“Sarah?” she said.

Then, once again, a bit louder: “Sarah!”

I was second in line from the register.  Although I heard my name, it was in the distance.  I assumed it belonged to someone whose order was ready.

But when I turned to see where the voice was coming from, the person behind the café counter was looking directly at me.

“You want a small, dark hot chocolate?” she asked.

I did.

“I’ll get it started,” she said with conviction.

The steaming mug was delivered before I even had the chance to officially place my order and reach for my wallet.

This is a busy location, one of many for this US coffee retailer.  And employees are not required to know my name or remember my ordering preferences.

And yet this person did.

Do your outward-facing team members know your customers?

And take ownership of the relationships?

Do they create opportunities to convert the impersonal and transactional into connection and long term sales?

Have you granted them the autonomy to take initiative where it matters most to your customers (responsiveness, delivery time, accuracy, fill in the blank)?

And, are you hiring based on a desire to learn and excel rather than a perfect match of skill set?

I looked for a number of things when I was adding team members to my greenhouse operation.  That last one was more important than all the others put together.

If you’re interested in assessing how your organization can be more competitive in a crowded market, you can reach me at: sarah@sarah-levitt.com

I work with CEOs and senior executives who invest in their own excellence and that of their organizations.


If you haven’t seen the splendor of the Canadian Rockies, and you missed my post last week on the 20% discount for my network at the Ignite Leadership Summit in Banff, it’s not too late.  Go here and use Promo Code SGRIgnite2017  The speaker lineup includes an Olympic gold medalist, a Marine fighter pilot, and others speaking about leadership and building resilience.  I’m delivering the closing keynote on Magnificent Leadership™.

If you’re in the financial world and looking for a sunny place to work and learn, I’ll be speaking at the American Bankers Association national conference later this month in Orlando, Florida on Magnificent Leadership™ and building high performing teams.  Go here to register.

Leading through change?   Dan Heath and I are speaking on that topic at CAI’s HR Management Conference in Raleigh, NC, on March 8-9, where I’m honored to be speaking for the second time.  Go here to register.

And, I’m thrilled to have been invited to speak at the Alan Weiss Million Dollar Consulting Mentor Summit for global consultants for the third year in a row, where I’ll be speaking on leveraging passion into business.  More on that next week.