Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lessons in Leadership - November 15, 2005

Lessons in Leadership is devoted to helping new leaders learn how to motivate employees and customers to stay longer, complain less, and produce more profits.

In this issue you will learn:

Contagious Leadership Lesson: Leaders Value and Respect Those they Work WITH
Contagious Customer Service Lesson: The One Thing to Do to Keep that Customer
Contagious Confidence Lesson: It's All in Your Head

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Contagious Leadership Lesson:
Leaders Value and Respect Those they Work WITH

Do the employees that report to you actually work for you? Hmmm... Some will say yes, some no. Do you work for the company or organization from which you recieve a pay check or direction? Hmmm... Likely similar answers.

If you have read Contagious Leadership or been to any of my seminars, chances are you know the answer because in truth neither you nor those other people work FOR you or FOR an organization. For those who might not be tracking with me just yet, think of it this way:
Call up each and every one of those folks who work "For" you and ask them to come in tomorrow for free. That's right, absolutely free of charge, gratis, being paid bupkis... you get the idea. See what they all say. In fact, how many of you would have an entire staff of people show up?

If you did not quickly jump in and say me, yes, me, "I would have an entire staff show up", then let's look at this from a bigger picture perspective. Shouldn't that make it immediately clear to you that these folks do not work for the sheer, shining fact of getting to see your smiling face each and every day? No matter how cute you are, the truth is that they do not work FOR you or the organization with which you are affiliated. They work for ... THEMSELVES. Yep, you guessed it, FOR themselves and whatever the paycheck or reward that is doled out allows them to achieve most likely at home or other places outside of work. Thus, these folks do not work FOR you, they work, yep, you guessed it... WITH you.

The use of different words, though it may seem a silly matter of semantics, can make a big difference. A noticeable change occurs when a manager begins to describe employees as those he or she works WITH instead of those who work FOR him or her. Of course, the only way you will know if this makes a difference to those that work WITH you is to give it a try.
(You will enjoy reading the rest of Chapter 1 of Contagious Leadership at

Happy Leading!


"Your business is only as good as the people who work WITH you" M. Wofford
...from Contagious Quotations


Contagious Customer Service Lesson:
Where is the New Leader's Focus?

You've done it! You've worked hard, paid your dues, worked through the resentment of those who you used to be peers with and are now their boss, and you've been promoted! Congratulations! Before the ink dries on your newly titled business cards, let's take a look at what your focus is and where your efforts lie with regard to your customers. Who are they exactly?

Are your customers those who pay the bills and buy stuff at your store or pay the taxes or pay the insurance bills that keep your hospital running or are they the folks who day in, day out, say hello to those folks, make them feel at home, make them want to buy your product, answer your phones, or any number of other tasks that keep your business alive? It's a tough and long question, admittedly. Yet, without finding the focus of your customer service efforts and where they are best placed, you may find that your best customers leave your organization to serve the external customers of your competitor.

Those that report to you are your best customers and from all the recent motivational material on morale and internal motivation, we all know that. What we tend to do and what we know are different. Spend a day determining who you spend more time with - the external customers or the internal customers.

  • Make a list of what you do for the external customers to say thank you for their business
  • Make a list of what you do for the internal customers to say thank you for their business
  • Compare the two lists and make any needed adjustments
  • Walk around and among those you work with and seek their input
  • Don't wait for them to come to you only if there is a complaint

Spend as much time, effort, and energy on those who work side by side with you as you do on those who do business with you. It will serve you better, serve them better, and allow you both to serve that external customer better.

You don't need another quote from me, you need results. What are your hot leadership issues? Give me your best hot leadership problem, issue, or need, and you may find yourself featured in the next issue of Lessons in Leadership. Send your issues or challenges to

Contagious Confidence Lesson:
It's all in Your Head

Whether your presentation is one on one or one on 50, confidence is something a leader cannot be without. But, where does it come from? Confidence is all in your head and believe you me what is in your head often comes out in your communication. Thus, might it be prudent to look more closely at what is in your head instead of focusing on what is "Supposed" to be coming out of your mouth?

Rather than focusing on what your body language is or where your hands are, focus on the message you want your audience to receive. Consider these questions before you provide your next presentation:

  • What do you want them to do different?
  • How do you want them to feel different?
  • What is it that you want them to learn how to do?
  • How do you want them to act once your presentation is over?
  • What is the one thing that your learners will know when you are done?

Once your message and the benefit you are looking for your learners to receive is solidified, your body language gestures and positioning on stage will come naturally. Once you shift the focus in your head from you and your nervousness to the audience and their benefits, you will find that your presentation will come more naturally.

Much like leadership, delivering a presentation is not all about you, it's all about them and that is a shift that takes place in your head.

With The holidays coming up and the shopping days counting down, keep in mind just what all you have to be grateful for. If you woke up this morning breathing and have friends to tell that you did, I would say that your list of grateful things is already pretty healthy. Happy Thanksgiving holidays to all of those in the states!

The tools that you use to do your job, to lead those you are given the privilege of leading, are important. If you use the same tools that you have always used, you will gain the results that you have always gotten. (Just how many times do we have to hear that to believe it??) What new results are you looking to achieve? Even more importantly, what new tools will you be using to achieve such results?

As a trainer of leadership, customer service, and confidence, I have taught hundreds of people how to lead both their customers an employees. Those learners who take the most initiative also look for ways to practice their new skills long after the training sessions. In order to change old habits, they employ hard work, practice, and new learning tactics.

Some of the ways in which they learn new skills is to listen to Contagious Leadership CDs and Contagious Confidence, as well as to read the book from which it all began: Contagious Leadership. If you have not taken that initiative, the next step you take could change the way employees and customers respond to you in the new year. Spend 15 minutes a day reading or listening to the tools that will give you new skills and watch your progress improve.

Request your personal copy of Contagious Leadership (the book or the 6 CD set) at I look forward to sending them to you. Not to mention, your shopping days for your boss and co-workers are quickly diminishing.
Give them gift of learning that will last far beyond the holidays.

Go to to order your very
own autographed copies today!

Being a leader doesn't happen in one day, it often takes years, yet doing it on your own may take a lifetime. Who wants to make all the mistakes I had to make in order to learn to lead others effectively? If you don' t have a coach, get one. If we had all the answers we would be doing it all without help and I have never met anyone who had all the answers in all the areas and didn't need any help - even if they didn't want to admit it. Fees and structure are based on project.

Monica provides coaching for small business owners, public speakers, and leaders. Outside of those areas, she will gladly refer you to someone who will serve you well. Contact her directly at 407-739-1870 or

Also - You don't want to miss out on the coaching program that is all online.


See you next issue and in the meantime...

Stay Contagious!

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How Can You Bring Monica Wofford into Your Organization?

Monica Wofford, CSP, is the CEO of Contagious Companies.

She is also an international speaker, trainer, author and coach. Having written Contagious Leadership and trained organizations and companies such as Estee Lauder, Hallmark and the FAA, the US Mint and The City of New York, Monica is a skilled facilitator who helps you develop employees who stay longer, produce more and complain less. For more information, contact our Contagious Companies office at 1-866-382-0121.