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Service Leadership Unleashed Legend has it a man was driving his relatively new Rolls Royce across the English countryside. The luxury vehicle unexpectedly coughed, sputtered, and stopped running. He was able to guide his vehicle to a wide spot in the road. Realizing it was several miles back to the nearest small town, he called the dealership where he had purchased the car for their advice. The friendly service tech got his location and promised to have a response in less than a half-hour. The man was a bit surprised since his Rolls dealership was two hours away. Twenty minutes later a helicopter landed on the roadside near his Rolls and a repairman got out and began to do mechanical surgery under the bonnet (a.k.a., hood) of the car. After a few minutes the car was running perfectly again and the helicopter departed as quickly as it had arrived. The man was very impressed by this James Bond-like over-the-top adventure. A couple of months later he realized he had not received a bill for the roadside service. He called his dealership; they reported no record of a roadside repair. “But, where did the helicopter and mechanic come from?” he asked. The service tech suggested someone at corporate Interactive headquarters might know and transferred him to the Rolls Royce headquarters in London. Again, a friendly service person could not find any record of a service call and suggested he worry no more. As he was about to hang up, she warmly added, “Besides sir, Rolls Royce cars do not break down!” Through the lens of this story, examine what it would take to create a magical myth that your offering was perfect. It starts with a deep pride in product and service coupled with the zeal to guarantee it to always match your customers’ hopes, not their expectations. It requires elevating standards to the pinnacle of superiority. But, it also takes leadership that inspires employees to remain in the middle of a vision quest. It takes service leadership unleashed. Seek a Much Higher Purpose A vision quest was the Native American custom of sending an adolescent boy on a solo journey to find his true self and discover his life direction. The phrase in the Sioux language Lakota literally means, “crying for a vision.” Native American oral historian Paula Underwood interviewed dozens of Native American leaders about Do you have a Roll-Royce spirit? By Jamey Lutz and Chip R. Bell Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 09.2016 Submit your Articles 17


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