In the June 9 class, we watched a video seminar featuring Willie Jolley, a former lounge singer and jingle recording artist who became a motivational speaker due to his unique ability to motivate and win people over. He opened up with a story of his experience on a flight to Japan, where every person in the entire check-in and flight experience was focused on him and providing excellent service. He then began his discussion by saying, “Thank you for letting me serve you today.”
He began with a series of rhetorical questions to the crowd, asking what does it take to win, and to win over and over again, in your career and your life? He said that everyone has the potential, but it takes teamwork and it takes the right blend of attitude, aptitude and appetite.
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.
He reflected on an opportunity to speak at high school where he was warned by the principal that he should cut his one hour presentation to about 15 minutes because otherwise the kids would start to get antsy and may even throw things. But Jolley checked himself before he went on stage, asking the question “Are you going to do what’s comfortable, or are you going to do what’s necessary?”
He challenged the crowd to never do what’s comfortable or you will never discover your genius.
After speaking to the 200 top managers at Dell, he asked one of the executives why they are spending so much money on this small group of managers. That executive told Jolley that Dell is committed to making their management team the best, and that the best way to grow your organization is to build your people.
Jolley spelled out five key aspects of leadership and explained how Five Star Organizations always start with Five Star People … and if they cannot hire them, they will make them! These topics are:
- Leadership Development
- Change Management
- Customer Service
- Attitude Enhancement
Great teams care for each other, cover for each other, and encourage each other, and great organizations pride themselves on outstanding service. (like Nordstrom)
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
— Maya Angelou
Jolley also pointed out that even when bad things happen to you, circumstances should not dictate your attitude, and that you can make a choice.