My dog’s veterinarian once called me a walking billboard.

Great service and expertise always catch my attention.  I mean, really catch my attention.  It doesn’t matter if I’m in a hotel, restaurant, retail shop, mechanic, or talking with a voice from a far-away customer service center.  When I experience exemplary service and effort, I note it.  Most often to the person’s boss.   And then I tell everyone I know how fantastic the company or person is.

I’m the customer you want.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal there was an article on incivility in the workplace and how it’s on the rise.

You might shrug, thinking that performance and results demand high standards.

And you’d be right.  They do.

I tell my clients all the time: Have high standards that are clear and consistent.  Expect people to meet them.  Hire people who want to.  Ask employees to stretch.  Keep raising the bar of aspiration.  Bring people along with you.  Invite opinions into the room that are different from your own.  Ask for dissent.

But high standards and incivility are two different things.

Very different.

High standards make leaders and their companies better, hardier, and more vigorous.

Incivility makes them weaker, less competitive, and open to all sorts of problems.

Among them, that miserable, fearful employees don’t excel or soar.

And customers like me take notice.


I’m thrilled and honored to be attending the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame this week to see Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, be inducted.  Brad’s leadership journey is one of the extraordinary stories featured in my forthcoming book, Magnificent Leadership, due out in early January.  If you’d like to purchase Magnificent Leadership for your organization’s leadership development curriculum, you can contact me at:  And if you’d like to get a copy just for you, pre-order information for Amazon is coming soon.

And, if you aspire to your own high standards of Magnificent Leadership®, I’ll have openings beginning in Q1 for working with me directly.  I work as a trusted guide to CEOs, Fortune 1000 senior executives, and corporate business leaders to elevate leadership performance and drive business outcomes.  For more information: