John Gardiner, Dare 2 Dream Ltd. the home of Irresistible Learning
Our “Be A Customer Centric Leader” programme (50 delegates spend up to 10 days with us over a 9 month period) is one of the most exciting and rewarding events we do. Partly it’s the enjoyment of delivery as we bring together some of the brightest minds and best practitioners of the subject on the planet, but mostly because of the outstanding results the delegates achieve during and following the programme.
The event opens with an exploration of “Leadership” and we ask “What are the top traits of leadership?”. In teams, delegates write their thoughts on beachballs in permanent marker and they are thrown into the middle of the room. The usual suspects are present: Vision, Inspiration, Communication, Trust, Empathy, Listening, Motivation, Inspiration, Integrity, Honesty, Decisiveness, Transparency, Empowerment and more.
What we don’t often see are the words “Customer Centric” (the big beachball). This is surprising as you’d think the name of the course would give a bit of a clue.
To us this shows how far business has yet to travel toward becoming truly Customer Centric. There is lots of trendy talk about the subject but dig a little deeper into organisations who claim to be Customer Centric and you find only a few truly are*. The fact that Customer Centricity is not yet considered a key trait in leadership by our delegates on arrival is symptomatic of the problem. The cure is a greater focus on Customer Centric Leadership.
To us, “Customer Centricity” is a focal point for leadership. It draws all of the other traits into a single holistic framework that delivers purpose and reward both internally for the business and its stakeholders and externally for its customers.
The “Be A Customer Centric Leader” programme delivers leaders who clearly understand that without the customer there is no business. They know that any sustainable and successful enterprise makes the delivery of value to its customers its number 1 priority. They recognise that Customer Centricity is not only at the customer interface but runs deep into the core of everything they do.
That is why Customer Centricity is the big beachball that delivers purpose to all the others. Now when we survey our alumni, “Customer Centricity” is the leadership trait they value the most because it is proven to deliver the best results. We can only hope they remember to write it on the beach ball next time they are asked.