Exceptional: The only 'acceptable'

One of the great advantages I have is to serve really smart, talented clients. One of the great advantages you have is you get to hear about them! It’s an opportunity for us to both learn about others’ strategies and philosophies and then determine how we too, might adapt or apply them.

Here’s a great example.

A new client, VJS, is a progressive, innovative and successful construction services firm in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The VJS team embraces and executes daily, what they call the “VJS experience” where they deliver on their promise, that “anything less than exceptional is unacceptable!”

This commitment is lived through seven key attributes: Trustworthy, resourceful, dedicated, proactive, flexible, innovative and competitive.

And as you’ll soon see, these attributes have direct and immediate applicability to your successful future, within the hallowed halls of your company, as well as, when it comes to serving your customers and clients.

But first, here’s a bonus.

At VJS, they know “Trust” is the foundation of all relationships

And you demonstrate trustworthiness when you:

Put the safety and health of others as the number one priority at all times.

Embrace and abide by all laws and rules, even the ones you don’t like or don’t agree with.

Portray and speak the truth to the best of your knowledge with fairness, tact and sensitivity.

Honor commitments – do what you way you will do – when you say it will be done;

Treat everyone the way you want to be treated – with respect, acceptance, courtesy and dignity; Perform everything as competently and expertly as possible.

Seek out the necessary facts and opinions before making decisions or judgments.

Help others and give back to your community.

Maintain confidentiality about people, companies, paperwork and finances.

Disclose all potential conflicts of interest.

Trust and be loyal to others who honor your trust and loyalty.

Avoid dealings with people who dishonor you or those that try to buy your trust and loyalty.

Demonstrate being responsive. Acknowledge or return calls, e-mails and inquiries within 24 hours or less.

Admit it when you don’t know something, but don’t stop there. Learn. Continually upgrade your knowledge and skills.

Keep the long term relationship in mind – don’t go for the last nickel, or every nickel, every time.

Admit, fix, apologize for and learn from your mistakes.

Attributes

Now, let’s dig deeper into each of the seven attributes.

1. Trustworthy (not blunt) – High regard for behaving in an honest, reliable, open, dependable and honorable manner.

Behavior: I am sensitive and respectful of my colleagues. I treat others the way I want to be treated. I maintain confidentiality by not seeking out and not repeating VJS, client, or employee sensitive information learned through my work. I am dependable. My clients, members of my project team, and colleagues can count on me to honor my word and follow through on assignments. I listen when others are speaking and show respect for their opinions and concerns.

2. Rssourceful (Not just skillful) – A commitment to initiative, problem solving, especially in difficult situations and providing assistance when needed.

Behavior: I anticipate the needs of others. I listen to my clients and my coworkers with an aim to exceed their expectations. I look for opportunities to “go the extra mile.” I continuously strive to improve myself and my organization. I ask for assistance in the areas I need to learn more. I look for ways to assist VJS in advancing strategic and corporate goals.

3. Dedicated (Not just cooperative) – Commitment to corporate goals, client goals, personal goals, my profession or cause.

Behavior: I share information in order to make others successful that help to advance the goals of VJS and my clients. I conduct my activities in accordance with internal policies as well as external laws and regulations that apply to our organization. I am open to others’ opinions that may be different from mine. I am okay with hearing constructive feedback and I act on it. I anticipate opportunities to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of others, and avoid taking credit for their work.

4. Proactive (not just responsive) – Taking the initiative by acting rather than reacting to events.

Behavior: I am an advocate for my clients. I seek out opportunities to assist my coworkers as needed. I seek out opportunities to assist my clients by seeking out new ways to deliver enhanced construction services. I use my analytical skills to troubleshoot and anticipate problems before they arise.

5. Flexible (not absolute) – Making things easy, effortless and not difficult to work with.

Behavior: I will reach out to those whose behavior presents a challenge and respond with empathy and concern. I am willing to adapt to the changing needs of my clients. I am willing to adapt to corporate changes as defined by the VJS leadership team. I am willing to be flexible to achieve company goals.

6. Innovative (Not speculative) – Actions that are marked by originality, innovation, flexibility, openness to change, and imagination. “I am open to new ideas and new ways of looking at things.”

Behavior: I search for new ways of improving services and solving problems. I advocate change by looking for ways to improve the work I do. I volunteer to be part of work groups to generate new ways of proving service or problem solving. I adapt readily to the organization’s needs by adding a new skill, learning a new technique, or agreeing to work in a different area. I seek out ways to deliver projects to our clients that exceed their expectations and provide them with more value.

7. Competitive (Not advantageous) – More attractive than others by providing good value or more worth.

Behavior: I am committed to ensuring all VJS clients receive exceptional value for the services they receive. I will not price gouge or take advantage of VJS clients. I will treat all subcontractors and material suppliers fairly and not exploit them. I will follow all safety procedures and make sure my co-workers do the same. I will strive to perform in an efficient and productive manner.

May you too, use the preceding to be exceptional!

For after all, anything less is unacceptable!

Jeff Blackman is a speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” On August 4, 2008, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, Jeff was one of five inductees into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. If you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at: (847) 998.0688 or jb@jeffblackman.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller) and the newly revised 4th edition, of the bestselling Peak Your Profits.

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