Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Yellow Box: Focused Relationships

About 3 weeks ago I connected with a good friend from high school that I had not spoken to for over 19 years through Facebook. As a matter of fact, I had not communicated with anyone from my high school for over seven years. Because I didn't care? No. I think for a lot of reasons… I moved, pace of life, new friends enter the scene, and suddenly it's 19 years later. But as I look at the relationships around me and through the years, here are some observations:

  • There are a few hundred people I would like to stay in contact with, grab lunch, play golf you name it- I genuinely love these people.... however, I have to settle to celebrate what they do from a distance.
  • For example, some of my neighbors within 800 yards of my house I would like to get to know better. Yet it only comes in small drips.
  • People we "do life with" tend to change and drift from year to year.
  • I can only seem to get depth in 6-10 relationships at any given point in my life.

The Yellow Box (above) represents my purpose in life, my passion, and what I was created to do.

Relationships and people matter. I can spend some quality time with scores of people and it's all good. But something special in relationships happen when they enter the yellow box. It's not about news, sports, and weather- it's living life on purpose. It's not living a life entertained and growing old, it's climbing a mountain of mission and locking arms with people. What does this look like in your life? Do you know who's in your yellow box right now? Are you spending too much time outside the box? Or, are you still determining what your yellow box is?

Merry Christmas family and friends. I love doing life with you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Maximeyer Fantasy Football Champs!

Special thanks to Tony Romo and Matt Forte for leading the charge this year... "We...are the champions.... my friends...."

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grumpy, Annoying, High-Maintenance Customers

Customers can be manipulative, grumpy, demanding, unreasonable, ridiculous, frustrating, rude, high maintenance, make you want to roll your eyes, and apparently even eat your laptop. Today I met with one of our challenging clients… and I loved it.

  • Tough customers are candid- you get the opportunity to get real feedback on how their experience is with your organization. Worse: You lose a client and don't know for several months, they simply fade away without a sound.

  • They will make the small cracks in your organization will look like gaping canyons- it can bring clarity to what you need to work on internally. Worse: You drudge along thinking you're doing "good enough" and don't fix what's actually broke.

  • If you can keep these clients and turn them into "fans"- you're taking steps to raise the bar of service with your team. Worse: Make excuses of why they're just crazy and let them go to a competitor.

  • These clients force you to be on your "A" game, ready to respond and find solutions. Worse: Walk on egg-shells with the client with a defensive disposition- this will simply make your already sub-par service worse.

Yes, there are times when you simply need to let a client go- it's just not financially viable to try to keep them. However, if you listen- there are valuable nuggets to take from these encounters. How are you responding to your customer-aches?

If by rare chance Mr. Customer you read this post. Thank you for your time and feedback today- you've helped us become a little bit better company today. I hope to get the chance to continue the dialogue in these upcoming weeks.