Build Trust

How Important is Customer Service?

How do you handle customers?

In any organization, customer service should be priority number one when striving for success.  Giving the customer a great experience can not only go a long way for your company brand, but also increase sales in the long run as well.  In light of the United Airlines incident (I had my own while traveling last week), I decided to make this weeks’ #CJJblog about customer service.  What are your best and worst experiences regarding customer service?  I bet you remember the poor experience more vividly.  Enjoy some tips on how to improve your customer service.

  • Knowing your “why”. Give your employees some clarity on what matters to the company.  Is it providing a positive work environment?  Is it focusing on the technological growth of your software?  Provide some clarity, so there is no confusion regarding your core values.
  • Be truthful. Even during tough times (and there will be tough times), you must always be truthful with customers and provide service to them that meets the expectations you set.  It’s always better to over-deliver instead of over-promise.
  • Be reliable. Do what you say for the customer and stand behind your words.  They mean something.  The customer must count on you to contribute to them having a great experience with your company.
  • Go the extra mile. Many employees provide the bare minimum effort with a negative attitude.  Find a way to motivate your employees to go the extra mile and work their butts off for you and for the company.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be speaking on Sunday in Bismarck, ND at an FCCLA event at North Dakota State University to a group of student leaders.

Life Tip #27:  There are no traffic jams on the extra mile

It’s Autism Awareness Month — Do you Support a Cause?

What cause can you get behind?

April is Autism Awareness Month and ever since the J-Mac game 11 years ago, I have been very passionate about supporting the autism movement and spreading awareness through AutismUp, a local organization here in Rochester, NY.  Do you have a cause that you are passionate about?  I strongly suggest that you find a cause and become passionate about helping out any way you can.  If you are searching for a cause to get behind (which I strongly suggest), here are some tips to help you out.  Enjoy.

  • Find something you are passionate about. For me, my heart was touched after the J-Mac game in 2006.  Autism soon became something that I had a personal connection to and my passion followed shortly after.  What are you passionate about?
  • What fits your purpose?  This is very similar to asking a business about their mission.  What is your purpose in life?  Is there a cause remotely close to what you would define as your purpose?  The closer the cause is aligned with your life purpose, the more personal joy it will bring you.
  • Support your family and friends. If you are struggling to find something you feel really passionate about, ask your friends and family members.  They might be able to point you in the right direction or bring you along to a fundraiser/event and transform their passion on to you.  Sharing your passion can be very powerful.
  • Share with others. Once you have your cause chosen and you get behind it, make sure you share it with others.  Not only can they help support, but it will help spread the word and awareness as well.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are attending a Zappos Autism Awareness event in Las Vegas next week.

Life Tip #84:  Leave a legacy by leaving the world a better place by how you live your life

Are you taking things for Granted?

What are you taking for granted?

Taking things for granted is a common occurrence, but we must appreciate what we have instead of stress about what we want.  A few weeks ago, we had a bad windstorm here in Rochester and lost power for a few days.  While it was not a pleasant experience, it was certainly a humbling one.  It got me thinking about life and how we must appreciate what we have in our lives.  Here are a few tips on how to not take things for granted.  Enjoy.

  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for everything.  Appreciate the good things and learn from the bad things
  • Start a journal. I like to keep a gratitude journal.  This way, I can look back and read about good things that have happened in my life.  It helps with me reflect on the good things in my life.  What are you thankful for?  Write about it!
  • Gratitude folder. I have a folder that I put nice notes, events, and mementos in to remember good times or experiences I have had.  This helps touch my heart when I am feeling down.
  • Remember to share your love. Showing appreciation for others in your life will go a long way in keeping you humbled and happy.  Say “thank you” and “I love you” to those who deserve it.  Who do you appreciate?
  • Praise others. When they deserve to be thanked or praised, do so.  Life achievements (new job, birthday, promotion, etc.) are a great opportunity for you to reach out and congratulate someone.  Who is the last person you have praised?

Did You Know?  One of Coach Jim Johnson’s former players, Anthony Lamb, had a great freshman season at Vermont.  He was the MVP of the America East conference tournament as well as the Rookie of the year in the conference.

Life Tip #103:  Kill people with kindness

How do you Handle the Pressure?

Can you handle the pressure?

March Madness is here and it got me thinking about how to handle pressure.  No matter what our day-to-day life consists of, we all deal with some form of pressure.  What are the best ways to deal with it?  How can we harness this pressure and use it for positive benefits?  I have compiled some tips on how to deal with the most pressure-filled situations and come out on top.  Make sure you let me know your thoughts and strategies as well.  Enjoy!

  • Embrace it. When you start to feel that nervous emotion stemming from external pressure forces, convince yourself that you are, in fact, excited.  It’s a positive spin on the internal emotions we experience.
  • Model the behavior. Your team will learn from you and your behaviors.  Try and stay cool in front of them even in the most tense situations.  Think Greg Popovich and Bill Belichick.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. You cannot overprepare.  Be confident as the team leader and your team will follow suit.
  • Stick to what you know. Stay basic if you have to, but never deviate from what you have prepared or studied.  Stay within yourself.
  • What do you see yourself accomplishing?  How does it feel?  Visualize your successes before they happen.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson delivered his leadership keynote in font of students and faculty at SUNY Brockport recently.  His 2017 is filling up, so reach out if you would like him to speak to your team!

Life Tip #77:   Six days of labor, one day of rest

100 Wins in a row and counting? What are you doing to stay Consistent?

How are you staying consistent?

In honor of the UConn women’s basketball team and their amazing 100 game win streak, I think it’s appropriate to chat this week about consistency.  As a basketball coach, staying consistent should be high on your list of priorities.  During my career, my teams had 23 consecutive seasons of .500 or better.  As I preached consistency, the players responded.  I learned many things in regards to being consistent.  Below are some tips I have compiled for you.  Let me know how you stay consistent in your daily routines.  Enjoy.

  • Understand your “why”. Your team must know their values and reasoning for competing.  As a unit, what is your “why”?  What makes you tick?
  • Consistently improve yourself. Before you seek to improve others, you must improve yourself.  Constant and never-ending Improvement (CANEI) is what I always strive for.  How do you consistently improve yourself?
  • Build trust. Consistency in building trust takes hard work.  Prove to your team that they can trust you will do what you say.  Lead by example and your team will follow.
  • Raise your standards. Play and operate to your own standards you set for yourself as a team.  Always think to yourself “how can we get better?” and you will consistently grow.
  • Seek feedback. Consistency is built upon feedback and help from others.  You can’t do it yourself and it always helps to welcome a second (or third) opinion.  When was the last time someone offered you their feedback?  How did you receive it?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson lead the Greece Athena boys basketball team to 14 straight final fours of their NY State Sectional tournament and the team this season has kept that streak alive, continuing their run with a semi-final game today.

Life Tip #25: Always lead by example

What Does Your Perfect Team Look Like?

How do you build your Team?

Last week, I shared part 1 of my how to build a great team series.  This week, I continue my TTEAMM acronym and give you the second three crucial aspects of a perfect squad.  While we all want to win and be successful, sometimes we overlook the key aspects of building a successful group of people.  Here are a few more tips to focus on when searching for perfection.  Enjoy.

  • As you may have heard, attitudes are contagious.  We must find people for our team with an attitudes that match the overall goals of the group.  If someone has a poor attitude, it can infect the group as a whole.  How can they handle good and bad situations that arise?  Make sure your team is filled with positive attitudes that stop at nothing until the job is done.
  • What is your teams’ why?  Find people who will be able to align with the goals and values of the whole.  Be very clear and carve out roles for each individual.  This will help establish boundaries as well as optimize the efficiency while attempting to accomplish certain tasks.  What is your why?
  • Mental toughness. Having team members who don’t get too high or too low is crucial to your success.  Being mentally tough takes more than just being thick-skinned.  Your team must learn to deal with adversity and success alike.  Do you have what it takes?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson’s former boys basketball team at Greece Athena High School in Rochester, NY is currently 15-2, lead by his former assistant coach.

Life Tip #66:  You can’t live a perfect day without doing something nice for someone who can’t pay you back.

What are the Ingredients of a Great Team?

How do you make a great TTEAMM?

A great team is something that can be built.  With the right ingredients and development, any group of people can come together for the betterment of everyone and form a strong unit.  This week, I give you the first three letters (T, T, and E) of my TTEAMM acronym with the focus on building a great team.  As you read them, think to yourself; What is a great team really made of.  Enjoy.

  • In order to have a great team, they must trust one another.  Trust must be earned and awarded at all times.  The instant trust goes away, marks the beginning of the end.  Trust each other, trust leadership, and trust the process.  It can take a while for trust to be built, so stay patient.
  • You must have a unified common goal amongst your squad, bringing everyone together for a sole purpose.  I always liked to take my players out for dinner outside of the court.  These little activities can go a long way in building a team atmosphere.  How do you get your team to stay together?
  • Those who have drive and passion should have a spot on your team.  They know what it takes to be successful and don’t stop until goals are achieved.  It is crucial to stay upbeat and focused throughout the journey.  How is your enthusiasm?

Did You Know?  In honor of the 11-year anniversary of the J-Mac game, Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are speaking at a local school in Rochester and also giving a basketball clinic to 6th-graders.

Life Tip #65:  You should always look to add value to others

Are You Learning From the Past?

What are you learning from the past?

We all have a past that we can learn from. It is extremely important that we learn from our experiences as opposed to dwell on it. There are many things we can identify as learning experiences. This week, I have compiled some tips on how we can use our past to set us up for a successful future. Enjoy.

  • Respond to negative outcomes. For me, I was cut from my college basketball team after try-outs did not go well. I was unable to bounce back from this and allowed it to affect my personal/school life. Later in my career, I was let go from my first coaching job after a 1-18 season. I was then able to learn from that experience to go on and have a successful coaching career. The difference in these two situations? My own personal outlook.
  • Respond to positive outcomes. During the J-Mac senior season (2006), we won the sectional title. I was able to keep the kids focused in the years to come and not be satisfied. We ended up winning multiple sectional titles in the following years.
  • Reflect on the past. After an event happens in your life, make sure you reflect on it and learn moving forward.  What am I doing right?  What could I have done differently?  What did I learn and how can I improve?

Did You Know?  Coach attended the James Malinchak speaker boot camp and was called on stage while the audience was shown the J-Mac video and story.  A great experience last week!

Life Tip #17:  Attend seminars, workshops, conferences, and clinics to increase your knowledge in your field


What do you do to Show Appreciation?

How do you show appreciation?

Appreciation can be shown any number of ways.  As a leader, it is important to give back and thank those who work hard for you every day.  Your team must know they are appreciated and their efforts do not go unnoticed.  Throughout my many years of coaching and being a role model, I have compiled some ways I consistently showed my appreciation.  Make sure you look through them and let me know your favorites.  Enjoy.

  • Create a family atmosphere. This is a special method I used to become a little more personal with my team.  I would send birthday cards and provide written congratulations if they accomplished something great outside of basketball.
  • Send out personalized notes. In today’s day and age, it is very easy to send out some sort of congratulations via text, email, social media, etc.  Give the extra effort when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Reward your values. If you emphasize getting in early, make sure you recognize those who arrive 30 minutes early.  Whatever you preach as your core values, make sure you look out for those who are demonstrating it.  What are you values?
  • Celebrate success. At gatherings, practice, or meetings.  Make sure you are taking some time to celebrate the success of your team throughout the year as well.  Working hard is great, but make sure they are recognized for it as well.
  • Outside events. The more you can surprise your team with random events/activities the better.  Take them to the movies, play games at unelected times, and surprise them with new things.  This will create a fun atmosphere where everyone wants to participate.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is speaking to the girls varsity basketball team at Churchville-Chili High School in early December.

Life Tip #8:  Treat people better than how you want to be treated

How do you Develop Willpower?

Are you developing willpower?

As a leader, willpower is key to making sure you stay consistent with your actions.  Being  role model to others is a tough job and in order to stay on top of your game in front of your peers, you must have the willpower to consistently do what is right.  Below are some tips I have compiled for you to focus on when discovering your willpower.  Enjoy.

  • Make and keep promises. To yourself as well as to others.  Your word must always be considered by others to be gold.  Once you have lost the ability to keep your word (promises) to others, you have become one step closer to losing your group.  What is the last promise you kept?
  • Write down a daily list of goals. For me personally, I have done this every morning for the last three years and it holds me accountable for what I wish to accomplish that day.  This helps with willpower because it will help develop solid internal behaviors when it comes to getting things done.  Do you have a list of daily goals?
  • Plan appointments with yourself. These are different from goals, tasks, or “to-do’s” in the sense that these cannot be broken.  An appointment with yourself to exercise is a great example of something you cannot break.  Don’t miss it.  Just don’t.
  • Have an accountability partner. There is something very powerful about having an outside party keep tabs on your development.  It creates a sense of accountability that you would otherwise not have if you are tackling your life alone. Have a weekly call with them and give them updates on your progress.  Who is your accountability partner?

Did you know?  Coach Jim Johnson is still active in the basketball world.  Last week, he held a basketball clinic for local CYO coaches of grades 3-12 in Rochester, NY.

Life Tip# 37:  It takes 21 days to change a habit of moderate complexity

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