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An “avatar” is a personification. So a leader should be an avatar and personify and represent the values near and dear to the enterprise.

Maybe I’m spoiled by excellent exotic car service, but my pickup is due for routine servicing. I know this because the dealership sent a card to remind me. When I called to schedule, I was connected to service where the phone rang 18 times with no voice mail or other intervention. I called back, the receptionist put me on hold, then told me, “They’re really busy this morning, but if you keep holding they’ll pick up eventually.”

I told her I didn’t have time to hold indefinitely, please connect me to the general manager. She told me, “Oh, he doesn’t take calls from customers and he has no voice mail. But I can give him a message if you leave it with me.”

I left him quite a message. Of course they have lousy service, because he doesn’t bother to provide any service himself. Now, what kind of referrals do you think his operation—Toyota, with plenty of competitive dealerships—will get from me?

Consulting is common sense, not rocket science.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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