Continued excerpt from the Introduction of Outstanding!

…These are the absolute best ideas and practices I’ve come across working with thousands of organizations of all kinds since 1986, when I began my sales career in the field of training and organizational development. Each chapter presents one concept with no ranking implied. That is, #47 is no less important than #1, and #16 is no more so than #26. Each one stands on its own and is equally worthy of our attention. But you will ultimately decide which of the 47 is critical to your organization right now. Some will inspire you, some will challenge you, and some will do both. You may disagree with some or think they are not relevant to your organization—and that’s fine, too. As long as an idea challenges our current thinking and practices, it’s worthwhile. But my expectation is that for the vast majority of these ideas you’ll nod your head while reading and think, Yes, that makes sense. We need to do that. And then, when you reread and re-explore this book (since repetition is the motor of learning), different “ways” will become more meaningful at different times.

I should also say what this book is not about. It’s not about technology and systems. It’s not about legal strategies and compliance with government regulations. It’s not about the latest and greatest ideas—or fads—streaming from business schools or cable television “gurus.” We won’t be covering anything about branding or how to perform an effective new product launch. And there will be few, if any, trendy buzzwords in this book—I assure you. What I do promise is practical, commonsense ideas that work. When it comes to good ideas, there is no “sell by” date. The word “timeless” comes to mind.

Outstanding! is for anyone who cares about “improving the place”—from executives to middle managers to team leaders to frontline staff. And keep in mind that teams, departments, branch offices, districts, and divisions are organizations, too. Don’t sit back waiting for people above or below you to get started. Strengthening even one corner of an organization is better than doing nothing at all. Organizations are made up of individuals, and outstanding organizations are created by individuals doing outstanding things. It will be up to you—and others in your organization—to make it happen.

In the end, Outstanding! will show each of us 47 ways to help our organization reach levels of performance and reputation that few achieve. My hope is that Outstanding! will move you—no matter your title or position—to cause your organization to become the best it can be. In other words, to help it be Outstanding!

Just some of the ideas contained in Outstanding! are …

  • Turnover Can be a Good Thing
  • Listen in All Directions
  • Forgive Mistakes
  • Coach Moment to Moment
  • Make No Excuses
  • Fight the Fat
  • Don’t Speak In Code
  • Be Fast
  • Put People Before Policies
  • See Everyone as a Customer
  • Encourage Each Other
  • Never Forget Who Pays the Bills
  • Keep the Mission Top of Mind
  • Seek No Culprits