The Project Notebook

Lead at a Higher Level

This past week I was visiting clients and partners in Southern California and Maryland/DC which provided me the opportunity to finish reading the Blanchard organizations book, Leading at a Higher Level. There is a strong message in here for those of us with project management clients, whether they be internal or external.

Like our triple constraint, Blanchard now points out the “triple bottom line” which companies and consultants need to keep an eye on: being the provider of choice, being the employer of choice, and being the investment of choice. Paying attention to these triples pays dividends in creating high performing organizations. The book sums it up with a quote:

Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for your people.

With increased global and local competition, fueled by economic issues (pun intended), customers have become more demanding. Like the old Burger King commercials, they now want it their way, meaning how they want it, when they want it, and at the price they expect. This goes way beyond customer satisfaction — we need to create raving fans who crave our services. Again, its summed up with a short quote:

If you don’t take care of your customers, somebody else will.

Taking care of your employees is as important as taking care of your customers. How many times have you found overworked, under-empowered employees with poor attitudes? This poor attitude gets passed on to customers, impacting business. You also need to ensure you have the right employees — those with the necessary skills and attitudes to ensure your customers are handled properly.

Being the investment of choice doesn’t just mean finding those who will buy stock or make direct investments. This includes customer contracts — if you treat your employees right, do the best work you can, and serve customer needs, they will want to make further investment by returning to you for more work.

Want more information on creating high performing teams and organizations? I suggest you pick up a copy of this book for strategies, tactics, and tips from the best minds at Ken Blanchard Companies.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP