I had a very interesting meeting the other day with Rowley Douglas, executive vice president of North American operations for CloudSense, a cloud services company which provides platforms used to manage the customer lifecycle for companies in telecommunications, media, and other industries. While I was very much interested in our discussion, which focused on key trends and challenges facing executives for wireless carriers in North America and other parts of the world, it was the latter part of our conversation that really caught my attention. At this point, Rowley shared with me how he had been the coxswain for the British eight rowing team which won the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the first time that Great Britain had captured the gold in this event since 1912. As part of his training, Douglas needed to keep his weight down as part of his efforts "to help make the boat go faster." As Douglas confided to me, he has tried to carry this mantra over to his professional life at CloudSense, helping the company and its clients to consider steps that can be taken to help make their own respective boats go faster.
Douglas' analogy got me to thinking about different ways that each of us is able to apply life lessons into our roles in the workplace. Looking back on it after the 20-plus years that have since passed, I can see now that some of the lessons I picked up while serving in the U.S. Navy have helped me as a journalist.
During boot camp, we spent hours upon hours making and re-making our beds, or "racks" as they were referred to. Although it was a mind-numbing exercise and seemed pretty senseless at the time, it was part of the Navy philosophy to drill into each of us the importance of paying attention to detail. And while my wife will attest that I have seemingly lost the art of making a bed properly, I'm fairly certain all these years later that the attention to detail mantra has somehow permeated into fact-checking and other aspects of being a journalist.
There's a potential lesson here for sales, marketing, and customer service leaders. As you approach your own role and strive to enable the best possible experience for your organization's customers, consider your own experiences as a customer. For instance, what aggravates you most about calling into the contact center? How can this be improved within your organization?