While French Polynesia (comprised of stunning islands like Bora Bora, Moorea, and Raiatea) is a beautiful vacation destination, it is the people that make a place special.
Beautiful vistas are great, but it is the experiences that we have with the people that really stick in our memories and make an emotional connection.
It was our guide, Herenui, who made Bora Bora come alive for us with a day spent with just me and Kim on his boat and taking us to his favorite places on the coral reef and showing us where the (gigantic!) manta rays like to hang out. Bon Jovi (yes, that is his real name) made afternoons at the cruise ship’s bar fun and personal with stories about his home in the Philippines and his caring, affable nature.
As a leader, you have an outsized impact on how customers and team members feel about your place.
Here are a few reminders and suggestions:
Make sure the team actually feels like a team. For example, when new people come on board make a big deal about welcoming them and getting them connected with good people who will help them be successful quickly. I was at a dentist office not long ago and saw the “temp” hygienist come in to work for the day. The receptionist didn’t even ask her name or say “glad you’re here.”
Dig into what your customers are really experiencing and seek to improve it. One law firm I use simply answers the phone with “Law Firm.” No hello or anything else. They are lucky that they are very good at what they do!
Show up as an inspiring leader. And no, I don’t mean showing up with fake energy or “rah rah” positivity. I mean showing up as an optimistic, collaborating and caring person who wants to do a good job and help others do the same. Whatever the best version of you is, try to show it every day.
It’s not where you go, it is who you are with.
Make sure your team and customers are happy for the chance to be on the journey with you.
(And if you would like some additional thoughts about how to improve as a leader, check out my guide to Making Meaningful Leadership Improvements.)