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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Archive for August, 2012

Do MORE not LESS! (part lV)

August 28, 2012

How to live healthy, lead humbly and think creatively…

  • 19. Meet Less… Do More
  • 20. Gossip Less… Compliment More
  • 21. Brag Less… Model More
  • 22. Doubt Less… Believe More
  • 23. Regret Less… Appreciate More
  • 24. Worry Less… Pray More
  • Cheers to mastering all 24 Do MORE not LESS in 4 (oops make that 5) weeks!

    To re-cap, and to keep them top of mind, here are all 24:

    • 01. Extemporize Less… Prepare More
    • 02. Sit Less… Stretch More
    • 03. Eat Less… Exercise More
    • 04. Talk Less… Listen More
    • 05. Text Less… Call More
    • 06. Watch Less… Read More
    • 07. Buy Less… Save More
    • 08. Control Less… Delegate More
    • 09. Judge Less… Discern More
    • 10. Take Less… Give More
    • 11. Procrastinate Less… Practice More
    • 12. Compete Less… Collaborate More
    • 13. Work Less… Play More
    • 14. Tell Less… Ask More
    • 15. Criticize Less… Praise More
    • 16. Lust Less… Love More
    • 17. Push Less.. Serve More
    • 18. Argue Less… Accept More
    • 19. Meet Less… Do More
    • 20. Gossip Less… Compliment More
    • 21. Brag Less… Model More
    • 22. Doubt Less… Believe More
    • 23. Regret Less… Appreciate More
    • 24. Worry Less… Pray More


    • Kevin & Jackie
      Speaking on Leadership, Innovation, & Global Trends…

      Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
      their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

      Contact E: info@freibergs.com
      Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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      The Power of…

      Another great lesson in leading with Confident Humility!

      After reading Seth Godin’s post on Progressive Insurance’s handling of a policyholder who was killed in a car accident. It’s a very sad story and even sadder handling on Progressive’s part. Here are a couple of additional observations:

      1. Power of Viral. To use a phrase coined by our friend Chip Bell, customers are “wired and dangerous.” When the viral conversation about this incident runs its course, we wonder how many thousands of people—and potential policyholders—will have been exposed to Progressive’s strategy.

      We coach leaders to practice confident humility. Confidence is knowing what’s best. Humility is DOING what’s right. Could it be that the cost of doing what’s right will pail in comparison to the cost of a “viral fallout?”

      2. Power of Being Human. After working so closely with companies like Southwest Airlines, Humana, and USAA we can’t help but wonder how they would’ve handled this scenario—all are companies lauded for genuinely caring about their customers and committed to doing the right thing and delivering on their brand promises.

      One powerful example we unpacked in our book, GUTS! Companies that Blow the Doors off Business-As-Usual back in July 2001, Deborah Patterson, an employee in USAA’s property-and-casualty business, suggested to a member who worked at the World Trade Center in New York that he consider life insurance. The member agreed. He began the application process, and by September, the contract, including blood tests and medical examinations, had been completed. All he had to do was pay his first month’s premium.

      Then, on September 11, 2001, tragedy struck as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the member was killed. USAA immediately sent a crisis response team to Ground Zero.

      Among the first people the USAA team encountered at the crisis operations center was this member’s widow. She remembered that her husband had a life-insurance policy pending with USAA. When the agent pulled up the file, sure enough, everything was in order—except for the fact that the company hadn’t received the first premium payment (necessary to activate the policy).

      In most companies this would have legitimately rendered the contract null and void. Not at USAA, they did the right thing and accepted the first month’s payment from the member’s wife, and paid off the $125,000 policy. Jim Middleton, then president and chief executive of USAA Life Insurance Company told us that he “would do it again in a minute.”

      Could it be that in being human and doing the right thing, USAA garnered much more than $125,000 in goodwill, reputation and brand building?

      3. Power of an Apology. Overall, Progressive is a good company with smart, caring executives—we know a few of them personally. We wonder what would’ve happened if they had handled this case versus turning it over to the lawyers. What would’ve happened if the company had traded legal-speak for authenticity—like Jeff Bezos at Amazon.

      In July of 2009, Amazon remotely deleted (unauthorized) copies of the books “1984″ and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. Of course, the move had a “Big Brother-like” feel and left many people angry. What follows is the art of the apology and the practice of doing the right thing!

      This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

      With deep apology to our customers,
      Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon.com

      Could it be that many who were pissed at Amazon are now endeared to the company because of Bezos willingness to lead with confident humility?

      Inside the walls, halls and executive suites of Progressive they’ve scripted some legitimate rationale for doing what it did. It probably has something to do with reducing risk, lowering cost and not setting a precedent where other policyholders will demand more.

      Could it be that a really great company had a “failure of nerve,” that it took its eyes off its reason for being in business? And, could it be that in an attempt to mitigate risk, it in fact increased its vulnerability and exposure?

      Perhaps there’s a lesson in confidence and humility here for all of us. Gutsy leaders consider not just what is best, they also consider what is right!

      Seth’s blog:

      Corporations are not people

      You may have read Matt Fisher’s story about the tragic death of his sister and the response of her insurance company. My heart goes out to his family.

      She had Progressive insurance and they refused to pay. Instead, the company paid to send a lawyer to coordinate a defense with the other driver–in other words, they paid their lawyers to go to court to prove that Matt’s deceased sister, their client, was at fault. They went to court against their client even though there was significant evidence to the contrary and even though the other driver’s insurance company (Nationwide) had already paid her family $25,000. The amount at stake: just $75,000.

      Progressive’s weasely first response is here.

      You can read Progressive’s more nuanced, but still doublespeak update here. They could have done the right thing from the start, or almost anywhere along the way, but never did, and they used fancy language to disguise that fact. Of course it’s not against state law for them to settle a case. And of course losing a jury trial is not the same as settling with the family.

      If Progressive is proud of their tactics, they should say so. “We fight against claims to keep our costs low, saving you money.” But if they’re not proud, they should tell the truth, learn from it and apologize.

      Like many people, I’m disgusted by their strategy, but my point here is this: if someone in your neighborhood used this approach, treating others this way, if a human with a face and a house and a reputation did it, they’d have to move away in shame. If a local businessperson did this, no one in town would ever do business there again.

      Corporations (even though it’s possible that individuals working there might mean well) play a different game all too often. They bet on short memories and the healing power of marketing dollars, commercials and discounts. Employees are pushed to focus on bureaucratic policies and quarterly numbers, not a realization that individuals, not corporations, are responsible for what they do.

      I hope all smart marketers realize just how dumb Progressive’s marketing has been. But what I really hope is that all smart humans will realize how misguided Progressive’s systems and lack of understanding are. And of course, it’s not just this one corporation, it’s the mindset.

      Corporations don’t have to act like this. It’s people who can make them stop. Corporations aren’t people, people are people.

      Kevin & Jackie
      Speaking on Leadership, Innovation, & Global Trends…

      Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
      their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

      Contact E: info@freibergs.com
      Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

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      Do MORE not LESS! (part lll)

      August 21, 2012

      How to live healthy, lead humbly and think creatively…

      • 13. Work Less… Play More
      • 14. Tell Less… Ask More
      • 15. Criticize Less… Praise More
      • 16. Lust Less… Love More
      • 17. Push Less.. Serve More
      • 18. Argue Less… Accept More
      • Cheers to mastering these 6 this week look for 1 more weeks of Do MORE not LESS!

        Kevin & Jackie
        Speaking on Leadership, Innovation, & Global Trends…

        Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
        their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

        Contact E: info@freibergs.com
        Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

        No Comments »

        Seven Minutes of Mind Blowing Innovation!

        They called it “seven minutes of terror.” We call it: Seven Minutes of Mind-blowing Innovation! Download our very short eBook here and learn four practical lessons to accelerate innovation in your company.



















        Part III “Do MORE Not LESS!” will arrive next week.

        Kevin & Jackie

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        Do MORE not LESS! (part ll)

        August 7, 2012

        How to live healthy, lead humbly and think creatively…

        Do MORE not LESS! (part ll)

        • 07. Buy Less… Save More
        • 08. Control Less… Delegate More
        • 09. Judge Less… Discern More
        • 10. Take Less… Give More
        • 11. Procrastinate Less… Practice More
        • 12. Compete Less… Collaborate More
        • Cheers to mastering these 6 this week look for 2 more weeks of Do MORE not LESS!

          Kevin & Jackie
          Speaking on Leadership, Innovation, & Global Trends…

          Our weekly NANOBITE is an innovation accelerator. It is a “Bite” size insight on leadership and innovation that arrives every Tuesday.

          Creating the BEST places where the BEST people can do
          their BEST work to make the world BETTER.

          Contact E: info@freibergs.com
          Follow us on Twitter for more on Lshp

          No Comments »