November 28, 2007

Extraordinary Design

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Sanborn @ 11:49 am

I’m looking at a picture of the Delahaye Type 165 V-12 Figoni Cabriolet (image). It doesn’t just make me smile; it evokes pleasure. That’s extraordinary design.

Delahaye was established in 1894, and the Type 165 first appeared in 1939. Joseph Figoni, the designer, liked bodywork that characterized the image of captured motion, and the sweeping lines of the Figoni Cabriolet do just that.

Delahaye reminds me that extraordinary design, while fixed to a period of time, is timeless. The paradox of looking at the company’s cars is that they are dated yet fresh.

Timelessness, emotion…just two elements of extraordinary design.

Clarity of Purpose

Filed under: Leadership, Difference Makers — Mark Sanborn @ 10:20 am

William Booth, the British Methodist preacher and founder of the Salvation Army was sent a telegram that asked him to explain what the Salvation Army was all about.

His responded with a one word telegram: others.

As you see the familiar Salvation Army bell-ringers this holiday season, I hope you’ll be reminded of the power of the clarity of purpose.

November 27, 2007

Clever

Filed under: Observations, Speaking and Communication — Mark Sanborn @ 8:19 pm

A representative from the Obama Barack camp was debating a representative from the Hillary Clinton camp this morning on CNN. The CNN commentator asked Obama’s operative, “Given the animosity between these two candidates, would Senator Barack rule out a vice-president spot?”

Barack’s guy was clever: “I don’t think Senator Barack would necessarily eliminate Senator Clinton as his vice-president but that’s a decision he’ll have to make later.”

Wit, well-done, is a powerful tool.

November 26, 2007

Leadership IS the Difference

Filed under: Observations, Leadership — Mark Sanborn @ 11:48 am

According Walter Ulmer, former president of the Center for Creative Leadership (www.ccl.org), a company’s leadership team is responsible for as much as 45 to 60% of variance in productivity.

I always say that leadership doesn’t make a difference; leadership is the difference. It would appear that Mr. Ulmer’s experience supports that premise.

Here’s How to Do It

Filed under: Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 11:43 am

Ever get annoyed when a waitperson or cashier asks to see some identification when you try to use your credit card? We all know it shouldn’t bug us, but something about that request is bothersome.

One of the world’s greatest bartenders goes by the name “Meatloaf.” He works at the New Belgium brewpub location at Denver International Airport. The guy is so good I plan to include him in my next book.

The first time I used a credit card, he pleasantly said, “For the security and protection of the cardholder, may I see some ID?”

Who can argue with that?

That’s how to ask to see some ID.

Here’s How to Ask to See Some ID

Filed under: Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 11:41 am

Ever get annoyed when a waitperson or cashier asks to see some identification when you try to use your credit card.

One of the world’s greatest bartenders goes by the name “Meatloaf.” He works at the New Belgium brewpub location at Denver International Airport. The guy is so good I plan to include him in my next book.

The first time I used a credit card, he pleasantly said, “For the security and protection of the cardholder, may I see some ID?”

Who can argue with that?

That’s how to ask to see some ID.

November 20, 2007

Sign of the Times

Filed under: Observations — Mark Sanborn @ 3:35 pm

The sign is actually a headline from the money section of USA Today:

“Why Give Thanks When You Can Shop?”

The subtitle explains that many “after-Thanksgiving” sales now start on the holiday.

It is kind of sad. I don’t want to be overly sensitive, but is there any break from the compulsion to consume? In some twisted way we’re being encouraged to buy more stuff that we don’t have time to appreciate. Why? Because there’s another sale starting!

I hope that whatever you do on Thanksgiving, you’ll make sure giving thanks is part of the celebration. I believe the saying is true, that gratefulness creates a great fullness of heart.

May your heart be full this Thanksgiving.

November 19, 2007

Live Long or Live Well

Filed under: Observations, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 12:16 pm

There is much in the media of late about life extension. One of the leading thinkers in the area of immortality research is Aubrey DeGrey. He thinks it is possible for humans to live 1,000 years (although as a wise person pointed out, living 1,000 years still doesn’t make one immortal).

I don’t know what I’d do with an extra 900 years. I hope if we’re smart enough to learn how to live much longer we’ll be smart enough to figure out how to live those extra years well.

The biggest daily challenge isn’t how to live longer–although I’ve got nothing against that–but rather how to live well. Misery made longer is just more misery. Mediocrity extended is still mediocrity. Before anyone learns to live longer, he or she would be better advised to make sure they understand how to live well.

The most optimistic and ambitious among us would aim to live well and live long. If that’s you, go for it.

November 16, 2007

More from G.K. Chesterton

Filed under: Professional Development, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 10:57 am

“…thinking is a narrowing process. It leads to what people call dogma. A man who thinks hard about any subject for several years is in horrible danger of discovering the truth about it…”

This is a familiar quote you have probably heard before:

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, but found hard and left untried.”

“Think. Think hard.”

“Man has mastery of all things except himself.”

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.”

And this last quote, particularly timely:

“Beware of luxury, the eternal enemy of Liberty.”

Dirty Glasses Update

Filed under: Observations, Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 10:08 am

I emailed my blog about the hotel dirty glass expose to six different hotels with a request for a response. To date I’ve only received one response, and that was from the Renaissance Hotel at the Atlanta Airport, one of the hotels shown in the report. I applaud them for their prompt response (despite misspelling my name in the body of the email). The email follows:

Dear Mr. Sanborn,

Thank you for your candor regarding the Fox 5 story on glassware at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel. Mr. Sanford, our policy is to provide clean, sanitized glassware daily to all guest rooms. Our housekeeping staff is trained at the time of hire on this standard. While this is an isolated incident it has allowed us to re-focus our efforts on training and monitoring compliance to ensure this does not happen again. This is also followed up at our daily hotel briefings.

Thank you again for your candid feedback and we look forward to seeing you in the future.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Joseph

JOSEPH LODATO, CMP/DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
RENAISSANCE CONCOURSE HOTEL
ONE HARTSFIELD CENTER PARKWAY, GA 30354

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