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Building Community Through Better Relationships

No! Your Audience

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What is the most important attribute in business? The customers? Investors? The employees? The products or services? No! Your Audience!! Or, is it “Know Your Audience!”? Actually, it is both!!!

All these previously mentioned stakeholders have different needs and demands. Deliver the service. Maximize my return on investment. Create a more flexible workplace. Make improvements. And, they all represent the audience. Organizations must have a consistent message, but different voices for various audiences. Yes, this is confusing. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is necessary! Otherwise the audience will take their business, their investment, their work experience to another location where it will be appreciated. So, how do you Know Your Audience and what do you do with this information?

External Audience
First, consider your message. Your brand should articulate it. Realize your brand reflects what you actually do, not just what you say. Then, acknowledge that external audiences are primarily prospects and customers. They want goods or services, most likely on their terms. Recognize that they have options so upon becoming their provider, prepare to continue delivering to their expectations. Otherwise, they start exercising their options.

Consider that great brands embody a set of delivered promises. Southwest Airlines have bags fly free. McDonalds is cheap and fast food. Microsoft is glitchy software that is hard to escape. Business that execute its promises will prevail. External audiences will accept them warts and all. Just don’t lie to them! Sometimes, you must say “no” to your audience. Classic Coca-Cola will never again taste sweeter! But always know your audience so that they believe you when you say “no”, and still return.

Internal Audience
Brand promises mean just as much to employees. When delivering goods and services employees need to receive a message that they can believably repeat to the external environment. Chick-fil-a employees are generally known to be treated respectfully. Consequently, a reasonable expectation is that their cashiers will treat their customers with respect. In turn, customers pay a little more for a chicken sandwich with a side of warm greetings. Once a business knows their employees after spending time training, then leading them, the company is better positioned to create more rewarding experiences with their external audience. Consequently, effectively investing in employees (the internal audience) means that customers (external audience) will more likely choose your business to spend their money.

So, how do businesses get to know their audience? It is communication. And, it is service. If advertising Free Pie Wednesdays keeps the restaurant top of mind resulting in more traffic during Friday’s Happy Hour, then keep that commitment. If catered lunches on Tuesday incent workers to stay later on Thursdays, then create that promise and make good on it. But, once you say “no” to your audience, be very aware about the consequences. Taking away free coffee refills will cause customers to sample other coffeehouses faster than all the singing baristas a marketing director can dream up! So, know your audience. Communicate with them. Embrace why the audience, both employees and customers, keep choosing you. The result keeps business leaders from screaming “Noooo!” as that same audience heads for the exit, never to return.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC

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January 31, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Glenn-peror’s New Groove

During my amazing experience with the Life Transformation 360 fitness program, I posted my recent results on the group’s Facebook page. This happens all the time in the program’s community. On this particular post, I commented that I had lost so many inches that none of my clothes fit any longer. Consequently, a fellow participant humorously posted, “The Glenn-peror’s New Clothes”!

I loved the witticism! However, I immediately morphed the metaphor to the “Glenn-peror’s New Groove” based on the wildly funny Disney feature animation film. This movie is a personal favorite largely because of the subtly mature humor infused in the story, but more importantly because of the transformative themes of endurance and change. Furthermore, the play on words regarding my healthy weight loss leading to physical and behavioral change was irresistible.

In the movie, the emperor is a spoiled child-king whose whimsical ways and wicked adviser make him a prime target for personal failure. Through bad decisions and an evil potion, he changes into a llama (could have easily been a donkey). Likewise, I gained entirely too much weight over the years as a result of bad decisions and eating poorly. Ironically, the emperor had to endure an emotional and behavioral conversion on the path to his physical transformation back to a human being. Despite advice, exercise and good intentions, I successfully lost weight only after I fully sold out to a healthier lifestyle dedicated to improving my behavior, my values and my diet.

Ultimately, the new clothes are just an external manifestation of an internal transformation. The behavioral change for relentlessly pursuing healthier choices, in turn leading to healthier outcomes, is the enduring lesson from this scenario. The Glenn-peror’s New Groove represents each of us having dominion over our attitude toward accomplishing significant changes. By taking full responsibility for your individual legacy, you can achieve unbelievable progress. Similar to the movie’s emperor, successful transformation is no longer selfish gain. It improves the livelihood of people around you.

Examine the results of your life choices and behaviors. Pay close attention to inconsistencies between what you know is right and what you actually do. Embrace the specific change that makes you who you should be. Your individual circumstances, roles and choices all have a stake in your outcomes. But, ultimately it is your behavior that determines results. Find a program, life-affirming tactics, a supportive group and then pursue the positive change that you desire. Your personal legacy depends on making the choices that promote your longevity and health. Create your own “new groove”. New clothes are optional, but really can’t hurt.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Mo Patton Sports, LLC

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Be An Impact Player

In leading Mo Patton Sports, a progressive sports media company, I need to be visible and engaged at athletic and business events. Recently, at a state championship game, I saw a local sports superstar in the stadium stands. Or better yet, he saw me. While walking the sidelines, I routinely glance into the stands to observe the fans. I want to know how they are engaging the game. While glancing in the stands again, our eyes connected. More importantly, he waved and pointed at me to make sure that I saw him. I pointed back and we shared a smile. This young, talented and engaging athlete made an impact because he was aware and recognized the influence that I represented in his environment.

People have several opportunities to make an impact. In organizations, assistants can save the day by performing an administrative miracle for an overburdened manager. Teammates can come off the bench to make a game saving play. Clearly, impacts result from an individual using skills that they already have in an extraordinary and valuable way.

Extraordinary
Communities, organizations and teams benefit from people who go beyond typical expectations to achieve goals. Significant contributions result from seizing opportunities to be exceptional. Executives who remember the names of underlings, then additionally recall the names of their spouses and children, are extraordinary. All of sudden, employee number 2241 firmly believes that she is an important contributor and is willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate and justify her importance. Her performance trends toward Exceeding Expecations and the reason is that the executive prioritized remembering details about her from an earlier conversation. That leader is an impact player as a result of facilitating superior efforts leading toward executing meaningful results. Susan in accounting has transformed from employee 2241 to become an internal advocate for leadership’s caring for the hard working staff that contributes to the business. Susan is exponentially influencing the company’s success because the executive made an extraordinary and valuable gesture.

Valuable
Facilitating success in an organization ultimately needs to be reflected in tangible contributions. Feel good anecdotes are great for morale. But organizations thrive on measurable progress. An impact player must affect the final score, the bottom line. The enthusiasm that is created by positive recognition has to transform into quantifiable results. Successful leaders give their contributors the resources to produce the desired metrics. Consequently, impact players possess, develop and deploy a combination of effort, tools and performance. Value is typically focused on financial gains, but it can equally apply to cultural improvements. Reduced absenteeism, increased skill development, or demonstrated teamwork are also ways organization experience value. And, they directly result from people behaving constructively. Impact players who contribute their skills and esprit de corps eventually maximize productivity.

Be intentional. Be an impact player. Scrutinize your skill set. Develop your attributes to the point that your contribution is extraordinary and valuable. People will notice. You will notice. Seek the opportunity to repeat the process. Then, encourage others to follow your example. And, always be prepared to request and accept the additional rewards!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Mo Patton Sports LLC

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment