A busy few weeks have slowed down my reading habit for 2018, but my Kindle on the morning commute has allowed me to enjoy Be Amazing or Go Home by Shep Hyken.
The core of Be Amazing or Go Home revolves around conversations that Shep had with two of his employees. One was a high performer. The other had previously been a great performer, but for some reason, standards had dipped and Shep was addressing this in a 1:1. Ultimately, the statement was made; ‘be amazing or go home’.
The outcome was that the employee did end up leaving, but with the blessing and support of Hyken, but the conversations that led to this decision generate some good discussion.
What is amazing?
Hyken often talks about and defines amazing as:
Predictable consistent above-average performance.
So with this baseline, the book outlines the idea of delivering service at a standard higher the competition every day. It’s not about a grand gesture or an unsustainable programme but the incremental gains that get to a powerful position over time.
I fully subscribe to the idea of 0.1% better every day, you may well be able to deliver big step changes but sustained growth and improvement come from gains every day.
Hyken then goes on to describe the Seven Habits of amazement, which are some great competencies that can be adopted by Service professions and passed on by Leaders.
There are some excellent ideas in this list (which I’m not going to spoil) and everyone will have their own favourite that resonates well for them, either as an area of strength, or an opportunity for them or their team.
My personal favourite is that ‘amazing people want feedback’, a skill that I have had to focus on to improve, and one I see in the best employees I’ve had.
Shep talks about this skill through the lens of the employee conversations he had, giving examples of employees that were hungry for feedback and contrasting that with an employee that was resistant.
The comparison is made really clear, and there are takeaways from each of the seven habits of amazement which are relevant and transferable.
For my own personal development, I am trying to ensure that I am open to feedback whenever I can find opportunities. Asking for feedback and really listening and taking value from it is a muscle that constantly needs exercising, this chapter in Be Amazing or Go Home was a great reminder of how important that is.
Shep Hyken puts together the ‘seven habits of amazing’ in a relatable and understandable way. Whilst there is nothing groundbreaking in here, there is a great set of examples and analogies which can be used to remind yourself AND coach onwards to team members as part of their development.
Be Amazing or Go Home is an excellent short read that can help develop Customer Service muscles. I would highly recommend it to anyone as a strong addition to your Customer Service bookshelf.