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Improving Customer Service with Thought Leadership | Shep Hyken and Shane Green

Improving Customer Service with Thought Leadership | Shep Hyken and Shane Green

Elevating customer service and employee satisfaction in a hybrid workforce.

An interview with Shep Hyken and Shane Green that originally aired on January 12th, 2021, as part of Leveraging Thought Leadership Live on LinkedIn.

If you thought a global pandemic would dim the lights of customer service – you thought wrong!

Customers still want answers to questions, friendly assistance, and solutions for their problems. But one thing is changing: the way we deliver answers and solutions.
To take a deeper look at the customer experience, and how employee satisfaction relates to it, I’ve invited two good friends to join me in conversation.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, keynote speaker, bestselling author of I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again & Again.

Shane Green is a culture consultant for Fortune 500 companies, and Founder and President of SGEi, a company that helps customer-focused organizations develop a culture that attracts the right people and retains top talent longer. He’s also the author of Culture Hacker: Reprogramming Your Employee Experience to Improve Customer Service, Retention, and Performance.

We start our conversation by discussing the way reliance on virtual meetings has created new pressure on speakers, and how the speaking industry has changed. Shep and Shane share why many organizations are likely to keep the bulk of their company-wide meetings virtual, and how that has put pressure on speakers not only to entertain but also to provide actionable advice.

As part of the changes to the workforce, we’ve experienced The Great Resignation – which Shane feels is more of a “A Great Reshuffling.” He states that more than 80% of employees who quit their job during this period were looking either for better payment or for a better culture.

It’s simply true that companies with higher employee satisfaction have higher customer satisfaction. Shep and Shane explore how a strong, well-communicated company vision can increase employee satisfaction, especially when supported by proper training. Companies need managers and leaders who role model that vision, and they need to celebrate the times when that vision translates into meaningful goals.

Company culture is the combined attitude of the hearts and minds of an organization’s employees. If you want to raise your company – and it’s culture – to new heights. you’ll want to listen to this episode!

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Thought leadership practitioners delivering a keynote need to tell a good story, but also ensure that their content is actionable right away.
  • People have a need to collaborate and learn, so webinars need to be far more interactive, and contain more than simply a lecture.
  • Research and surveys must always be updated. The information you had five years ago may not be relevant today.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.



Peter Winick Well, welcome, welcome, welcome. You are listening to Leveraging Thought Leadership on our LinkedIn live and today is a real treat. I’ve got two, two bodies to release more people that have been in this space for a real long time and I’m excited to have the conversation, but I don’t want to shortchange them by not giving them a quick intro.

Peter Winick So first we’ve got Shep Hyken. So Shep is a customer service and experience speaker, an international leading authority on customer service, customer experience and loyalty in business. He’s a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of seven books. I just finished your latest book shop. Thank you for that. You’re in the Hall of Fame of Speakers, and we’ll get into the rest of it in a little bit.

Peter Winick Shane Green. Shane and I’ve known each other for a very long time, and Shane is a world renowned speaker. He’s the author of The Culture Hacker and a Television Personality. He works with Fortune 500 global entities on customer experience and organizational culture and has a deep, deep background in hospitality. So welcome, gents. Thank you for joining us.

Peter Winick And Shane, your your we’re looking into the future everybody, for Shane is in New Zealand so that’s what tomorrow looks like.

Shane Green Kind of like today.

Shep Hyken Good day, everyone. Get ready to work.

Shane Green It’s late tonight in New Zealand.

Shep Hyken Was like, it’s like middle of the night. What is it, two in the morning?

Shane Green No, it’s 7 a.m.. It’s all good. Well, 7’s a reasonable hour.

Peter Winick Exactly. This is why we have Calendly, and none of us schedule our own calls. So let’s. Let’s kick it off. So there’s a commonality. And the reason I sort of curate the guest is some commonality from a content perspective, but also some commonalities and differences from a business model perspective. So I want to start with you Shep, because, you know, in the old days or the pre days, whatever we’re going to call them eventually and still today, your core business was keynote speaker. Right. You’re one of these road warriors out there speaking all the time,.

Shep Hyken Like half our business is related to – I mean, what I do for the company, I speak on stages and I write all the content, the all the articles, videos, I create those. And then we have trainers and we have some other roles that we play with our clients. And but I’d say about half or so is me getting on a stage. And yeah, that pretty much went away with the exception of a few outliers.

Peter Winick Yeah. So. So why don’t we start with how that’s changed? Because you’re still delivering value to clients, you’re still putting out great stuff, you’re still putting out books. So it’s not like you crawled under a rock. Obviously, you had to evolve. Maybe you did for a little bit. But what’s different about your world today and how you served your clients than it was a couple of years ago?

Shep Hyken Sure. Well, prior to the pandemic, if you were to say, Shep, would you do a virtual event that meant a webinar? And to me, it’s like that’s one of the most boring words in the entire world, right? Three syllables. By the end of the third syllable, it’s like I’m starting to fall asleep, you know? And I thought I did a pretty good job. I hosted a lot of virtual book clubs, some executive roundtables, and we were doing maybe 15 a year. And the last two years we’ve been doing like 115 a year, probably more than that, because it seems like some days, I would do two and three clients in one day, which was crazy. I could never do that. I could never be in New Zealand, New York, and St Louis, you know, presenting in the same day and virtual made that a reality. And as I look to 2022, where we are right now, the majority of what’s coming in is for a live on-stage presentation. Just yesterday I lost an engagement. Good news is my good friend got it, and it’s for two weeks from now and it’s virtual. And here’s what I see happening. Companies when they’ve decided to do a hybrid or virtual work model for their workforce. When they decide to have a meeting, they’re not going to bring them all back to one big spot again. They’re going to do so. In some cases they will. And there’s going to always be that meeting in Las Vegas, the sales meeting or whatever.

Peter Winick Sure.

Shep Hyken But if it’s going to be a company wide meeting, they’re going to do it virtually. And so I think that now that we’ve learned how to do it, we’ve learned how to do it well. I mean, we know they say, oh, we have zoom fatigue or are you.

Peter Winick Sure.

Shep Hyken Well, that’s only what you have. Is really bad speaker fatigue or bad programing.

Peter Winick No, I think that’s right because I think, A, the default setting now, if you will, will be virtual. Now, again, like you’ll be exceptions. There’s going to be, you know, big events in Vegas and that sort of thing. But.

Shep Hyken With industry event will still be like, yeah, have to get everybody together like that.

Peter Winick Yeah. Well, what if there’s a trade show and that sort of thing? But having the corporate meeting, the typical, you know, event type meeting, I think the defaults switch is now set to virtual, you have to convince us why to go somewhere. And I totally agree with you, Shep, that part of the reason that people have zoom fatigue is because what they’re watching on Zoom is terrible. Right.

Shep Hyken Yeah.

Peter Winick There’s things that I watched I used to watch on stage that were terrible. We didn’t call it stage fatigue. We called it a crappy speaker.

Shep Hyken Yeah. You know, I a client the other day asked, hey, we want to do like a two hour zoom. I said, Are you kidding me? Do you know how much Steven Spielberg spends for one special effect that lasts 30 seconds in a movie that – millions of dollars. And you’re asking one of, you know, me or my trainer to get out there and do a two hour presentation to 300 people with no ability to do breakouts and go. It’s not it’s not good. And I told him, I said, I don’t care who you get up there, you will not have the best success that you can have. Now, I don’t know if I agree with you, Peter, that the default is virtual. I would like to think that they’re going back the other direction. I think companies want to – they’re just cautious right now. The third variant hit, we had Delta and then now. And so that’s really the third wave of this COVID thing. And I think we’re going to learn that we have to live with this, adjust to it, and recognize that life is going to go on or we’re going to be shut down and which is worse.

Peter Winick When I was thinking about it, not just from a from a COVID perspective, but also from an economic perspective to make, because now we’ve had two years of data that says it really does cost a lot of money to get 700 people to go. But yeah, we’ll see where it’s going to go. I want to go to Shane for a minute because Shane, you’ve had a ton of pivoting, right? So your back your back background, when you and I first met was, you know, as one of the world renowned experts in hospitality training. Right. And that’s typically face to face, right? I can’t check. Yeah, maybe. Maybe on Meta, I can check into a virtual hotel, but I haven’t done that yet. Then you evolve into culture hackers. And then then you. You left us Americans here. You left Vegas and went back to New Zealand for a while. So give me give us an update on what you’re doing in the world and what’s different.

Shane Green Well, I think it’s not even just about New Zealand excuse me, traveling. Actually, I’ve taken advantage and we’ve actually been traveling. I think one of the things that that ship that indicated virtual has opened up the whole world. I can be anywhere in the world today and deliver keynotes, consulting and coaching. And so in some ways this was kind of a revelation for myself and my family where we’re like, Why sit in one house? Why sit in one place when there is an opportunity to kind of spread out a little bit, obviously, you know, the safety, cautions and elements to think about, but in some ways it’s been quite liberating. So that’s sort of the first sort of element. I think the next piece that’s come back, I think my “aha” was we talked about crap speakers is, I go back to crappy content a lot of content is outdated. You know, the – probably the biggest thing that I’ve been able to do in the last year and have invested in is getting back to research. You know, I had a few bit of time on my hands, so it was about going back. There would be doing surveys of employees and companies in 90 years and went back through and said, all right, what is it all telling us was saying? And then we kind of threw it out the door and say, Well, nobody cares about that anymore. So, you know, doing a lot of this, a lot of research and going, you know, it’s got to be relevant. It’s got to be recent. It’s like people aren’t interested in your ideas from five years ago and the world itself upside down. What are the sentiments and ideas that are coming out? So, you know, it’s been kind of interesting because, again, technologies allowed us to survey. I’m doing surveys sort of globally partnered up with some really cool platform that allows me to go into a different country and kind of go, hey, if I’m if they want me to speak, I can in two weeks come up with, here’s the state of your nation, just like we do a state of the company. So more relevant, more is what I’m dealing with now as opposed to something that is idealistic. So I get kind of fired up right now that I think it is requiring the content to be better. It’s always required, in my mind, the speakers to be better. Get the right speakers out there, but the context’s got to fit now. And it’s and what I think companies are looking for is give me something I can do now. They get the hype; they get the fired up moment. I get excited, inspired, but they’re not wanting to do it. And I want to.

Peter Winick Stay there for a minute. Stay there for a minute, Shane, because I think when we look at. Who was delivering what we were delivering and who we were delivering it to. There was a big chunk of it that was sort of entertainment, the motivational speaker. You know, it’s the sales event. Get them. Rah, rah, rah, rah. I think that business is gone for the most part. Right. And I think content. Content and content, content. I think we’re living in an age right now. I’m calling it sort of the COVID renaissance, where what happened when we gave a ton of really smart people a bunch of time? Well, they didn’t sit there and eat Pringles and watch Netflix. They wrote that next book. They wanted to they reengaged in the research. They dug in. They sort of things. There’s no shortage of ideas. There was a short there was a constraint on our time. I love the fact, mostly, that we’re not traveling. You know, the amount of time, like you said, I’m on with New Zealand, Saint Louis. I have a call late tonight with Japan. Like this is awesome. Those and I thought I was busy before were effective or productive in the hacks to get through an airport. I love that, you know, we’re all 18 inches from a screen. It’s global. But I do think the key point here is getting back to the content. There were a lot of – call’em lazy speakers. They’ve done their schtick. If you’ve seen them before, you know what, 3 minutes and 20, they’re going to pull their ear and tell the joke. How do you connect to me in a modality that matters? Be relevant. And the information that you’re providing is fresh. So when you’re doing research, that’s fresh. That’s not the book you wrote five years ago that there was anything wrong with the book, but that’s like adding to the principles and contextualizing. So what do you see on that front? .

Shep Hyken Go ahead, Shane.

Shane Green Yeah, I was just going to say, is this going to say, you know, I think there’s still a bit of a space for the entertainment. People like to be entertained, but let’s be.

Peter Winick Sure.

Shane Green What have we done in the last year? Netflix gives us every stand up comedian that we want live in our home for an hour. And by the way, it’s good. It’s a good time out. I don’t even need to go and find that. I miss live events, but at the end of the day, the content is readily available. So we said earlier, give me an excuse to get out of my house and come to Vegas or wherever. That’s the first thing. It’s better be really damn good. But then you go, Listen, I can still get the same content in a shorter space relevant globally and get access to it a lot easier. And I think we’re just responding to that.

Shep Hyken I think we want more than content, though. People want to network, they want to learn. The best information comes with the discussion that happened as a result of what you just heard in the hallway. Now Peter, to your point, information and timely you know we do every year this is her 2021 2022 and that’s our achieving customer amazement study comes out in March because we can’t survey people and this is me. I’m anal. I’m not going to survey anybody for a 2022 survey even as late as December 21. No. So last week we went to the field with our questions. But the point is, if everything and Shane, I believe this about you with your Ritz-Carlton background and everything you’ve done in hospitality, nothing has really changed between then and now. I believe that the concepts that we’ve been teaching over the years are timeless, but they’re also the same time timely. When we paired up with what’s happening right now, we know that convenience has become a really important element of the customer experience and at the end of the day, convenience. So if somebody this is what we ask in our survey, if would you pay more for good customer service? And the answer is yes. Overwhelmingly, 50 some odd percent say yes. Would you pay more for convenient service and the numbers go up higher. And if that convenience and by the way, conveniences quicker online, instead of doing it in the store, it’s maybe not having to wait in line something quicker. But if you add delivery into the mix of convenience, then that number goes to 92%. So customers are willing to pay for convenience. Now, before the pandemic, if I ordered a pizza, the pizza was delivered for free. Today, they charge me $4 to deliver that pizza. $5, and I don’t care. I’m happy to do it as long as it shows up on time and it’s hot. So that’s what we’re looking for, is to take timeless content, if you will, or tactical ideas that will work. And then what we do, I believe, and I wrote about this in my most recent book, I’ll Be Back, there’s a chapter that says Nothing has changed in customer service. Customer is a problem, a question, an issue, and at the end they want it answered or resolved. Nothing has changed 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and 100 years from now, that’s going to be the same. Now what will change is how we get to that resolution or how we answer the question Are we going to give them a digital channel or are we going to do it in person? We’re going to use technology or we can use artificial intelligence. And, you know, for the customer, it doesn’t matter. I just got my question. I just got it answered. I’m happy.

Peter Winick When I think a lot of these things that companies did in the middle of the pandemic for survival, we’re not going to give up now. I love picking up stuff versus having to go in delivered. I love the Starbucks app where I can click a button and then I walk into my coffee’s waiting for me.

Shep Hyken They’re- actually, there’s a level of convenience. And yet you’re still going to the store, but you’re using some digital technology to get you there. And so, you know, in my book, that’s another book called The Convenience Revolution Six Areas of Convenience. One is just eliminated friction. Just get rid of anything that’s sticky and hard to do. Number two, and I mean, I’m going to go through them in any detail, but number two, use technology. Number three, use self-service solutions. Number four, a subscription model where things just show up without you having to deal with them anymore. And that could be your dog food, your razor blade, everything. Even you can now subscribe to a car. And that’s another story delivery I mentioned before. And is it logistically convenient or the hours of operation there. So the ability.

Peter Winick I want to go back to a point we made a couple of minutes ago about the content, right, that the bar has been raised for the content and we’ve agreed that this is isn’t the worst way to deliver content. We could prefer in-person the physical connection and all that. But those that have figured it out, this isn’t the worst way in the world to deliver pure content. What we haven’t seen yet, or at least I haven’t seen yet, or what are the other reasons people are going to the event? And I would say it was connection and community and I’ve seen people try lots of different things, but I’d love to hear what you guys are seeing around the connection in the community because I did a little bit of light research last year to event organizers, and event organizers are so focused on the theme, it’s going to be resilience or innovation or creativity. But when you ask participants, Tell me about the best event you ever went to several years later, let’s say that was the event. I don’t remember if it was in Cleveland or Denver, but that’s the event, the chain and I met. So the highlight for me was I made a relationship that lasted me a long time and the event organizers are going, Okay, well, oh, that’s cool. But we were thinking that was the year of the – or something like that. So what are you seeing in the community perspective? In the connection perspective, because that’s still the burden is on us to be on the front of that.

Shane Green Yeah. Listen, I think it ties in really well with what we’re seeing as what is the modern workplace about. So we kind of see, you know, COVID’s kind of changed things up. I’ve got to give people an excuse to come to my event. I actually think we’ve got to give people an excuse to come in the office. The bottom line is people can work anywhere and work really damn well. So if you stop to think about what we’re talking a lot about now is why should people come to work? Well, they come to work just for those reasons. You said it’s about connection. Okay. We got to get around the, you know, the water cooler and ship. And I can talk hockey all day long. We’ve got to focus on our sense of community, I think this collaboration. So you’ve got to put people together to actually make them interact and give them things to do. And then I think the final part is going to be celebration. So, so, so if I take those ideas of what the modern, modern office environment should be like, now let’s talk about our events. You better be celebrating. And again, I think people want to celebrate. They want excuses, they want to collaborate, which means they don’t want to sit in a room and listen to people talking at them for 8 hours. They want opportunities to go in and not just network, but purposeful network. Give them a challenge, give them a task. So they have that sort of starting point. Because, you know, some of us unfortunately, I’m not really extroverted. So, you know, we struggle a little bit to say, well, networking, you know, because it has that kind of dirty word that we we’ve kind of gone through over the years.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Shane Green Go back to those elements. You know, it is connection. I think that’s what those have been sort of come to. So that’s more facilitation. You know, I said a lot of kind of I don’t teach people anything, but let’s challenge them. Let’s put sort of ideas in front of and facilitate a conversation around those themes, as it were. I think that’s not only the future of what these events should be like, that’s what the office should be about.

Peter Winick If you’re enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about our podcast, please leave us a review and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listing apps as well as at

Shep Hyken You’re in a really interesting spot right now. Shane. Not New Zealand, but I’m talking about where you are in business today because you’re focusing a lot on the culture of the people. And as companies move to a hybrid or even a remote workforce, how do you keep them engaged to the point where they are not thinking that they work for money, that they actually work for the company? And the great resignation that we’re experiencing, you know, really throughout the world, I saw some really interesting stats. 80% of the people that resigned, 83% I think I saw they didn’t resign without a job. They had another job they went to. So the great resignation is not about people quitting work altogether. It’s about people finding a better job. And it’s not always better pay, it’s better lifestyle. And.

Peter Winick But stay there 1/2, because I think a lot of where that’s happening is where we don’t put a lot of attention to. So if I am front line at Target or Home Depot or whatever, right? Those people used to not have as many options. Right now they’re thinking, wait a minute, I kind of don’t like it here. Do you think Home Depot is an example? They don’t treat me well. My boss is a jerk. Whatever, whatever. But it’s going to be hard to get a job. Then you go. I’ve been reading some great things about Target, about their culture. I’ve got a friend that works there. Oh, and maybe they’re paying a buck or two more. Or maybe they’re giving me flexibility about something I’m not. It’s not always a dollar thing. It’s an environmental thing. It’s a culture thing. It’s a cause thing. It might be into.

Shep Hyken Yeah, cause. Right. But Jane has a perfect opportunity in this world right now because I believe that companies are leadership of companies are starved for the formula that will keep their people and make their people happy. One of my books I wrote, The Amazement Revolution. One of the chapters was about the creating the fun experience. If you win and if you win is not about having a good time, it’s about fulfillment. Is the employee fulfilled? Are they exploited for the unique talents? And are they excited about what’s coming up next? And Brian Keeley at the Baptist Health South Medical System down in Florida, legendary within the industry. He says, I want to create an experience at work that makes us the destination employment opportunity where people will come here and never leave. Well, how do you do that when somebody is working out of their home? And the only time they ever interact with their manager or other colleagues is maybe once every couple of days. You know, we talked to some of the great leaders in call centers. It forced thousands of people to 1000 millions of people in the industry. And I asked him how often you talk to their employees? And they said, we try to do twice a day meetings two times a day. How many did you do before the pandemic? You know, once every couple, three days. And I go, okay, what’s the difference? We need to keep everyone engaged. So, Shane. Riff on that for a while because I want to know what you’re thinking.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Shane Green So let’s take this great resignation, which was just a branding exercise. Let’s call it a great reshuffle. I think everyone is just moving around. I think it’s I think what’s really interesting is it’s not employees that are reshuffling this and research coming out and we’re doing some stuff. It’s middle managers. I think that’s the concern for a lot of companies is that they’re losing some of this middle management fan and managers are starting to go and be even more, you know, middle managers, let’s say they’re into middle age. They’ve got kids, they’ve got aging family, they’ve got a lot of responsibilities going on. So I think what you said, it’s really important they’re not leaving for an extra couple of dollars at that point. That going for a bit of lifestyle that you’re going for something that works better with them. So I think middle management is an issue right now, and I think companies have kind of take them for granted for way too long. I think that’s where the problem is. They’re not investing enough. We one of the biggest things that I think is always fascinated me about culture and when I started out in the culture transformation, say if you go to a company and they said, I want better customer service, we’ve got to address the employees, let’s fix the employees. We’ve got to train the employees. Employees were never the problem. It was always the managers and the mechanisms and the things that were getting the people. Shep, as you know, you can’t make someone take care of customers. They have to want to do it. How do you create that want? Well, it’s how the managers act and interact with them. It’s the mechanisms that are going on. So as I started to shift into the space and as you see it now shifting into virtual, you know, the companies that had a great culture before COVID, but still have a great culture because all the great culture was as they went, they had a pulse on the people and were responding always to the fact that those needs change. You know, culture transformation is not an event. It’s something you’re doing it every day. So the companies and this is where Ritz-Carlton was so great, you know, the first day I became a supervisor, Ritz-Carlton, my general manager came to me and this is after working in a hotel five years, be really good in the front office, front of the house. And he says, I want to tell you one important thing. Your number one priority is no longer the guests walking through the door. And I was like, What? I’ve been doing it for five years. Isn’t that why you promoted me? He says, Well, let’s just face that. You’ve got 150, 200 people coming through the door every day. You can’t take care of it. But at that point, then I had to a service team of 22 people. He says that those guys and girls team says your number one priority is to take care of them. And so that whole idea, that simple concept that great companies, the best service organizations, always take care of their employees the best. And so that simple idea just has to be carried through. That is a timeless concept. What we’re doing now is using technology, different things to bring it to life.

Peter Winick So I want to bridge that to Shep’s domain because the data shows us that you’re never going to have customer satisfaction scores higher than employee satisfaction scores. And yet everybody tries to fix the customer experience problem by throwing more money on that end of the channel. There are two sides of the same coin, so I want to hear the other side, Shep.

Shep Hyken Well, I mean, here’s the thing. If you look at like the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a CSI that comes out by the University of Michigan, they look at every industry, every company, and they say, okay, what are the scores? If you were to look at the best performers in all industries, for that matter, maybe the top 20 companies, and then you go over to Glassdoor accom where employees get to rate their employee employees, rate their employers and take a look at the top 20 companies there. You would be pleasantly surprised at how many of them cross over as to great places to work are great places to do business with as well. You know, I’ve always believed and Herb Kelleher, I guess is one of my you know, I studied Southwest Airlines for years and years. And I believe when he said, which is more important, you know, your shareholders, your customers are your employees. He thought about the employees because if you make the employees happy, they better take care of the customers. The customers keep coming back because they like what the employees are doing. And that’s going to make the shareholders happy. So it’s easy to see who comes first. That said, I believe that you’ve got to, as a leader, define what you want your vision to be at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s ladies and gentlemen serving. Ladies and gentlemen, you love that chain the moment you walked in the door and you lived and breathed it. And every single day pre shift, you had a meeting that covered one of the standards that makes that vision come to life every single day, every ship. How many companies when people say, I want to have Ritz-Carlton service? Are you really willing to do what they did? And the first thing is, it’s a vision. Then it’s communicated well, and then you’re training the people, assuming you have the right people hired to begin with. And then managers are role models, leaders are role models. And then they defend their culture of any of those management leaders, seeing somebody or some group going out of alignment. And then to your point, Shane, we have to celebrate when it works. That’s a process that we take our clients through when they want to become customer focused. And, you know, they go, Well, we aren’t really working on the tactics about dealing with the customer. Yeah, you are number three. That’s training. And everybody gets trained, front line gets trained differently than people behind the scenes, but they’re all trained to the vision. And that’s how important you get that internal piece right before you can expect the external piece to work.

Shane Green That’s a big piece. You know, we had a piece on the wall at Ritz-Carlton. It was it’s a hospitality axiom. It calls employees with a great attitude, will deliver great service employees with a bad attitude to live as bad to so basic. So it’s a pretty simple no. Yeah, it’s so basic as I’ve gone through what I’ve understood culture to be cultures. It’s the collective attitudes, hearts and minds of a group of people. And what we did at Ritz-Carlton and what we teach organizations is every day the number one job of you as a manager is to check on the attitude of your people and the people feeling good. And if they’re feeling good and got what they need, they’re going to take care of customers, trust that they can do it, enable them, and then empower them to go and do that. But that’s a piece is like managers need to understand that it is about this culture. They have hearts and minds that are not only to find customer service, but performance. You know, what I think I’m most proud of is we shifted from a customer service focus. I now talk about performance with organizations. You know, Shep, people think that the daily pre ship I don’t care what your company is doing but talking to your employees at the start of the day, getting them aligned, getting them fired up, set expectations, get what they need, that’s just drives great performance. And so I listen.

Peter Winick Yep. So I want to dovetail on something you said there, Shane, about, you know, people feeling good. So if I’m a mid-level middle aged manager, I used to know how people felt. If my people felt good because we’re in the office, I’m walking around, you know, Shep’s got a big smile on his face. Shane’s looking down. I can grab him. We can have a one on one. How do I know? I mean, this is part of the challenge is we have to change the way we lead and manage today, because I might not know if Shep’s feeling good, if I only see him on a zoom call every other day, I might have to acknowledge that he’s living in a time of stress and he’s got young kids working from home or the home that he lives in is know he’s working out of a shared office with a spouse or three kids that are doing remote learning or whatever. And you wouldn’t have known so much of the background stuff in the old days, right? You could come in and put on a smiling face when he had a fight with your wife that morning or the dog died. Right? Now, it’s there’s so much less we think we know.

Shane Green But Peter, here’s the piece, even when we’re in the office, there’s a ton of managers who pay no attention to that stuff because they were so focused on the tasks, you know, so, so, so but they were crappy managers, but that’s still there. And so one of the things I think is the split management and leadership are both sides of the same coin. In a perfect world, you have a manager who get stuff done and a leader who inspires the people to get it done. What we’re seeing in the virtual world is, I think, leadership coming to the fore. And it’s almost it’s a full-time task used to say, all right, you balance your management and leadership path. I think today what Shep was saying with guiding, you have to be able to check, if you’re a manager and you have ten people, virtually, that’s a full-time job to check in on them because you need to talk to them every day and see how they’re doing. You need to be thinking about how to celebrate with them. You need to set up. One of our best practices we talk about is, you know, every week have the she had lunch where lunch or the coffee turns up, you get on and you have a virtual meeting. That’s nothing about work. It’s just about how you just tell us how you doing? Celebrate. Those things used to happen live, but that’s leadership. People that understand that my role and priority to take care of my people regardless of where they’re working and what they’re doing. But what it is, is that I now I can walk the office and touch ten people in 10 minutes virtually. It takes me a good hour to get around to everybody. So that’s taking more time. But still, leadership is leadership. Focus on people. Focus on the right note are the same things. We’ve just got to be willing to do it more and expand the idea that being emotive and being personal and being interactive over Zoom, which can’t happen. I can see your facial expressions that becomes more of an and a skill that has to be developed and that’s teaching managers.

Shep Hyken Right? One of the bigger stressors in a company during the whole remote migration was that managers were struggling actually more than the frontliners. Frontliners were still doing what they were doing and the managers couldn’t do the walking around, looking over people’s shoulder, noticing, coaching in the moment. They couldn’t do any of that and they’re forced to learn a new way. And yes, I think that over time, some people, you know, they reveled in the whole opportunity to go remote because they’re very productive. But then again, they have their space to do it in. I love there’s a TV commercial you see right now and it’s so good. I can’t remember who the commercial is about, but it shows, you know, here you are in your office and then it pulls back. It’s at a dining room table, which is actually the same table where the kids are doing their homework. And then there’s a science project going up -.

Peter Winick The volcano. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Shep Hyken See, it’s like, this is what people are doing. Dogs are walking by, kids are walking by, and that’s not necessarily the best workplace. Shane – We do something fun. When we went remote and we were all away, we had a day, we had actually three daily huddles, but the middle one, which was around the lunch, we all got together and ate lunch together. We had an HR Director. The Humor Resource Director, not the Human Resource. And their job was to bring a funny video from YouTube to our lunch for us to watch together.

Peter Winick Oh, I love it . That’s fantastic. So I want to just be cognizant of the time, and we’re going to have to wrap here, but I’ll ask each of you to give us sort of one thing that you are most excited about coming up over the next 12 months. What are you pursuing? What are you thinking when you see opportunity? That is really from a content set, but what do you see? The opportunities? What are you excited about, Shane?

Shane Green You know, I’m excited that there is a new respect for the human element of everything that we doing. Yes, we can becoming more focused in using technology. But I’m actually excited more than anything else that that we are about human that that work and culture, that focus is about the people, the anxieties and stresses, all the things that people are going through. But it’s forcing us to actually bring health and wellbeing upon all the things. Celebrations to the forefront, which I believe is what the future of work is all about. People will work from anywhere. Work will get done from anywhere. But it’s that human element that will actually bring us together. And I think the work space in the work environment is the new community. Go back 30, 40 years, you know, the community center and that with people come together, I think it’s the workspace and I’m excited to be a part of kind of bringing it to light.

Peter Winick And you, Shep?

Shep Hyken Think change has told us. I think about it seriously. I think as I look to the future of my world, I think customers are smarter and savvy and they are loving the experience they’re getting from rock star companies that’s making other companies. They’re forced to raise their game, and that makes me excited because that gives me opportunity to help more people because they need the help they want to get there. And I think that as we look at the great resignation, we’re going to look at that in the rearview mirror because it’s all going to balance out. Like you said, Shane, it’s shuffling as much of anything, not just a resignation from work in general. People need to work. They’re going to realize I need a paycheck in order to eat and feed my family so there will be places to work. And employers that didn’t make it great are going to have to if they want to stay in business. So it’s a look that the world the bar is being raised. Customer service. Employee service, hand in hand.

Shane Green Absolutely.

Peter Winick So I want to thank you both for spending some time with us today and for the work that you both do. It’s great stuff. So thank you. Thank you both for joining us today.

Shep Hyken It’s a lot of fun. Thanks. Thanks for having us.

Shane Green Thanks, Peter.

Peter Winick To learn more about Thought Leadership Leverage. Please visit our website at Thought Leadership Leverage dot com to reach me directly. Feel free to email me at Peter at and please subscribe to Leveraging Thought Leadership on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to get your weekly episode automatically.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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