Monthly Archives: January 2012

Info Exchange – The Steve Jobs Way

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the book, The Steve Jobs Way: ileadership for a New Generation” by Jay Elliot & William L. Simon.


The Steve Jobs Way provides a rarely seen, intimate glimpse into the Steve Jobs you won’t see on stage at one of his legendary presentations at Macworld. Readers will see the real Steve Jobs, the “Boy Genius” who forever transformed technology and the way we work, play, consume and communicate. Although difficult to highlight all of Steve Jobs’ leadership attributes in a short summary of the book, below are some keys.




Steve Jobs survived, thrived and changed society by following his own passions. His product passion went through the entire corporation – from the receptionists to the engineers to the members of the board of directors. If the employees of any company do not feel the passion as passed on from the leaders, then the leaders need to be asking, “Why not?”


Steve’s passion was one of the great underlying secrets of his success. He’s been described as exacting, demanding and, yes, at times, inconsiderate. It’s all a reflection of the fiery passion that drove him.




Steve Jobs understood something that a lot of companies try to do, but are rarely successful at. The more he advanced, the simpler his products became. It did not happen by cramming in more, it happened through creativity and innovation, with a relentless pursuit of perfection. He thought through everything with the laser-focused goal of making it intuitive to the user. This takes more work, more detail-oriented planning. Steve’s level of focus on details was one of the most crucial aspects of his success and the success of his products.



  • Forming a Team Culture – Every leader and every manager wants his or her people to work together; all pulling in the same direction, supporting each other, everybody pitching in to do their part in achieving the goal of the group.
  •  Encouraging the “Artist” in Everyone – Steve took advantage of the artist sensibility in his engineers. The goal was never to beat the competition or to make a lot of money; it was to do the greatest thing possible, or even a little greater and his engineers knew this. Steve found unique ways to build a cohesive team that would bond and rely on one another.  




Most corporations acknowledge employees by holding a little celebration for birthdays, employment anniversaries, and so on. Apple focused around the company’s stars: its talent and its products. The most memorable example came when Steve decided that the signatures of the original engineering team members would be etched on the inside of the cases of the first Macs after all – “Artists sign their work” therefore engineers need to sign theirs.




Steve Jobs had a master craftsman’s ability to create a consistent, positive product image in the minds of his customers. He understood that it is not just a question of how well the product is designed and how smoothly it works- (although these are critical factors) rather how the product is perceived by the user, which, of course, is the key to product success.  Products that people truly want and great branding, which is the door opener for waking people up to the products.




There is nothing more desired in the world of business than creating a product that millions of people immediately want. Creating a series of these products not as separate and isolated efforts but all parts of a high-level overriding concept is phenomenal. At Macworld 2001 Steve laid out a vision that many people found to be a brilliant view of where the world was likely to be going.

 Steve Jobs’ was an amazing individual. We can all learn something from this great icon.

 “I want to put a ding in the universe.” ~ Steve Jobs


Leadership Secret Weapon Series: Reframing Techniques

Have you ever had a situation where you have had to change another person’s perception? For example you had to give them bad news, or you had to handle an objection, or make a difficult decision. We have all been in these situations where we may have to give bad news.


Reframing is a critical skill that provides a flexible approach to changing perceptions with a particular problem or situation. It’s giving the situation a different meaning which leads to a different behavioral response.


There are four primary reframing techniques:


1)      Redefining: Expanding or narrowing the topic.

2)      Metaphor: Describing the topic’s likeness to something else that is familiar to create a better understanding of the current situation.

3)      Story: Using an example such as a story of a similar situation where the new approach had been tried.

4)      Spin: Creating positive and/or negative interpretation of the issue.  


The following story is an example of reframing (Steven Covey).


Story: You are on the subway with 3 obnoxious kids who are running all over the place and making lots of noise. You see that they are with their father and wait for him to do something to stop them. When he doesn’t after several minutes you finally speak up and tell him that you find his children incredibly annoying and obnoxious. He responds “Yes, they’ve been that way since their mother died last week. I don’t know what to do.”


Critical Point: The fact that the kids are annoying and obnoxious doesn’t change, but your perception of them does based on this new information.


Utilizing reframing strategies will help resolve conflict and difficult situations, in order to change perceptions and move forward smoothly.


Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. 
If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
– Norman Vincent Peale


Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.

Info Exchange – The Inspiring Leader

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the book “The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate,” by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman and Scott Edinger.  

  Unlocking the Secrets of How
Extraordinary Leaders Motivate

Research shows that inspiration is the most powerful of all leadership competencies. It is the best predictor of overall ratings or leadership effectiveness by direct reports, peers and managers. It is the quality most valued by employees and the factor most correlated with employee commitment and satisfaction.


The Inspiring Leader reveals numerous principles and behaviors top leaders use to build an emotional connection between themselves and their teams.


Below are 6 things to do to become an inspiring leader: 

  1. Inspire and Motivate with Energy and Enthusiasm. Researchers found that leaders with these qualities tend to have direct reports who are more satisfied and committed overall. Such leaders are also better able to retain employees, especially their highly committed employees.
  2. Create a Vision and Provide Clear Direction. The importance of a clear, concise and compelling vision and direction cannot be overstated. This is not a “solo” activity for the leader. Nor does this need to be for an entire corporation. Senior and middle managers from cross functional areas can do this quite effectively. The vision combines a strong statement of the guiding principles that shape the organization with a vivid picture of what the organization aspires to be in the next few years.
  3. Set Stretch Personal Goals. Extraordinary leaders recognize their strengths and their areas for development. Many books recommend leaders work on their areas for development. The problem with this approach is that typically people are not interested in or passionate about their weaknesses and therefore they don’t improve much. The key for improvement is passion. Working on an area that you are interested in creates a much higher probability of success.
  4. Be a Good Communicator. Research shows that inspirational leaders: 1) Seek opportunities to communicate, 2) Expand the volume and frequency of communication, and 3) Communicate passion and enthusiasm.
  5. Create Positive Development Experiences for the Team. To develop subordinates, inspirational leaders: 1) Give coaching, 2) Provide actionable feedback, 3) Delegate in a manner that develops people, 4) Structure the job with development as the objective, and 5) Make developmental experiences available (classes, courses, trips, site visits and benchmarking opportunities.)
  6. Develop a Collaborative Culture. The culture has to become one of putting the organization’s and the team’s interests higher than anyone’s self interest, no matter how senior the person is in the organization. Ideas and proposals have to be evaluated on their merits, not on the role power or position that their proponent holds in the organization.

In summary, when the right environment is created and combined with the expectation that everyone will contribute to the innovation process, then a steady stream of good ideas for new products, services, marketing techniques and ways to better manage the business come forth on a regular basis.


Welcome to 2012!

The way to become the kind of leader people want to follow is to keep learning & growing!

We look forward to providing topics of interest to you throughout the year
that will benefit you in further developing your communication and leadership skills!