Carly Fiorina got it right…

Carly Fiorina (António Milena/ABr., 2004)Carly Fiorina, a household name in the business world, was a guest speaker at Seattle Pacific University’s annual breakfast meeting in Seattle last week.  There is no question she is one of the more controversial people in business today and was the center of attention for several years during her demise at HP.  But, whether you liked her or not, whether you thought she was doing the right things or not, one thing I have come to realize is that she “got it right” in a number of areas and had some great insights into business and the world economy. 

What do I mean when I say she “got it right?”  Simple, she focused on the CUSTOMER.  I have attended hundreds of speeches by leaders from all over the world, in business, sports, politics, not-for profit – you name it and I have probably attended a speech on it.  My goal is to always take away at least one thing that I personally believe to be accurate and to use that to better myself, my relationships or my business endeavors.

Carly was more than generous last Thursday morning, she shared many things that I could take away and share with others.  But there were several things she talked about that I felt compelled to share with our readers that I thought were “spot on” with what I believe.  You can disagree if you like and if you do, please comment on the blog.

First, she talked about the fact that the “individual is now becoming ‘in charge’ during this century.”  Couldn’t agree more – we see this every day in our interactions with companies and their customers.  Second, she said “Individuals demand a level of transparency and if you don’t embrace this you will lose.”  Again, right on target Carly.  Customers in particular (and employees as well) are tired of surprises and as such want transparency in the people and organizations they deal with.  The Internet has changed the game and where information is available at your fingertips, why try to hide something – it just makes people skeptical and not trust you or your organization.  So “get transparent” and you will open the doors to many happy relationships and create Loyalty among those.

Third, she said, “The Customer is ALWAYS in charge.”  We have been focused on the customer in great detail for the past 15 years and believe me, that couldn’t be truer.  If you aren’t focusing on the one constituent that writes you checks then who are you focusing on.  Fourth, she talked a great deal about change and how hard it is for people and organizations to change – believe me, we see it every day as well. But she did make a great comment about change and the level of the individual in the organization.  She said, “Only leaders can drive positive change.  Managers accept the world as is and manage in that world whereas leaders change the world around them and show people how to adopt a different direction. A leaders job is to unlock people’s potential.”  Great insights and again, spot on Carly. 

Whether you like Carly or disagree with everything about her, she has great insights and wisdom from being in the board room at at the helm of one of the biggest organizations in the world.  She certainly inspired me and showed me some simpler ways of thinking about issues and people – which I look for every day.  I just wanted to thank her for “staying in the game” and sharing her insights and for Seattle Pacific University for taking the chance on a certainly controversial speaker – both should be commended. 

Blaine Millet

Customer Experiences Inc.
View Blaine Millet's profile on LinkedIn

No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.