How 2 CEOs Used Purpose to Unite Their Companies by Jeanne Bliss

Nostalgic for his mother’s thick and natural yogurt years after immigrating from the mountains of Eastern Turkey, Hamdi Ulukaya got a small business loan in 2007 for $700,000 to make his own yogurt. He bought a Kraft yogurt plant that was about to be shut down to produce his yogurt, which he named Chobani, meaning ‘shepherd’ in Turkish.

Taking care of employees, using natural ingredients, and doing good in the world are the values of the multi-billion dollar Chobani company. What makes Ulakaya inspirational is how personally he takes his business. For example, during the first five years of his operation, people who expressed any kind of dislike for his yogurt, for whatever reason, received a surprising and very human phone call from Ulakaya, who wanted to make it right for them.

Ulakaya takes the high road in more ways than one. He extends his personal commitment to his employees. An inclusive and compassionate leader, he’s given every employee a 10% stake in the company. Ulakaya has the attributes of a growth by generosity leader. In an interview with Fast Company, he said, “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t travel back to my childhood.”

Does what you learned as a child—those behaviors—guide your gestures and your organization? Actions that align with purpose are the hallmarks of leaders who can move mountains like Ulakaya did to start an unexpected business and grow it to the top of its industry. There are many leaders who are articulating their purpose, but far fewer are in the slog everyday, working to deliberately translate that purpose into action.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, for example, proved he is one of those kinds of leaders when he made a commitment that Southwest Airlines would no longer sell more tickets than it had seats. Not even one. Amid world wide passenger angst, they initiated what the airline calls “transfarency” in which they pledge to keep low fares without any need for that dreaded nickel and dime-ing. For companies of all sizes, purpose and how a company lives it, matters.

Shane Green, who wrote the great book, Culture Hacker, states that more than 50% of employees leave within the first year of their roles because they don’t see their company’s stated purpose lived out in the workplace. Would you make a promise to your mom, and then break it? Of course you wouldn’t.

The Deloitte Millennial Survey in 2017 validates Green’s findings that purpose matters. This consumer group of millennials in particular seek companies whose actions and behaviors display values congruent with their own. But I would assert this desire expands well beyond this intriguing group—that most of us would like to see companies behave with this congruence of heart and habit.

This is our opportunity to deliberately connect the dots between why a company states that it is in business, and its actions to live that in its promise.

About Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss pioneered the Chief Customer Officer position, holding the role for over twenty years reporting to the Chief Executive Officer at Lands’ End, Allstate, Coldwell Banker, Mazda and Microsoft Corporations, where she moved the customer to the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities to create transformational changes to each brands’ customer experience.

 

To Learn more about Jeanne contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Great Books on Customer Service

Does your company have a clear customer experience strategy in place? What to do when “great” isn’t good enough to grow your business? And why your company needs to have a customer-centric culture? These are some of great questions our speakers get asked all the time. We have selected 5 great books packed with insights and ideas on customer service that will help you and your company grow your business.

Lior Arussy – Founder of Strativity Group and Author of the Customer Service Experience

One of the world’s leading consultants on customer experience and customer centric transformation, Lior Arussy delivers results. His strategic framework for converting organizations from product to customer centricity is drawn from his work with some of the globe’s leading brands – Capital One, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, E.ON, Nokia, SAP, University of Pennsylvania and Wyeth.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Lior-Arussy

 

Scott McKain – Dynamic Speaker on Sales and Customer Service

Scott McKain creates captivating presentations and bestselling books which clearly reveal how to create more compelling connections between you and your customers and how to stand out and move up, regardless of the economic climate in your industry. McKain’s calling is business – and his passion is platform presentations. He is a unique combination of vast speaking experience and new, cutting-edge information.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Scott-McKain

 

Jeanne Bliss – World-wide Speaker and Executive Coach on Customer Driven Growth

Jeanne Bliss pioneered the Chief Customer Officer position, holding the role for over twenty years reporting to the Chief Executive Officer at Lands’ End, Allstate, Coldwell Banker, Mazda and Microsoft Corporations, where she moved the customer to the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities to create transformational changes to each brands’ customer experience.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Jeanne-Bliss

 

Robert Spector – Speaker and Author on Customer Service

Robert Spector is a best-selling author, international speaker, and customer service expert. Based in Seattle, he has helped companies create their customer service experiences for over 30 years. Robert is recognized worldwide as the ultimate authority on customer service and the Nordstrom Way. He is the author of the business classic The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America’s Number One Customer Service Company.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Robert-Spector

 

Chip Bell – World Renown Thought Leader on Customer Service

Chip Bell has helped many Fortune 100 companies dramatically enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation through innovative customer-centric strategies that address the needs of today’s picky, fickle, vocal and “all about me” customers. Dr. Bell reveals the best practices from the organizations leading the customer loyalty charge, giving audiences powerful cutting-edge ideas and unique strategies they can put into practice the minute they leave his keynote.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chip-Bell

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

Top 10 Speakers on the Trends Shaping the Retail Industry

There was a time when the Retail Industry was all about location, location, location. Now Retail is under attack and it’s all about, transforming, growing, changing, inspiring, innovating and heading in a totally different direction. Understanding the forces and trends that are shaping the whole industry is key to any organization’s retail strategy. Here are the Top Ten Speakers on the Trends Shaping The Retail Industry.

Michael Bergdahl

Michael Bergdahl is a professional international business speaker, author and turnaround specialist. Bergdahl worked in Bentonville, Arkansas for Walmart, as the Director of “People” for the headquarters office, where he worked directly with Walmart’s founder Sam Walton.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Michael-Bergdahl

 

Sterling Hawkins

Sterling Hawkins has become a master of innovation through massive changes and obstacles he has overcome in his own life. From selling the first company he founded in 2004 to flat broke, from a broken family business to a successful one, and from fear of public speaking to keynoting at conferences around the world, Sterling’s story is a perfect example of how anyone can take any situation and create anything from it.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Sterling-Hawkins

Brett King

Brett King, the best selling author of the groundbreaking book BANK 2.0, is the founder of the first direct mobile bank in the US and UK (Movenbank) and a strategic advisor to the world’s leading financial services organizations. He is an International Judge for the GSMA Global Mobile Awards, the Asian Banker Retail Excellence Awards and for the MiddleEast Business Achievement Awards.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Brett-King

Nancy Giordano

Described as endlessly optimistic, Nancy Giordano is a strategic futurist with a drive to help enterprise organizations and visionary leaders transform to meet the escalating expectations ahead. Recognized as one of the world’s top female futurists, she has spent her career building, shaping and evolving a portfolio of $50 billion worth of major global brands.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Nancy-Giordano

Daniel Levine

Daniel Levine is an international social trends expert with an uncanny ability to help consumer-oriented brands and businesses be more relevant, innovative and profitable. A well-known expert on both travel marketing and global cultural trends, Daniel Levine is the author of over a dozen best-selling travel-related books, he is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines worldwide.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Daniel-Levine

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University. He is among our leading thinkers on the ways that Big Data, Information Technology, and Artificial Intelligence are changing the face of everything from product development and scientific discovery, to human learning and health care, transportation, retail, finance and marketing.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Viktor-Mayer-Sch%C3%B6nberger

Erica Orange

Erica Orange is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and public sector clients.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Erica-Orange

Robert Spector

Robert Spector is a best-selling author, international speaker, and customer service expert. Based in Seattle, he has helped companies create their customer service experiences for over 30 years. He is recognized worldwide as the ultimate authority on customer service and the Nordstrom Way. He is the author of the business classic The Nordstrom Way.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Robert-Spector

Richard Worzel

Leading forecaster and futurist Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst and best-selling author of Who Owns Tomorrow?. Richard is also a frequent media commentator on business and economic trends. In his compelling presentations, Richard equips groups with the ability to understand the changes they will face in the years ahead, and with the tools to leverage those changes.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Richard-Worzel

Scott Amyx

Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures, CEO of Amyx+, Managing Partner at the Future of Fashion. A thought leader, speaker, and author on the Internet of Things, Scott is also a winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative and was voted Top Global IoT Influencer & Expert by Inc. Magazine, HP Enterprise, Postscapes, Top IoT Authority by the Internet of Things Institute.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Scott-Amyx

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected] 

Top 10 Speakers on the Trends Shaping Sales

Whether you are selling financial services, houses, IT solutions or aircraft carriers, selling today means dealing with the powerful trends that are changing every aspect of the sales process.  Here are the Top 10 Speakers on Trends Shaping Sales.

Seth Mattison

Seth Mattison is an Internationally renowned expert, author and futurist. As Founder and Chief Movement Officer of Luminate Labs, Seth advises many of the world’s leading brand and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Seth-Mattison

Bob Burg

Bob Burg shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s business person. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations. Combining humor and entertainment with easily applied, proven systems for personal marketing, audiences come away ready to immediately profit from Bob’s instruction and coaching.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Bob-Burg

Chip Eichelberger

Chip Eichelberger is consistently told by meeting planners that most speakers were a “rental” and that he was a partner in making their event a success. Formerly Tony Robbins international point man, Chip is a proven pro that will do the homework necessary to customize his message with your theme and business model. He specializes in customized, high energy, motivating, humorous and interactive opening, after meal and closing presentations.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chip-Eichelberger

Ryan Estis

Ryan Estis has more than 20 years of experience as a top-performing sales professional and leader. As the former Chief Strategy Officer for the McCann Worldgroup Advertising Agency NAS, he brings a fresh perspective to business events. As a keynote speaker, Ryan is known for his innovative ideas on leading change, improving sales effectiveness and preparing for the future of work.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Ryan-Estis

Colleen Francis

Colleen Francis is driven by a passion for sales – and results. A successful sales leader for over 20 years, she understands the challenges of selling in today’s market and that business leaders can no longer rely on approaches to sales based on techniques from decades ago. Colleen is the best-selling author of Nonstop Sales Boom and Honesty Sells books.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Colleen-Francis

Ross Shafer

Ross Shafer is an Emmy award winning network talk show host and comedy writer who has turned that same talent toward the corporate marketplace. He has written and produced 14 Human Resource training films on Customer ServiceLeadership, and Sales.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Ross-Shafer

 

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, a multi-million dollar global sales consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries increase their sales. Through a proprietary system of utilizing relevant data, time-tested principles of self-discipline and implementation of sales techniques that have been refined over 158 years by their parent company, Southwestern Consulting can teach anyone with a product or service how to sell more.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Rory-Vaden

Marc Wayshak

Marc Wayshak is the author of two books on Sales and Leadership, Game Plan Selling and Breaking All Barriers, as well as a regular contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post Business section. As a sales strategist, Marc Wayshak created the Game Plan Selling System to revolutionize the way salespeople, entrepreneurs and companies approach selling.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Marc-Wayshak

Janine Driver

Janine Driver is the CEO of the Body Language Institute, an exclusive certification program that provides companies the fastest way to save time and make money. She uses cutting-edge, scientifically-based communication tools to help clients win new business, increase sales, improve selection of salespeople, and sales managers, and generate a significant return on investment.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Janine-Driver

Susan Ershler

As a history-making mountain climber, business executive and author, Susan Ershler inspires audiences to challenge their perceived limitations and reach new heights of business and personal success. For more than a decade, she has been inspiring professionals and executives at Fortune 500 companies to reach peak performance by striving for their personal and professional best.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Susan-Ershler

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected] 

Top 10 Speakers on the Trends Shaping the Technology Industry

What’s Shaping Tech? Nearly every industry on earth has had to adapt to innovations coming from the Tech Industry. If changes in the Tech Sector eventually change our lives, what’s changing the Tech Sector? Here are the Top 10 Speakers on the Trends Shaping the Technology Industry.

Nicholas Webb

Nicholas Webb is one of the world’s top Innovation Strategist and Futurist. As the CEO at Lassen Scientific, Inc. Nicholas works with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world to help them lead their industries in Innovation, Strategy and Customer Experience (ex) Design.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Nicholas-J.-Webb

 

Erik Brynjolfsson

Erik Brynjolfsson is an award-winning researcher, educator, and author. At MIT, he serves as the Director of the Center for Digital Business, the Schussel Family Professor, and the Chairman of the MIT Sloan Management Review. His research examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy and performance, Internet commerce and intangible assets.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Erik-Brynjolfsson

Scott Amyx

Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures, CEO of Amyx+, Managing Partner at the Future of Fashion (with former Miami Fashion Week founders), and Singularity University/ Smart City Accelerator Mentor and Startup Board Member. Scott is a thought leader, speaker, and author on the Internet of Things and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Scott-Amyx

Dr. Peter Diamandis

Scientist, engineer, doctor, and inspiring speaker Dr. Peter Diamandis is the world’s foremost expert in incentivized innovation and the growth of exponential technologies. The art of incentivized smart and talented people within your company or those experts around the world to focus on solving your grand challenges.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Peter-Diamandis

Deborah Perry Piscione

Through her years of research and hands-on work with many of Silicon Valley’s pioneer companies, Deborah Perry Piscione has found the keys to building organizations into innovation machines and preparing leaders for the future. Deborah’s discoveries are highlighted by her series of critically acclaimed books: Secrets of Silicon Valley, The Risk Factor, and The People Equation: Why Innovation Is People, Not Products.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Deborah-Perry-Piscione

Scott Klososky

Scott Klososky leaves audiences in awe with exciting technology presentations that both inspire and educate. He uses the latest techniques for audience interaction while presenting concepts in ways that challenge attendees to think. Attendees also learn new ideas and tools that can be applied right away.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Scott-Klososky

Dr. Daniel Kraft

Dr. Daniel Kraft has over 25 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation. Daniel is the Faculty Chair for Medicine & Neuroscience for Singularity University and is the Founder and Chair of Exponential Medicine. His various TEDTalks have over 1 Million Views.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Daniel-Kraft

Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson is recognized as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world since 2015 (Thinkers50), Whitney Johnson is an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption, specifically, a framework which she codifies in the critically acclaimed book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Whitney-Johnson

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a master of the new rules for growing business, spreading ideas and generating attention in our always-on, Web-driven world. He is an internationally acclaimed sales and marketing/PR strategist whose books and blog are must-reads for professionals and organizations seeking to stand out, get noticed and capture hearts and minds for their products, services and ideas.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/David-Meerman-Scott

Lisa Bodell

CEO of futurethink Lisa Bodell is the bestselling author of Kill the Company, and her latest Why Simple Wins. She is a recognized global leader on innovation foresight and change management, whose keynotes leave audiences inspired with a vision and armed with tools towards action.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Lisa-Bodell

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected] 

 

Is your personality helping or hurting your business?

Sally Black DressAs an entrepreneur, you’re often the face of your company, and your ability to capture attention, to fascinate others—clients, employees, strategic partners, influencers—can make or break a business. Every time you communicate, you’re doing one of two things:

  • You’re adding value…
  • You’re taking up space.

If you’re taking up space, you’re in trouble. You’re not contributing. You’re not building connections—which means you’re turning people off.

In my new book, How the World Sees You, I give you the steps to add value, instead of taking up space. Once you know what makes you valuable to others, you’re more authentic and confident, and more likely to make a positive impression. So ask yourself … are you losing business (or failing to gain new business altogether) because you’re just taking up space?

The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity.

Your personality adds value in a very specific way. There are seven different ways to add value, and communicate so that others want to listen and take action:

Here they are:

1. If you fascinate with passion, like me, you speak the language of relationship.

2. If you speak the language of confidence, you use power to lead with authority.

3. Mystique thinks through decisions carefully and speaks the language of listening.

4. Innovation will surprise your customers with creativity and bold ideas.

5. Trust personalities are counted on for their loyalty and stability.

6. You might use alert, the language of details, if you watch the details carefully.

7. Prestige continually raises the bar with higher standards and is the language of excellence.

By understanding your personality’s advantages, you can shape your entire communication plan around it: everything from your marketing to your email list to your social media.

Here’s a little example.

If you speak the language of creativity (innovation) you are far more likely to succeed with customers when you brainstorm big ideas for them and think of new ways to do things, than if you tried to follow a one-size-fits-all business model (which would probably feel unnatural to you—almost like drowning in a draining, metaphorical quicksand). Your emails could be eye-catching and even a little irreverent. Instead of following the same way every other business in your industry is doing things, you could break out. You could be heard and remembered. And the customers you want to attract would love you for it.

According to Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, “people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.”

The lesson from this is simple: you add value when you are communicating as your most authentic self. This isn’t something you have to learn or change. It’s already inside you.

The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity.

Here’s four ways to know if you are adding value to co-workers and clients:

  • You become admired for a noteworthy ability to contribute a specific benefit. Your specific benefit might be deep knowledge, a highly prized skill, special service, or elite network. For example, if you’re a mortgage broker, you find better rates and niche financing.
  • You’re worth more than you’re being paid. If you are only worth what you are paid, that’s not adding value. That’s called doing your job. And the more you’re paid, the more difficult it becomes to add value.
  • You deliver more than would normally be expected. You go above and beyond the norm. For instance, as a dentist, your fillings are longer lasting, more cosmetically attractive, or less painful than the norm.
  • You are the preferred option, even if you are more expensive or less convenient. Your clients want to work with you, even if you have a long waiting list, even if they have to travel far to see you, and even if they pay twice as much as for your competitor.

So are you adding value… or just taking up space?

You can add value, and be perceived as intensely valuable.

Your business can be more engaging, more attractive, more memorable — without spending more on marketing or overhead.

We’re gifting 1,000 assessments to the Upstart audience to give a personal tour inside your individual personalities.

Source: Up Start Business Journal

41G8t7cI0qLAbout Sally Hogshead – Speaker on Innovation in Branding and Marketing:

Sally Hogshead is a Hall of Fame speaker, international author, and the world’s leading expert on fascination. Growing up with the last name Hogshead would give anyone an unconventional point of view. After graduating from Duke University and starting in advertising, Sally was named the most successful junior copywriter of all time. At age 27 she opened her first agency, and went on to conquer the worlds of branding and marketing.

Over the past decade, Sally’s research has uncovered surprising trends. In today’s distracted world, people have a 9-second attention span. With only 9 seconds to communicate value, we must use our advantages to immediately break through. Sally teaches how to break through the distraction and competition by creating moments of intense focus.

When you fascinate a customer or employee, you create exciting moments of connection. Your listener is far more likely to remember and value you.

For more information on Sally Hogshead, please visit: The Sweeney Agency.