Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Yankee Doodle is one of the most popular American patriotic songs, and is also the state song of Connecticut. AND…I was born on the fourth of July, I grew up next to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (a diehard Yankee fan to this day, shhhh, Cubbies too) and I lived in Connecticut so I’m a true Yankee and often thought of as a Doodle too, lol.
However, despite its popularity, it started out as a song that made fun of American troops.
British Origins - Like many of the songs that have become characteristic of American patriotism, the origins of "Yankee Doodle" lie in old English folk music. In this case, kind of humorously, the song emerged before the American Revolution as a vehicle for the British to mock American soldiers. Yankee, of course, began as a negative term making fun of Americans, although the exact origins of the word are debatable. Doodle was a derogatory term that meant "fool" or "simpleton."
The American Revolution - As the Yankees began to take the British in the Revolution, they also took over command of the song, and began singing it as a proud anthem to taunt their English foes. One of the earliest references to the song was from the 1767 opera The Disappointment, and an early printed version of the song dates back to 1775, mocking a U.S. Army official from Massachusetts.
The American Version -Although the exact origins of the tune and original lyrics of Yankee Doodle are unknown (some sources attribute it to Irish or Dutch origin, rather than the British), most historians agree that the American version was written by an English doctor named Dr. Shackburg. According to the Library of Congress, Shackburg wrote the American lyrics in 1755.
The Civil War - Considering the popularity of the melody, new versions evolved throughout America's early years, used to mock various groups. For example, during the Civil War, folks in the South sang lyrics mocking the north, and Union Democrats sang lyrics mocking the South.
Tradition and Tomfoolery - Even though it began as a song mocking American soldiers, "Yankee Doodle" has become a symbol of American pride. The unforgettable melody has been adapted and performed in theater, by big bands, and other variations of musical performances, since its popularization. Nowadays, it's a fun patriotic song, and most people only know a few verses. Read the full lyrics to "Yankee Doodle."
I get to do a lot of client appreciation programs for companies. I just completed two days of sales training for one of my favorite clients in Houston, Universal Weather and Aviation. I trained the sales force in the use of the DiSC profile to recognize and sell to the behavioral style of their customers. Then we worked on techniques from my Speakers School to give them the tools for the best presentations, one-on-one or to a group. We spent a day on video coaching and it turned out to be a great two day investment in their people. They all sent me THE most beautiful bouquet for my July 4th birthday with a card that read, “Thank you for an amazing experience.”
I digress...This company can be the “poster child” for great customer service as they invest in their people to be better at what they do to give their customers a great experience. When is the first or last time you did something like that for your good customers?
In my customer service program I use a lot of examples and stories (you all know, I'm a story teller) to illustrate examples of good and bad service, to inspire leaders to manage "moments of truth." For those of you who may not be familiar with the term "moments of truth" it was coined by Jan Carlson at the time he was CEO of SAS Airways. "It is a judgment...it can be in advertising, phone, face, cleanliness, service, billing...any time a customer comes in contact with some aspect of your business and uses that opportunity to judge the quality of service your business provides."
So, if you have a grouchy receptionist that could be my "moment of truth" when I come in contact by phone or in person that makes me now assume that everyone in your company has a bad attitude.
A service strategy is like a bath; no matter how well you do it this time you have to do it again and again, and frequently. Here is what your service strategy should look like;
1. It's a non-trivial statement of intent, not just a slogan.
2. It noticeably differentiates you from others, i.e. FedEx, Domino's, etc.
3. It has value in your clients' eyes (a bank open late, no questions on returns, etc.)
4. It's deliverable by your organization.
What is your service strategy?
To find out more about my presentations and other speaking services, visit MikkiWilliams.com!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Pretty please, with sugar on top!
Only two more days and you'll never have to hear about this again. Well, at least not until you watch me on my very OWN (I couldn't resist!) talk show after I win this contest (the power of positive thinking!)
So take a look at my audition tape and please, please, please vote for me today...and tomorrow...and the next day, until voting ends. And feel free to send this to your entire contact list, to friends, neighbors, countrymen (and women)...tell the bag boy at Dominick's, your mail carrier, the cab driver...tell everyone to vote for me! Help my dream come true. I promise it will be an "outrageous" show.