachers and their leaders cheating on behalf of the kids and then lying about it – read more here
  • I don’t know who was lying in the Casey Anthony trial … but with all of the accusations  being thrown around … it’s logical to think that somebody was lying
  • A famous major league baseball player  is at trial for lying to Congress … and to top it all off, this past weekend we’ve had a couple of professional football players in trouble with the law – but they’re denying all charges ranging from DUI to resisting arrest

My leadership tip for you this week comes fromSparks‘ 

You must lead your organization with unwavering character !

Trust and respect in a manager is earned and essential to organizational success.

Exceptional leaders consistently demonstrate their true character in their words, actions, and behaviors. They are sincere, truthful, fair, embracing of diversity, respectful of the rules, non-hypocritical, and quick to give credit where credit is due.

 People want to work for someone they trust and respect.  

You should also surround yourself with people of high character and integrity – hold them to a high standard and hold them accountable for their behavior. 
Finally, learn to pay attention to the signals that liars send you –  here is a great article to help you identify when someone is lying to you.
The world will be a better place if we could get everyone to realize that cheaters never win !

Do what you can – it’s not a one person job.

Enjoy your leadership journey. 

Randy Goruk develops business leaders through his coaching, training and professional speaking services. His book ‘Sparks – A Business Fable; Leadership Actions That Will Ignite Your Organization’ is available at www.SparksTheBook.com

Return to LeadersEdge360.com Home Page 
To Sign Up for Randy’s Leadership Tip of the Week