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Realize Your Team Are Your Customers

By: Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy

In their book The Little Book of Leadership Development Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy point out how we are customer service agents for those who work for us. “If you have a team of committed individuals (not simply compliant team members), in all likelihood you have a productive and enthusiastic team. …Ask your team how you may better serve them and then follow through. This is a two-part endeavor—ask and then follow up.

Pretty soon, those team members who are self-aware will be asking you this question. What a gift. This is a simple suggestion that can pay huge dividends for you and your team members.

We suggest that you ask this question in different ways. One leader has used these questions in the name of service delivery and leadership development:

• Am I providing what you need right now?
• Am I being an obstacle or a help with this project?
• How can you best use me here?

Remember, asking these questions are not enough. Whenever possible, you must follow through on the suggestions—otherwise, you will lose credibility and trust. If you cannot follow through on the request, be sure to say why.

Excerpted, with permission of the publisher from The Little Book of Leadership Development: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee by Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy. Copyright 2011, The Little Book of Leadership Development. Published by AMACOM, www. Amacombooks.org

About the Author(s)

Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy The authors wrote The Little Book of Leadership Development. Allen is assistant professor of management at John Carroll University. Kusy is aninternational organizational development consultant, 2005 Fulbright Scholar, and full professor in the Ph.D. Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University. sp