The title of this blog post is the title of one of the last chapters in Randy Conley’s and Ken Blanchard’s new book, published this week and available on Amazon: Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust. It summarizes nicely what the book ultimately does: make common sense common practice.

The 52 simple truths seem simple enough, but we know that common sense is not so common. In this book, they’re split into two sections, first Servant Leadership and then Trust. The authors cite two reasons for these two parts: when servant leadership is implemented well, trust between leaders and their people is strong. Servant leadership and trust go hand in hand. And these two areas really highlight Ken’s and Randy’s areas of expertise, respectively.

I love that there are 52 simple truths that go hand in hand with 52 weeks of the year. You can pick one truth to focus on and excel at per week. By the end of the year, you’ll be well on your way to not only building trust with your peers and your teams but also being the best servant leader you can be.

Let me share with you a few examples of the simple truths and common practices that Randy and Ken write about in this book.

Profit = Applause

Profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for your people so they will take good care of your customers. It’s probably a no-brainer why I selected to share this one. Take care of your people, and the numbers will come. Treat your employees how you want them to treat your customers (i.e., well!). Employees come more first. Empower them to do what’s best and right for your customers.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Don’t work hard; work smarter. I love two concepts in this common sense practice. (1) Don’t work for the sake of working, because you should be doing something. And delegate, while you’re at it. (2) Don’t solve problems for your employees; help them solve their own problems.

Involve People in Change

People who plan the battle rarely battle the plan. I love that. What a great way of thinking of this concept of involving people in the change. If they’re involved, the solutions may be richer because they have other perspectives and experiences that the decision-making leader may not have. Don’t force change on people. Instead, help them understand what it is, why it’s important, how it’ll impact them, how they’ll be involved, how success will be measured, and more.

Great Leaders Serve

Actually, great leaders SERVE. The acronym stands for five essential ways that great leaders serve: See the future, Engage and develop people; Reinvent continuously; Value results and relationships; and Embody the values. These are all about how servant leaders operate.

Leadership and Trust

Leadership begins with trust. Relationships begin with trust; well, it’s the foundation of a healthy relationship. Building trust with their teams must be a top priority for leaders. When they do, creativity, innovation, productivity, efficiency, and morale are strong and thrive. When there’s an absence of trust, you end up with resistance, disengagement, apathy, and failure. As a leader, you must be viewed as trustworthy.

Actions Speak Louder

Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying. Actions speak louder than words. One of my favorite sayings. Stop talking. Start doing. As they say in the book, “When your behavior aligns with your speech, you are complete, whole, and acting with integrity.” And don’t be a “do as I say, not as I do” leader, which certainly erodes trust.

There are 46 more truths! Be sure to get your copy of the book to read the details behind these six and to uncover the others.

I love how we’re aligned on so many of the concepts in this book and how they all impact both the employee experience and the customer experience. Check back with me in a year and let me know how things are different for you after following these common sense practices. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. ~ Rene Descartes

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. In 2021, she wrote the manuscript for her second book, Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture That Drives Value for Your Business, which will be available in Q1 2022! Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

Image courtesy of Randy Conley and Ken Blanchard.