The Role of Leadership in Commitment to Quality

The most important part of any business growth strategy, the most effective business marketing idea, is product quality. If one looks at the true ‘built to last’ companies that Jim Collins writes about they have at their heart a fundamental, unquestioning, authentic commitment to quality. Every business talks about their belief in, and pursuance of, quality but for most it is just that – talk. They have quality procedures and quality standards and they strive to meet them. But – and this is the real test – they don’t actually strive to exceed them and if they need to compromise on quality occasionally to hit the bottom line target, they will.

The best companies commit a significant portion of their profits to continual improvement in quality and never, ever compromise quality for profit. These are companies like Mars, Procter & Gamble and Frito Lay. Mars, still a family run business, that has those family values of hard work and pursuit of excellence at its core, are famous for the fact that every one of their people live and breathe product quality. It is not an apocryphal story – their production and marketing teams not only regularly sample the confectionary products but their cat and dog foods as well. Procter & Gamble virtually invented the phrase ‘new and improved’ but unlike many others these improvements are real and discernable, the result of years of expensive research, development and testing.
Martin Glenn was for many years the CEO of Pepsico UK which included the flag ship company, Walkers – the UK potato chip version of Lays in the USA. He talks of the role of the leader of the business in nurturing a restless pursuit of perfection in product quality. As he says, “It may just be a potato chip to you but it is what we do and we do it to the very best of our ability, never satisfied that there is not some better way just around the corner if we work hard enough”. Easy for leaders to spout the words but what is more impressive is what Martin’s team say about him. His VP of Sales, Tom Cuzeo, said in an interview that everyone knew that if there was a smallest problem with a batch of chips they would throw away the lot and start again – they did not need to ask Martin, they knew what his standards were.

Stories are told by Mars employees about how the brothers come on to the production line in their factories around the world and know every single aspect of the process, the machines and how they should be working. They led from the front. August Busch III was similarly passionate about his beer, Budweiser. He visited Ireland once, a market where the brand was very successful, and, legend has it, went in to a busy Irish pub. He was not happy with the quality of some of the Bud they were serving and told the publican they were struck off the distribution list until they could get it right. Everyone watched in amazement as this billionaire business leader then proceeded to give everyone a lecture on how Bud should be poured, and what they were to look for in a great beer. His pride in his product was evident – for him it was personal. Richard Branson rarely sits down on a flight on Virgin – he walks the aisles checking everyone is getting the experience on board they paid for, in fact making sure they get more than they expected.
All very worthy and great for the consumer but does it make money? Yes, it does but it is not easy to say exactly how much profit can be attributed to this kind of obsession with quality. There is evidence you can point to. Martin Glenn compares the size of the potato chip markets in France and Switzerland. In France per capita consumption is much lower than it is across the border in Switzerland. The difference is, he believes, that in the land of William Tell one manufacturer dominates the market and sells a very high quality product. Quality grows the market and commands higher prices and this can be seen in beer, confectionery, pet food and any other category.

However, it is not easy to quantify this and perform accurate calculations on return on investment in quality. It is an act of faith and faith needs leadership. Leaders like August Busch III, Richard Branson, John and Forest Mars instil in their organizations an unquestioning commitment to quality and to its continual improvement. They don’t seek to satisfy customers, they seek to delight them. An exact price cannot be placed on this – it is in fact priceless.

A Licensed Locksmith in Is Committed To Quality Service

With your busy schedules and long days at work, you find yourself feeling lost and tend to forget many things including your keys. Such small things can easily be forgotten when you are preoccupied with so many things. So instead of being at home by 7 in the evening, you are stuck outside your car or your house.

When you are looking for a Locksmith in Austin, find one that is bonded and insured to guarantee you with a safe and quality service at all times. You can be sure that your keys are safe with them to avoid unauthorized duplication from malicious individuals. Being bonded, you can be sure that they can be reliable and trustworthy.

They can swiftly respond to any emergency requests 24/7 anywhere in the state. In a short span of minutes, they make sure you get what you seek out of their emergency services. Because they are highly skilled and have the right tools for every job, they can solve any problems that concerns locks and even advanced security systems without damaging your property.

From electronic locks and locking devices to keyless, access controls, digital and biometric solutions, these trained professionals are excellent with what they do and are committed to get the job done right. By making the impossible to possible, they have proven to be highly efficient and reliable when it comes to security solutions. They make our homes, cars, restaurants, hotels, banks, and hospitals protected at all times.

Because they take pride with their services and work ethics, they make sure every client gets the satisfaction they deserved. Clients have a peace of mind because they are assured with long-term safety through exceptional services. They understand the value of life; therefore they are committed to protect it at all times.

6 Commitments of Quality Coaches

I found a nice article over at the Basketball Insights blog that talked about NBA coach Gregg Popovich’s leadership skills. Since Popovich has been so successful, I’d love to take his ideas and frame them in ways that will work for those of us who don’t work with professional athletes. Using that blog as a starting off point, let’s dig deeper and see how we can adapt Popovich’s techniques at our level.

6 ways to show your commitment to your team

1. Understand what motivates your players. In practices and in games, we’ve got to know how to get our teams going. I often tell my teams that games aren’t the time for teaching…go play and we’ll fix it later. The same goes for us as coaches. We’ve got to remember to use practice time to figure out how each player is motivated to learn, how they’re motivated to push themselves, and how they’re motivated to excel. In the same manner, we can use scrimmages to see how they’re motivated in stressful competitive situations.

2. Do what it takes to be a champion. Winning cultures win. I’m sure you’ve played teams that your team was better than…but that other team had crazy swagger. They expected to win more than your team hoped to win. Before we can create a culture of winning, I believe we’ve got to create a culture of success. You all know by now how deep my love of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success goes, he was awesome. He was also a champion.

3. Be a learning leader. Isn’t the coaching cliché that the best coaches steal from the best coaches? With so many coaches out there, I can’t think of a reason that we can’t all find someone to learn from! I believe in being a coaching nerd and learning from as many folks as I can, whether it’s another coach or a business leader.

4. Provide vision for your program. What is important to you? What is your coaching philosophy? How do you want your team to be perceived? All of those things go into creating a vision for your program. Then you go out and get it. Without knowing what you want, how will you know what players to recruit? Beyond that, how will your players know when they’re successful?

5. Put the team first. Everything we do has to be about the team. Whether it’s being incredibly prepared for every drill, practice, and game…or making sure you’re on the same page with your assistants. All of that puts the team first. Add to that all of the intangibles that we teach our athletes, they’ll appreciate that it’s “we before me” and model that behavior.

6. Have fun. Hopefully you love your sport. Hopefully you love going to practice. Hopefully you love coaching. Hopefully you love your athletes (even when they’re driving you crazy). Hopefully you get along with your coworkers. Hopefully you’ve got rockstar assistants. If you’ve got all of that, then you’re having fun.

Leading, coaching…it’s not easy, but it’s the best job ever! We can learn from those folks who’ve not only been successful, but who’ve been continuously successful over a long period of time.