Most of my blog posts will revolve around our experiences in growing our business and maintaining as close contact as possible with our alumni base. Our goal is to ensure that once you are a student at the Scarlett Leadership Institute, you will always be a student. We want to continue to “fuel and feed” your desire to learn long after your classroom experience is over.
As we’ve started to grow our company, we have adopted the standard approaches to connecting with our constituents. Our new Website is up and we’ve set up shop on all the typical social networking locations – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
It’s a bit intimidating thinking thru how to appropriately leverage all of these assets to truly help our business and our customers. A great resource I’ve personally used is the book “The Now Revolution” by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund. This book advises companies to start to think of themselves as a TV station or Magazine – telling their story in a relevant and authentic fashion. Jay also has a blog where he provides additional information about this relevant topic at http://www.convinceandconvert.com. I highly recommend it for anyone trying to figure out how their company should participate in social media. A very key point that Jay and Amber make consistently, social media isn’t just about what you say – it’s even more important to be listening to what others are saying about you.
We like to tell stories here at the Scarlett Leadership Institute so I’ll leave you with an interesting one I heard from a colleague about this very topic. The conversation revolved around how my generation, early stage generation X’ers, “think too much” about what to say and how to say it in these social media settings such that what we want to say loses its relevancy. We worry too much about what someone will think of what we’re saying, how we’re saying it or even what our picture looks like as we’re saying it. This compared to the Generation Y’ers or Millenial’s, who do a much better job of treating these opportunities like normal conversation – just being themselves. This person had gotten some great advice from her son – a Millennial who was very active in the social media space professionally. That advice was to “just get over yourself– this isn’t about you or any one particular person – it’s all about the value you have to share.” This person’s advice, don’t over think it – just start sharing and participating and most of all listening to what others are saying. That’s exactly what we intend to do in our new endeavors– we assume you’ll let us know how we’re doing.
Leadership (or the lack thereof) shows itself in every aspect of our lives. The most obvious is in our own organizations, where we succeed or fail, thrive or survive, and enjoy or just tolerate our time on the job, depending on the quality of leadership.
But if we are aware, we recognize good (or bad) leadership all around us—in the service we receive from a fast food restaurant to the dry cleaner to the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Whenever I experience really wonderful customer service, I am aware that what is behind that service is great leadership. Great leaders know that it is the employees that deliver that unforgettable service to customers, and that by treating employees as though success or failure were in their hands (it is!), those employees will rise to the occasion every time.
There are a few establishments that I will go out of my way to do business with because of the experience they create for the customer, and I am always delighted when I find another one.
The highlight of the Signature Executive Program is the week-long retreat, in which participants go off-site to the beautiful Monteagle Inn and spend five days with some world class speakers. This past week was one such week.
The learning was incredible, everything from life balance from one of the Canyon Ranch’s best, to practicing difficult conversations with two individuals from Cambridge, one of whom is the author of the book by the same title, to spending a day with the world-famous Marshall Goldsmith, whose lessons and stories of every kind of leadership experience was both inspiring and educational.
While the instructors are the center of the week, the camaraderie of the group living and eating together for a week are just as important a part of the experience. We learned about each other and our families, told stories about ourselves and our companies, and generally bonded in a way that will be hard if not impossible to duplicate.
We left yesterday with our heads full of learning and our hearts happy with our new “family”, looking forward to the time (two months from now) when we will be together again.
Put your best foot forward
This is the first blog entry from me on our new website so let’s start with the message to put you best foot forward. Everything about you sends a message to others so your goal is to be the best in every possible way. Remember that “you are always on stage.” Here are a few tips:
Look like a pro: check yourself in the mirror before you leave for work every day and ask yourself “Do I look the best that I can for what I do?” Hair combed? Shoes shined? Smile on my face?
Talk like a pro: Speak in full sentences, not too fast, with good vocabulary but minus buzz words and minus anything that could be considered bad language.
Sound like a pro: Change your voice mail every day and do it with personality – sound cheerful and upbeat. When someone first hears your greeting they are forming an opinion so the better you sound the better the impression.
Everything about you sends a message and the better that message the greater the chances for your success. If you are in the business world “you are always on stage.”
Welcome to our new website and blog!
Please check back here to see writings from our team here at the Scarlett Leadership Institute including those from Joe Scarlett, previous CEO and Chairman of Tractor Supply Company.
It is our goal to help organizations build leadership qualities in their employees. Thru this blog, as well as our presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we plan to provide helpful advice and recommendations that will assist anyone interested in extending their education and skills on this important topic.
Please check back often as this is our passion and we plan to leverage this location to fuel it!