Monday, September 20, 2010

The "3H Model" of Success

Tom Peter's brilliantly simple writing continues to amaze me as I read through his book "The Little Big Things." Consider the following:

The 3Hs:

1. Howard, as in Schultz - the founder of Starbucks. He took a cup of coffee and turned it into a business of over 10,000 shops worldwide. He has a great leadership team, and they convey the importance of what Starbucks is all about throughout the organization.

Yet the boss visits a minimum of 25 shops per week. He believes you have to see the real deal up close with all your senses.

2. There has never been a more prominent and successful hotelier than Conrad Hilton. Once, at a gala honoring his career, he was called to the podium to share his success secrets.

Standing formally at the podium, he intoned: "Remember to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub." He then went quietly back to his seat.

3. In 2009, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines held their annual meetings on the same day in Dallas, headquarters to both airlines. The Allied Pilots Association picketed American's headquarters. The Southwest meeting marking founder Herb Kelleher's retirement. The Southwest's pilots' union took out full page ads in papers across the country thanking Herb for his years of service.

Like Hilton, Herb was asked to reveal his secrets for running the most successful airline (and one of the most admired businesses) in the world. A one-liner, only eight words, consistent for years: "You have to treat your employees like customers."

Bottom line from the 3Hs:

  1. Stay in touch (Howard)
  2. Sweat the details (Hilton)
  3. People first (Herb)
Stop right now. Think back over the last 24 hours in your organization. On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate on each of the 3H elements?

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