This is the 5th of a 10-part series on Customer Leadership.
In this LEADERSHIP MINTS series, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Steelcase Inc. (founded March 16, 1912) and salute their Customer Leaders (a.k.a employees). Those highly motivated Customer Leaders have consistently helped the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company reign as the office-furniture industry leader for most of its 100 years in business.
By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an example of a Customer Leader literally whistling while he works.
Blue & Chrome
It’s got me right where I wanna be
Blue & Chrome
Maybe someday they’ll
Have a truck for me.
Guitar in hand and a song in his heart, Paul found the strings at his fingertips and the vocal cords in his throat vibrating whenever he saw a Steelcase 18-wheeler on the open road.
No wonder Paul found himself writing a love song of sorts to the Steelcase truck fleet in general and celebrating his new role as a Steelcase truck driver in particular.
Paul inspired eight other Steelcase drivers to join him in recording the song– Blue & Chrome-– and then distributing the record (vinyl in the early ’90s well before digital downloads, Ipods and Itunes) personally to various truck stops. Proceeds were donated to charity.
Paul’s song told the story of pride — and discipline — that Steelcase drivers exhibit just to EARN an opportunity to get behind the wheel. All Steelcase drivers —regardless of driving experience —begin their careers as an 18-wheeler at Steelcase by FIRST grabbing a mop not the wheel and working in the wash bay as Paul sings:
He said, ‘grab a broom, grab a mop
Start from the bottom and work to the top
Make these trucks as shiny as can be.
More than 10 years later and with more than one million miles driving Steelcase trucks, Paul was still singing the Steelcase Blues:
Don’t ya know I’m as happy as can be
and I’d drive these trucks for free
It’s got me right where I wanna be.
Next: Customer Leadership Mint # 6: The Break In
Foster pride in all aspects of serving the customer to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Attitude:
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