How to soar like an eagle (in a world full of turkeys)

Technically, tonight’s video presentation was entitled “Beyond Excellence,” a very well done 1-hour (plus) seminar by Rob Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson also happens to be the author of “How to Soar Like an Eagle,” ergo the blog title for what will probably be the last entry for this class, Organizational Behavior.

He began his presentation with the story of Larry Walters, known in some circles as “Lawnchair Larry” because in 1992 he took flight over Los Angeles in a lawn chair, with the help of 45 weather balloons. He was determined to fly. He was determined to constantly improve. Well … he was determined.

When asked by a reporter why he had done it, Walters replied, “A man can’t just sit around.”

Maybe that’s what inspired the Disney Pixar movie, “Up” …

Speaking of Disney, Stevenson talked about how at Disney, it’s always “showtime” and all members of the Disney team are cast members who are always on stage. He talked about how in our professional lives we always need to be on stage, because you really never know who it is that you’re dealing with. He shared the example of a commercial real estate agent who was asked for help leasing a 500 square foot space, and because he handled it so well he ended up winning the business for Coca-Cola and ultimately a commitment to lease about a million square feet of space.

Speaking of Coca-Cola, Stevenson then shared the story of how a company lost a 100-truck order that they had “in the bag” with Coca-Cola, right up until the moment that the truck driver rolled up at the Atlanta headquarters and the senior Coke executive saw a Pepsi can on the dashboard. Oops. The company lost the order for the other 99 trucks.

He recommended reading the book, “Good to Great,” and reinforced the point of getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off … he also alluded to the possibility of how some people end up in organizations having something to do with the timing of when they were hired. A strong culture will work to get rid of the people who don’t belong there.

How do you create the WOW effect? Astonish people, have a great reputation. Hire for excellence. Example of WOW, Harley Davidson tattoos on the human body.

Stevenson shared the “8/16 rule,” where if you do a good job people will tell 8 others, if you do a bad job people will warn 16 others

MOT = moment of truth. (every point where you come in contact with a customer)

At the beginning and the end of the presentation, Stevenson talked about the importance of a FUBAR list … a list maintained by the company that has the mistakes people have made so others can avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Control, cope or capitalize – CHANGE

CARE trumps everything … care more about the customer than about the sale, commission, etc.


Stevenson used the image above to reinforce the point, “We are what we perceive ourselves to be.”


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