Friday, May 22, 2009

Billy Joel: rockstar or business mentor?

A very cool day for me once involved me being interviewed for a half hour on a state-wide radio show. I thought it was cool for three reasons:

1. My future husband heard the interview and thought, hey I might like to meet that girl one day (he did a few weeks later and the rest is, as they say, history).
2. I got a whole heap of air time on radio! The publicity hound in me loved that.
3. I also got to program the music for the half hour.

My friends thought it was uncool for just one reason:

I got to program the music for the half hour.

You see, my choice of Billy Joel they say left a lot to be desired.

But I like Billy Joel! Is he cool? Maybe not to my friends, but I think he’s timelessly brilliant, and while I was thinking about my favourite songs I also noticed there’s some fairly relevant business lessons to be derived from some of his greatest hits too (double the Billy bonus!)

Tell her about it
When you make a mistake, own up to it straight away (hiding it only ever damages your reputation and your state of mind in the long run)

Uptown girl
How do you alter your communication style when you’re dealing with people from different social settings to you? The richest person I ever dealt with never showed it in his dress, so don’t think I’m saying that the “uptown girl’s” of the world deserve to be treated “better”. Everyone should get your respect and service, but how do you mirror or match your behaviour to best suit each client you deal with?

The longest time
Service is a marathon, not a sprint. Does your service plan continue on… for the longest time or just until you get paid?

Just the way you are
Managers – this one’s for you. How often are you praising your team for who they are, not condemning them for who you want them to be? Find our what they’re brilliant at and make sure your recognise it.

You may be right
I don’t believe the customer is always right. But I do believe that the best way to end conflict or an argument is for both parties to put themselves in the other party’s shoes and find out why they “may be right”. Understanding speeds reconciliation.

We didn’t start the fire
And one final Joel-ism not to follow to finish up with, amounting to “it’s not my problem, it’s someone else’s”. The biggest rock stars in the workplace find solutions and fix problems and don’t buck pass when the customer comes to them.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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