Moving from WORST to FIRST! Leaders must set the expectations!

One of the things I enjoy most about social media is seeing pictures – especially when memories pop up. Pictures are the recording of our past and give us the opportunity to reflect on special moments in time to share with family and friends. Pictures help us reflect on the past and create space for us to think about the future. This weekend I was reflecting on a Facebook memory that popped up and it took me all the way back to 2002…

When I was managing international and commercial operations in Dallas, I was contacted to join a company that was looking for an operations manager in Dallas. I had been with my current company for about 6 years and was ready for change. On day three of my new job, I was asked to meet with the GM and corporate in the conference to talk about the company’s quality scores. Little did I know how bad it really was. In this meeting, Allied Van Lines corporate representatives were there to deliver the news that our agency in Dallas was the absolute worst about delivering quality. In fact, it was so bad that we were going to be put on 6-month probation to move our quality scores or may be closed for good. I thought what have I done, I just left a great job and now I may be out of a job in only 6 months. Yikes! I thought I need a plan and the first thing I did was hire a new local operations manager to help me execute.

The new hire was my friend Heitor Defaria. Once he joined my team, we made a goal of being #1 in quality, not just getting out of probation, but to provide the best moving service in the US! We put together a plan to hire the best people, train to deliver the best quality service, and motivate our team members each day to help us drive quality scores up for our customers and to be the #1 choice for moving services.

Once we put this plan into action, we posted a large white board outlined with our quality scores in the operations room. This board included current scores, agency ranking scores, and overall goal score. We posted these scores on a large whiteboard in our operations dispatch room as well as our customer service / sales departments so that every team member would see it each day, We talked about what a good move looks like, we talked about customer service engagement, we showed scenes from different movies such as “Moving” with Richard Pryor to make it fun and give our team a picture of who we wanted to be. We visited the job sites on a regular basis and took pictures of the crew members in action and posted these pictures in the same room for the moving crews to see each day as well.  Each month the scores would move up a little which helped us gauge that we were on the right track. When we met with the Allied reps six months later, they lifted our probation status. About 16 months later, we had achieved our goal of not only being an agent with excellent quality scores, but being the best Allied office in the area. It was exciting and we celebrated with our team to show our appreciation, but also kept the boards up to continue tracking while raising the bar to be the best. When we looked back, we realized through this process that we had created a company of excellence by communicating what we were focused on – delivering a quality moving service for our customers.

Since then we have moved on, but these memories remind me that we can do anything we want to achieve with Communication and Collaboration! Set the expectation and collaborate for results!

We all have quality scores that we are trying to achieve today in Sales, Customer Services, Operations, HR, Safety, etc.…  Each time we want to see change, we just need to start tracking. Not only track, but bring people with us to help achieve the goal. When I started in sales many years ago, I made a goal and started tracking my progress. It also works in our personal life. As a family, we all enjoy traveling… so on on Father’s Day, my daughter purchased a picture map of the USA so I could track all of the states I visited. It has inspired me to track to achieve this goal too!

So, whats your score? What are you tracking to help move the needle? Have you shared it with people in your network? Friends, family, or co-workers? Is it something at work, or in your personal life? Now is the time to identify what’s most important this year and not only set a goal, but post on your wall for others to see progress. Once you post, take a picture and post with hashtag #Milemarkers. One of our DNA principles are Armstrong Relocation is UNITY – we are stronger together! Reach out and include others on your journey. You will be glad you did!

Quote of the week: “Leaders must set the expectations.” Heitor Defaria

Call to Action:  I recently published a personal journal called Milemarkers to can help us with tracking highlights and focus on things that matter each day. In fact, you can even look back each year to see daily progress for up to 5 years. It can be a game changer and provide memorable moments for you to share with others in the future. Purchase one for your entire team and watch the transformation.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “from worst to first ” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” or “Milemarkers” personal journal available on amazon.

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