Friday, January 25, 2013

FRED Friday...Starbucks Brews Relationships

FRED Friday…Starbucks brews Relationships

This morning on the exercise bike I had one of the news channels on the TV.  Cliff Burrows, Starbucks’ President, Americas, was being interviewed about the most recent Starbucks earnings report.  Sales in the Americas rose, and profits beat analysts’ estimates.  Great news, for any for profit company.

Mr. Burrows and the interviewer engaged in conversation about “Starbucks, the product”, and they touched on how Starbucks continues to be…Starbucks.  From the type of coffee beans used to how they brew them to some interesting dialogue on The Clover machine that changed the coffee game even further, for Starbucks. 

“The Clover conversation” struck a chord with me, as Mr. Burrows unpacked not only the features and benefits of the machine and the value-added tastes and flavors it adds to their product, but he also touched upon how Starbucks Baristas deliver both the service and product.

The interviewer challenged him, asking him to “say more about the bean pressing process” of The Clover and the ‘extra time’ and ‘extra cost’ to the customer.  Mr. Burrows remained true to the very fabric that Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, made sure to weave into the company’s culture from Day 1. 

Mr. Burrows didn’t skip a beat when the conversation turned to some potential negative implications of ‘extra time’ or ‘extra cost’ to the consumers.  He went on to reinforce what Starbucks is all about.  As he explained, while Starbucks delivers a fantastic, delicious coffee product, they’re also fully committed to delivering that unique experience.

The Starbucks experience was a focal point when Howard Schultz came back from his visit to Milan all those years ago, inspired by the coffee culture and espresso bars that created a “third place” – not home, not work, but a third place - that was the culture and community Starbucks set out to create for people in the late 1980's.

Mr. Burrows closed out the interview exactly the way Starbucks built their company, one cup at a time…he did it by telling their story.  He didn’t expound on the $11,000, that Starbucks invests, per store, to add The Clover machine to the Baristas’ coffee-making quiver, nor did he pontificate on the quality or delicious taste of the product the machine produces.

In a succinct statement, he painted the picture of what happens while we wait in line for our Starbucks brew.  As we wait, we’re being engaged in meaningful conversation; a Barista is telling us the story of the company/The Clover/the beans, and the environment – the music, the atmosphere, & the vibe –, which results in an emotional connection with Starbucks every time we visit for our favorite latte or roast. 

The experience and feeling of connecting with a community and a culture that we didn’t even know we liked or needed continues to be the thread woven deeply into the fabric of what makes Starbucks, Starbucks.  (Abbey, at 'the first Starbucks' in Seattle's Pike Place Market is a great illustration.)

This reminds me of The Fred Factor principle # 2 – Success is Built on Relationships.  In Mark Sanborn’s story of Fred the Postman, he reminds us that Fred’s ability to connect with the folks on his route is what made him stand out.  This made him different from other service providers, and truly inspired a movement, which Mr. Sanborn continues to write, speak, and teach about today.

Mr. Sanborn states in the book and in his speeches that “this doesn’t mean the quality of your product isn’t important…it just means that it’s not enough.”  Starbucks is proof that the quality of the product is important, but the quality of the relationships with customers, Guests, clients, & members is critical.

You may have read or heard me speak to this Howard Schultz quote before, and it’s worth repeating here.  I love it, because it not only sums up Starbucks’ story, it’s inspiring:

We’re not in the coffee business, serving people…we’re in the PEOPLE business, serving coffee.” – Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks

From the finance folks grinding on pricing models to their people grinding the coffee...from Baristas to the boardroom, Starbucks brews relationships.  It sets them apart, and it's what keeps us going back...cup after cup.

Have a great day, relationshipping. 


What is FRED Friday?

In my favorite book, The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn tells an inspiring story of how a man named Fred goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role as a Postman for the United States Postal Service.  I love this book.  Since my mom sent it to me in 2004, I've purchased the book for friends, coworkers, and girlfriends...I've even purchased and hand delivered copies of the book to several executives at both Wynn Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Fred Friday is a series in which the OneMoreStepRevolution blog will showcase a real life "Fred" on select Fridays.   Reading The Fred Factor definitely leaves us with a desire to to be more Fred-like ourselves, but I also love looking for Freds.  Freds are everywhere. I love it when I experience a real life Fred.  I'm inspired just as I am every time I re-read the book.  I thought it would be fun to spread the magic of Fred to our OneMoreStepRevolution community

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"I'm not worried about anything..."

“I’m not worried about anything…”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the final speech of his life in Memphis, TN on April 3rd, 1968 at Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ Headquarters). 

He was speaking to a group of garbage workers of the city of Memphis.  They were on strike, and Dr. King was to lead them in a protest march the following day.

If you’ve never taken a closer look at what he said in his speech on April 3rd, 1968, here are the closing remarks he made that night:

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop; and I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will.

And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I do not fear any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

As we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, perhaps we should remember some of his final words. Dr. King reminded those people in Memphis that night forty-five years ago of something that should remain true, for believers today. 

God is so good that on the very night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated, He filled him with happiness and relieved him of his worries.  Dr. King passionately shared with his final audience that he was not concerned about longevity, but that he “just wanted to do God’s will.”

Dr. King didn’t know what would happen the following day, but God did.  Just as God put those beautiful words into Dr. King’s speech forty-five years ago, if we listen, we can hear Him today…telling you and me the very same thing – to be happy and to not worry.  (Matthew 6:25)

Sometimes it’s worth the reflection, on holidays such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to remind ourselves that for Christ followers and believers, we have great news today.  We don’t have to worry.  We don’t have to fear any man.  We can be happy.  All we have to do is believe and put our faith in our Heavenly Father…let go and let God.

When we do that, we’re free…free of our sins, free of our worries, and free to experience true happiness.

“Free at last…free at last…thank God Almighty…we’re free at last.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Have a great day…and don’t worry.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Like" stuff...

“Like” stuff…

Over 1 Billion of us scroll through our Facebook news feeds each day. 

We've grown to like (pun intended) that ever-so-simple, yet meaningful Thumbs Up icon that when clicked, in an instant, we’re able to recognize someone or something. 

We can like someone’s post, a new product, a quote, a video, a picture, or even a thought, and it’s then displayed on our “wall”, “profile”, or “news feed”. 

By “liking” it (whatever “it” may be) we say to the FB Friend, the fellow YouTube viewer or publisher, or to the person we’re following on Twitter that we’ve just noticed them.  Forevermore, displayed on our wall, is a stamp of our approval for ‘it’.  Also the person whose stuff we just “liked” gets the notification.  

When you and I get that  likenotification, by definition we feel noticed!  And it usually feels good! 

I had a professor say to me once after I wrote him a thank you card at the end of a semester, “It’s nice to hear nice things…thank you.”

My guess is that you and I really aren’t that different, in this respect.  You like to be liked…and so do I.  So if we both like to be liked…most likely they will like it too.

Easy. Simple.  Yet often overlooked OneMoreStep opportunity“Like” stuff…

We can “Like” people’s stuff on social media, for sure.  That’s obvious.  And it’s easy.

Our challenge is to take that easily executed click of the thumbs up icon we perform daily online, and apply it to real life, with real people, in real situations. 

Woah, what an impact and potential opportunity to make people feel like a million bucks…when we actually notice them – and their contributions, their knowledge, their talent, their inspiration, their skills, and even their love.

Think of how cool it feels to look down and see 5, 10, or sometimes, over 20 “likes” on a Facebook post of ours.  It’s just fun.  We feel so popular, noticed, and known.  We LIKE it! 

That happens pretty often on Facebook, but not so often in real life. 

Now think about the day you just had at work today.  Think about the afternoon and evening you just spent at home.  Think of all the stuff you did for your coworkers, Guests, clients, or customers.  Think of all that stuff you finished for your boss.  What about all the stuff you had to do today for friends or the family? 

How many “likes” did you get?  How many times did you feel noticed or known?

You and I both probably received far fewer real life “likes” and notifications than FB “likes”.

This is our opportunity to be the leaders; the ones to take the first step in actively looking for opportunities to truly “like” stuff…to truly let the people in our lives know that we notice them. 

The more you and I go out of our way to not only “like” it on Facebook, but to also articulate a “thank you” or a “job well done” in real time, in real life, among real coworkers…the more everyone else will follow our lead.

People do all kinds of stuff all day long, and we can make them feel so appreciated if and when we take the time to simply “like” their stuff…

Have a great day.


One for the road…

Eeyore said it best, when he was undoubtedly having just an ordinary “Eeyore type day”…he said, “thanks for notice’n me…”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Draw Up a New Play

Draw up a New Play
In basketball, football, or any team sport, often coming out of a timeout, quarter break, or halftime, the coach draws up a new play.   

It’s usually designed with purpose, to achieve a specific outcome.  The obvious desired outcome is to score points.

While that’s often the case, great coaches peel back the layers of the onion and draw up new plays for other reasons, which add value in other ways.

New plays, coming out of a timeout, can be the spark that:

·      Ignites a slumping player
·      Unleashes the talent or extraordinary potential in an emerging star
·      Catches the opposition off guard
·      Builds confidence among the team when executed flawlessly
·      Proves to each player involved that ‘’they matter” & “they CAN do it”

New plays keep everyone, on both teams, on their toes…keeping the game fresh, exciting, and most importantly, FUN.

2012 is in the books.  Chances are, we’ve learned a great deal about our own strengths and opportunities for improvement…as well as those of our colleagues and maybe even our competitors. 

OneMoreStep Challenge as we’re well on our way to discovering what 2013 may hold, we should draw up a new play. 

Draw up a new play for our teamswhose strengths should be utilized more in 2013? 

Draw up a new play for our partnershow can we renew their confidence in us?

Draw up a new play for our CoWorkershow can we inspire or encourage them?

Draw up a new play for our familieshow can we let them know how much we really do love them?  That just may be the “pick me up” a ‘slumping’ family member needs.

Draw up a new play for our friendswe care about them and want the best for them, but we often fall short in showing them that we do.  Potential magic to be made there...

Draw up a new play that catches our competitors off guard, in such a way that allows our team/our company to realize a much-needed advantage…in a creative way.

You may be thinking this sounds like all of those New Year’s Resolution posts you read last week.  The difference, however, between drawing up a new play and making a New Year’s resolution is that drawing up a new play is for the benefit of someone else rather than ourselves.

Making magic for people in our lives, enriching a relationship, or inspiring someone to be great are all compelling reasons to draw up a new play. 

As for Resolutions…most of us have already given up on those already anyway.   Since drawing up a new play is usually designed with purpose, to achieve a specific outcome...If/when we’re intentional, committed, and passionate enough, we’ll certainly be more likely to follow through with a new play vs. a self-absorbed resolution.

My bet is that we’ll feel better about the impact we made on the person for whom the new play was designed than we’ll ever feel about the failure of our own resolution that only lasts two weeks into January.

Go make some magic…it’s just way more fun.

Have a great day.