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

How do you Deliver Happiness?

When was the last time you delivered happiness?

Happiness is all around us and as a leader, it is our duty to deliver it to our teams.  We don’t have to place the burden of supplying happiness sole on ourselves, but it can nothing can bring a team together quite like joy.  Throughout my coaching career success and wins on the court play a large role in providing happiness to my team, but if you have the right game plan you can help deliver happiness at unexpected times.  Here are a few tips I have compiled to provide happiness for those around you.  Enjoy.

  • Establish core values. Write down your core values and express them to your team.  Once everyone is aware of these values, they can operate accordingly.  This will help set expectations on when success has been achieved.
  • Understand your mission. The mission of the team will come from you.  Living and delivering the “wow” factor should become your main priority.
  • Build relationships. The best way to do this is through effective communication and building trust with your team members.  Listen and welcome feedback.
  • Stay humble. There should be no place for arrogance on your team.  Happiness comes from enjoyment gained from accomplishments.  As the leader, you must promote confidence without becoming arrogant.
  • Pursue growth. The best time to do this is after significant accomplishments.  Raise the bar and promote continuous growth.  Always learn from your team and vice-versa.  Constant and never-ending improvements.  Have you “wowed” anyone today?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are in Las Vegas this week at a Zappos autism awareness event.  Connect with them on social media and see how it went!

Life Tip #3:  Leave a profit everywhere you go.  Everything you touch turns to gold, not garbage.

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

What did we Learn from the Super Bowl?

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

As a former coach, I typically view games through a very unique lens.  While most might be watching for the excitement and thrills of the game, I am watching for teachable moments.  Things we can learn from moving forward.  While watching the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history last week, I picked up on a few things.  Here are three things that I learned from Super Bowl LI.  Enjoy.

  • Power of perseverance. The Patriots were down 28-3 in the second half of the biggest game of their lives.  In any sport, that is normally an insurmountable deficit to overcome.  They stuck to their game plan and persevered through unlikely odds to come out victorious.
  • Sticking together in adversity. Some might say the definition of adversity is being down 28-3.  The Patriots could have folded, but they stuck together and remained calm as a team.  Had they panicked, there would have been zero chance for a comeback for the ages.
  • Failure to adapt. The Falcons, on the other hand, did not do a great job at adapting to the flow and style of the game.  Had they done a better job playing with the lead and recognizing their situational surroundings, they could have been in the winners’ circle.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his anniversary version of his book in honor of the 11-year anniversary (February 15th) of the J-Mac game on March 1st.

Life Tip #32:  The harder you work, the luckier you get

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.

Are You Using ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ Enough?

Do you use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?

Growing up, our parents always preached manners and politeness.  Do you still have manners today?  In business and leadership, it can become crucial to use your manners and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to be more effective.  As we interact with those around us, we must show our respect.  Below are some tips I have compiled on how to use our manners and be upstanding individuals.  Enjoy.

  • Consistently use ‘please’. With strangers, friends, co-workers.  They all deserve to be treated with respect.  Do this consistently, so it becomes second nature.  Whenever you ask for something, attaching a ‘please’ to your request can go a long way.  Do you consistently say ‘please’?
  • Thank immediately. This is the best way to show appreciation toward someone.  As soon as someone does something nice for you, make sure you reciprocate and show your appreciation by saying ‘thank you.’
  • Show it in different ways. Use your words, notes, letters, texts, emails, etc.  There are many ways to show your appreciation toward someone.  No matter who it is, if they deserve your thanks and praise, give it to them.  It becomes a nice added touch that they will remember for a long time.  How do you show your thanks?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson spoke in front of 230 meeting planners and professionals last week at the National Speaking Showcase in Minneapolis, MN.  His 2017 calendar is filling up quick!

Life Tip #45:  You never get a second chance to make a first impression

Have you thought about Leaving a Legacy?

What will your legacy be?

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and what we wish to accomplish.  How do you wish to be remembered?  What will your legacy say about your life?  These types of questions must be at the forefront of your mind each and every day.  It is crucial that you carry yourself in the highest manner as often as possible.  Recently, I was asked about my thoughts on my former team (Greece Athena High School, Rochester, NY) and their 7-1 hot start.  I have thus compiled some tips to help you leave a legacy worth remembering.  Enjoy.

  • Develop a leadership philosophy. Live with the philosophy that everything I touch turns to gold.  This will rub off on others and they will be ready to lead when you are gone.  What is your leadership philosophy?
  • Be a role model. Set a high standard for yourself as well as your team and expect to live up to those standards.  Once you have achieved your goals, raise these standards and set new goals.  Always seek to grow and develop ways to strive forward consistently.
  • Train and develop leaders. Prepare others to take over once you are gone.  This will allow your program or organization to not miss a beat.
  • Have a succession plan. Once you are gone, who will take over?  What will the new regime look like?  How will it operate?  It is important to have these items taken care of while you are still involved.

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

What is Your Favorite Book?

Do you have a favorite book?

Reading is one of the best ways to grow your mind.  In order to do so, you must do it consistently and strategically.  Depending on where you’re at in your life, it is wise to read books according to what area you wish to improve your professional life.  Me personal library consists of 2,000+ hard copy books as well as a significant number of audio books.  I can grab a book at any time and grow my mind.  I have accumulated some favorites over the years.  I highly recommend reading them.  Enjoy.

  • The Season of Life (Jeffrey Marx). This book helped me develop my coaching philosophy and develop my coaching career at a very high level.  Looking for a real-life story to relate to?  This is the book for you.
  • The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch). I learned some serious life lessons in this book.  It goes in depth bout how to achieve your childhood dreams and really helped me specify what direction I wanted to take my life.
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey). This is one of many Covey books I have read.  I consider his work to be life-changing and a must for anyone seeking to be efficient and a valued member of society.
  • The Carolina Way (Dean Smith). This book was instrumental in teaching me the proper ways to build relationships with people.  If you are looking to improve your ability to communicate with those around you, look no further than this book form the legendary basketball coach.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. on Leadership (Donald Phillips). I considered MLK to be the most admired American figure and this book helped me become a much more effective leader.  Who do you admire?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson spoke at the Franklin Covey Summit three years ago and got a standing ovation for his story and work.

Life Tip #42:  What books are you reading?  Take a speed-reading class to read more quickly

How Can You Grow Yourself Consistently?

Are you consistently improving yourself?

Each day must be viewed as an opportunity to improve ourselves.  When we get out of bed, that particular day is a unique opportunity to make ourselves better.  Improvement must be done on a consistent basis, not something that gets done once in a while.  For me, one of the best ways to improve myself, while being as efficient with my time as possible, is something I call the “two for one” method.  Below are some tips and tricks I utilize to ensure I am improving myself as I go about my day.  Enjoy.

  • Turn your car into a moving library. We all drive and some of us have extremely long commutes to and from work on a daily basis.  Turn your car into a library on wheels by listening to audiobooks and CDs that help grow your mind.  Keep your music to a minimum and really develop a habit to learn while driving.
  • Exercise and learn. Put in some headphones while you workout and double up with productivity.  Music can be motivational, but developing your mind as you exercise can be a great way to distract you from the workout.  What do you listen to while you workout?
  • Chores around the house. Have to vacuum the living room?    Throw on some headphones with a motivational audiobook.  Have to clean the basement?  Put in some headphones with a business development seminar on it. There are endless ways to grow your mind as you get things done.
  • Bring book when traveling. I went to Los Angeles last week and my most important item(s) on the trip were my personal development books.  Playing games on your phone can kill some time, but provide nothing toward growing your mind.  Who do you want to become?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson does a book recommendation every week.  Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to see what books he is recommending!

Life Tip #14:  Continue to grow as a person with a personal development plan

Are You Reading Enough?

How often do you read?

One of the best ways to grow your mind is to simply read on a consistent basis.  Success can be defined as “a few simple disciplines practiced every day.”  On that notion, we should be reading every day on a consistent basis in order to become successful.  We can learn from our peers, role models, and those who have accomplished exactly what we are striving to do.  I make an effort to read at least 6o minutes every day.  Do you?

  • Tips for reading. Start your day reading something.  End your day reading something.  This will allow your brain to gather information at critical times each day.  Learning to read faster and more comprehensively will also help enhance your reading experience.  As long as you do it on a consistent basis, you will develop a habit to crave knowledge.
  • Why read? If you read for an hour per day consistently, you will be an expert in that field in 5-7 years, which will make you more valuable.  Reading will cause you to be inspired and take action on what you are passionate about.  Reading also takes your mind to other places and allows you to dream. When is the last time you were lost in a book?  Reading consistently will increase your vocabulary and overall understanding of the English language, which could help you become more knowledgeable at work and ultimately lead to a higher position.  Why do you read?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be re-releasing the anniversary edition of his book in February.

“I invited Coach Johnson to talk to my team at the beginning of the season.  It was a phenomenal experience.  Coach is dynamic and motivating.  He helped our team come closer together as a team.  He had 10 high school students engaged!  He is awesome!”

-Todd Esposito, Girls Varsity BBall Coach, Churchville-Chili H.S.-

Life Tip #43:  Leaders are readers

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