Thursday, June 20, 2013

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE WORLD CLASS. This week Bob explores what it takes to be a world class business.

People throw the term world class around a lot. But, what is its true definition? Curious, I went to the web site to see what was considered business world class, and here's what they state: "Goods, services, and processes that are ranked by customers and industry-experts to be among the best of the best. This designation denotes standard-setting excellence in terms of design, performance, quality, and customer satisfaction and value when compared with all similar items from anywhere in the world."

Pretty good. Even better, for the fifth year in a row (since we've been submitting entries), The Shamrock Companies has been a winner of the World Class Customer Service Award, sponsored by Smart Business, a multi-media company that includes Smart Business Magazines, a network of national journals focused on C-level executives of fast-growth, middle-market and large companies.

Why do we win this award each time we submit an application? I'd like to think it's because we live as we preach. Our Value Statement indicates the following: Customers are Paramount. Customers come first. Meet and exceed customer expectations. Deliver superior products and service. Deliver Value by building brands with integrated marketing solutions. Strive to make every customer a "Raving Fan". At Shamrock, we live the philosophy of the Raving Fan each day.

An integral part of the World Class Customer Service Award is customer testimonials. Of course, if your customers are unable to support all the great things you say about yourself, you obviously won't win this prestigious award. We are fortunate to have customers that appreciate how we provide our services and more than a handful came forward to provide testimonials. I won't list them all, but one stands out among the rest. This customer said, "Never before (and likely never again) have I found an organization so deeply committed to make me a Raving Fan. The Shamrock Companies is single-mindedly focused on this... Shamrock Delivers Plus One... I truly wish Shamrock could teach my other business partners how to better service our business. They are all Rock Stars!"

I believe that the reason each and every employee at Shamrock is a "Rock Star" is because our culture dictates that every employee realizes that they have a vital role in our success. Employees are proud to be a part of the Shamrock team, working together for common goals, sharing successes, and lending a hand when needed are all in a day's work. We couldn't win this award without the backing of each and every one of our employees. Thank you, all!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A FATHER'S DAY TRIBUTE TO VERY IMPORTANT MENTORS. During this month of Father's Day, guest blogger, Tim Connor reminisces about the good men in his life.

The month of June means more to me than just Father's Day. Of course, my dad is, and always will be, the special man in my life. But, in addition to dad, there were two other significant men who helped me become a man, a husband, a father, and a mentor to other young people. Just as dad was the one who taught me right from wrong and what it was to be a man, my college wrestling coach, Kerry Volkman, and Bob Troop, the CEO of Shamrock, also helped shape me and the way I conduct business on a daily basis.

In fact, each June, I get together with dad, Kerry and Bob for our annual golf outing and dinner. It brings all these important mentors in my life together for one helluva' day. It's not really a Father's Day celebration (that is reserved for dad)  but more a celebration of the respect each of us has for one another --  a recognition of our passages through life together.

Without a doubt, I learned my core values from dad. And these values still carry me through the roughest and the finest spots in life.

But it was coach Volkman who taught a tough group of college wrestlers about teamwork, camaraderie and resilience despite the odds against winning. When you're young, you think you know everything. And coach knew this. He let us experiment, fail, and learn from our failure. It was through coach Volkman that I learned I didn't know it all, and I had to rely on others to accomplish my life goals.

My  finest business mentor of all has, and will always be Bob Troop. Bob has been with me throughout my career. Like coach Volkman, he allowed me to experiment -- and sometimes fail --  but he also taught me how to succeed. Bob would often say, "it's OK to fail, but you're measured by how you overcome that failure in order to succeed the next time." (Another one of Bob's sayings is, "Figure it out!" I'd guess at least half the people at Shamrock have heard that remark from him at least a thousand times.) Often I learned about success just by watching Bob, who always makes it look so easy.

From each of these men I've taken away one important lesson: Realize your strengths and weaknesses and always try to surround yourself with people who can minimize your weaknesses. But the most important thing they've taught me is that if you work hard and work smart you will always be head and shoulders above the competition!

I hope Father's Day 2013 has been good to each of you.

Good cheer,
Tim Connor