1st GregsList Guarantee

Seattle, July 15, 2015

I have been writing for over forty years, but have never written a political piece. Business writing and hockey dad stuff are for the most part non-controversial genres. This year is different. My heart feels compelled – deeply and passionately compelled – to shout out the alarming concern I have for my country, and the direction the government has been taking us for the past few decades.

This is an election cycle where I personally believe the apple cart of politics-as-usual will be upset to a level never conceived by the political correctness crowd, or the staunch proponents of today’s status quo.

I believe the apple cart rolling out the presidential election of 2016 will not only be upset – it will be tossed high in the air like a spinning political pizza.

Thanks to a candidate named Donald Trump.


THE TOP 10 REASONS
DONALD TRUMP WILL BE PRESIDENT



1. He connects directly with the American voter
Donald Trump remembers Reagan Democrats. He also knows the founders of this particular country devised a unique form of government which allows the people, as individual voters, to “hire and fire” good or bad politicians every four years. No matter what the mainstream news media says, no matter what any academic or expert says, no matter what any shrill opponent says, Trump knows that the individual voter in America still has the power to control the political direction of the country. Kind of like cutting out the middle-man and shopping at a warehouse club.

2. He has single-issue power
Jobs. Illegal immigration. National debt. Defeating ISIS. Trump is so outspoken, and so confident in his business approach to these and other challenges (right or wrong) that he has the rare ability to earn votes on single issues. For example, he has said, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Given his business acumen, this boast doesn’t appear to be a stretch, or just superficial political posturing. Regardless of party affiliation, past tendencies, or personal feelings towards him, many voters will simply say, “…and for that reason alone I will vote for Trump.” Single issue.


3. He is a uniter
To listen to the most vocal Trump opponents — including for the most part, the mainstream news media — one might think Donald Trump is perhaps the most divisive candidate in history. To believe his critics and opponents, one might also think he has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination, much less the Presidency. The outlandishly contrarian position here is Mr. Trump is a uniter. When the votes are counted on November 8, 2016 it is my personal belief the numbers will indicate Donald Trump actually united us as Americans. The tally will confirm he united the Silent Majority; united the average workers of the country, including LEGAL immigrants; united voters who are fed up with politics as usual; united people who have had enough of political correctness; united the forgotten minorities who believe in capitalism and the American Dream; united women who believe Hillary Clinton and today’s feminist movement do not represent their views; united the military and its mission; and yes, united all of us who are simply frustrated with being silenced, minimized, disenfranchised, and shouted down during the last eight years.

4. His over-achieving family
Presidential families have been, and will be, forever scrutinized. Such is the nature of being in the public eye, and the gossipy nature of both many humans and today’s media. Anyone who has followed Trump over the years knows that he has always advocated a life of hard work and clean living to his family, and anyone else who will listen. He rails against alcohol, tobacco, and the use of drugs — the usual suspects of indulgence and under-achievement. In addition to health benefits, Trump believes if you are not shackled with time and energy-consuming bad habits, your time and energy can be focused upon more positive pursuits, such as work, family, hobbies or sports. Review the bios of his offspring, and even his critics and nepotism finger-pointers can agree the Trump family is indeed a hard working, highly successful family.

5. He’s thrives on criticism
Criticism allows Trump to engage his detractors publicly, which he loves the challenge of doing. In this Twitter Age, criticism (deserved or not) can go around the world instantly — you know, that “viral” thing. Trump, the consummate marketer, embraces the old adage that “any press is good press.” To stay in the news daily deprives competitors of the same airtime, a definitive strategy where opponents of both parties find it difficult to even be acknowledged, much less be heard. As importantly, with the evolution of social media and explosion of online conversations, this is a wholly unique era where the ordinary American can speak one’s mind publicly, free of censorship. There is the opportunity for real-time rebuttal to most news stories today, which is a secret weapon of the Donald Trumps, and other brand guys of the world. I have followed the online conversations from the beginning, and am still amazed at the support Donald Trump receives, especially with rebuttals to negative stories.


6. He is the only Republican who can take millions of votes from Hillary
As with Reagan Democrats, come election day, the rubber meets the road inside the American voting booth, where the secret ballot is the true voice of every American. If I were managing the Hillary Clinton campaign, I would not only be concerned about a Donald Trump presidential ticket — I would be petrified. One of the largest obstacles the average Republican has faced in recent years is the wildly successful demonization of their brand and beliefs by Democrats. Indeed, anyone who honestly believes the average Republican is filled with hate and bigotry, has simply embraced this Democrat marketing message. Unfortunately for Democratic strategists this time around, a savvy marketer like Trump will not be defeated by simple, broad-brush vitriol.


7. He is a New York businessman
Whether or not you love New York, it is the world’s business capital, and where Donald Trump cut his entrepreneurial teeth – not inside the Washington beltway. New York has more influence than the Pope, and more money than God. (That is a joke, folks). In the aftermath of September 11th, much of the civilized world became New Yorkers for a time. Whether you are a Trump lover or hater, he is New York and all it represents. There should be a photo of Donald Trump in the encyclopedia under the term, “Epitomizes New York; A true New Yorker; Spokesman and poster child for New York capitalism.” If any voter prefers a Washington outsider in this election cycle, where more appropriate a place to spawn a president who promises to run the country like a business.

8. He loves America and lives the American Dream
My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. I loved his patriotism. I loved his passion for America. I loved his optimism. Say what you will about the Reagan years, pro or con, it is clear that he passionately loved this country. Reagan reignited patriotism in the early 80s. That is, he led the bandwagon of patriotism and civic pride for an America that was reeling with self-doubt from the cynical 60s, and burnout from the yawning, depressing Carter years. With Donald Trump, some parallels to Reagan’s brand are remarkable, especially his direct appeal and connection to the average voter. Love him, hate him, laugh at his hair, scream at his loud mouth, there is one thing that is crystal clear: Donald Trump loves America. He is a New York capitalist – not a euro-internationalist – and not the least bit ashamed of it. Trump understands the 1776 Great American Experiment of individual freedom and capitalism can be swallowed up by socialistic internationalism and New Age revisionism in a heartbeat.


9. The Democrats now have a track record
Regardless of how the current administration’s record is spun by political operatives and media talking heads from the right or left, what is now tangible is eight years of performance by a Democratic President. The same applies to the Hillary Clinton years as a Democratic Secretary of State. Recalling Barack Obama as a campaigner in 2007, he had the benefit of no actual track record. Just like Governor George W. Bush in the late nineties. It is much easier to be a new, untested candidate, than one who has an eight year record to tout — or defend. One luxury Hillary Clinton may NOT have in this political cycle is a free pass from the media, should she proffer speculative, utopian plans, such as then candidate Obama touting he would quickly stabilize the Middle East and North Korea, and have a transparent administration.


10.
He is ratings gold
Donald Trump gets ratings. He enjoys enormous name and brand recognition worldwide. Ratings mean attention, and attention means money. No matter how provocative, he is an interesting fellow, which of course is the bread-and-butter of media ratings. The very definition of “provocative” means one provokes. Whether or not anyone saw this coming, Mr. Trump’s candidacy, coupled with his controversial words and bombastic personal style, has provoked a spirited national conversation which, in the end, means ratings. If it comes down to a televised presidential debate, is there anyone who would not tune in to watch Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump? I’m thinking ratings on steroids.

________________________________________________________________
© Copyright 2015 by Greg Meakin

Greg Meakin is a Seattle businessman and freelance writer. Email him at gregmeakin2020@gmail.com or visit his website at www.gregmeakin.com

ANTHONY CALVILLO

Greg Meakin’s
MASLOW AWARD

A Maslow Award is my own creation, and formally honors individuals I have personally met who have greatly inspired me, and in some cases changed my life. I have always had an obsession with excellence, and this is my way to identify and applaud these truly elite people, and to hopefully pay tribute in an insightful and personal way.

These tributes I write are not just meant to recognize incredible achievement. I also hope they encourage younger people to watch and learn from these individuals; to recognize and chase their own personal dreams and goals in life – regardless of how lofty or “unlikely” those dreams might appear. The active, daily pursuit of a happy and fulfilled life is the rallying cry to youngsters here, and us youngsters at heart :

Keep striving for the top of your pyramid in life, whatever that may be. It’s so cool when you reach it.

A common trait I’ve discovered about these “Maslow” individuals, is they had no idea when they were growing up just how successful they would become, never mind the top of the pyramid of success and happiness. This is so important to realize. They just continued climbing the ladder of life, and did not quit along the way.

A Maslow Award winner must have indeed reached the very, very top of his or her field. A winner can also be a team, like the 1972 Miami Dolphins, or even a non-human champion, like Secretariat. Or, as with the less famous I will write about in the future, they have overcome a virtually impossible obstacle in life, and still reached the top.

So, Greg Meakin’s message here is especially for Millennials, and the upcoming Generation-Zs:

Reach for the stars everyday. Don’t give up. And most importantly, question everything, and don’t follow the crowd. Never give up on love, happiness, or success. That’s all, really. That’s all any of us need.”

And, the winner is


ANTHONY CALVILLO
Anthony Calvillo photo credit thestar.com V2.jpg
I have yet to meet an American who even knows the name Anthony Calvillo. And only the rare American journalist, like ESPN’s Chris Berman, knows his name. Matter of fact, Berman correctly acknowledges Calvillo as the top passing quarterback in the history of professional football. Number One. Just ahead of that Peyton Manning fellow.

And I don’t care if it’s Pop Warner football, throwing for more yards than Peyton Manning is a bunch of yards.

In 2011, Berman devoted his 2-minute drill segment to Anthony Calvillo, recognizing him as having surpassed Brett Favre at the time, and describing him as a “Montreal civic treasure.” The video, full of classic Chris Berman Quebecois schtick, is still on YouTube, and is worth a watch. Especially for you America dudes who think you’re really, really smart about football.

Watch two-minute video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZozDXcyg8MA

Yes, Anthony Calvillo is the top passing quarterback in the history of professional football, with 79,816 yards. I love cold, hard statistics, and that number is absolutely ridiculous. Just a few more tosses to Cahoon and you’d hit 80,000 yards? Are you kidding?

I didn’t realize Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas had such paltry 40,000-yard careers.

This combined with a 20-YEAR career (a pro football Old Folks Club with only a handful of members with names like Blanda) definitely drives Calvillo into Maslow territory.

(And in this conversation, I have no desire to debate the purist NFL fans about the merits of the CFL. Not the place, and not relevant. This piece is about excellence, and the featured gentleman here is the poster-child for pure and utter excellence).

Anthony Calvillo, for a big bucket full of reasons other than gridiron exploits, is the prototype of what I call a complete Maslow guy.

Obviously, I deeply admire Mr. Calvillo, but not just from watching him play for my Montreal Alouettes. Indeed, having moved to the Seattle area in 1983, and becoming one of those crazy Seahawks fans, I just didn’t follow Canadian football that much anymore. I watched the odd game and a few Grey Cups on TV, but not to the extent of the good ol’ Johnny Rodgers, Marv Levy, Mark Kosmos days I

followed so rabidly in the ’70s.Anthony Calvillo photo credit NBC Sports.jpg

To get the feel of this quarterback’s impact on the city of Montreal, I relied on my brother, and my old football buddies back there. Much like the love Seattle has for Russell Wilson, all raved about Anthony Calvillo. My pals had endless kudos about his play on the field, of course, but what always seemed to be brought up was his manhood and class off the field. Especially with his family, and devotion to charitable causes. The ultimate Role Model, in an age where they are so needed.

His career success is incredible. He is statistically the best-of-the-best in Canadian football, and with three championship rings, he was a first round CFL Hall of Famer – and also a first round Maslow Award winner, of course!

But Maslow winners stand much taller than just numbers and awards. Where my personal admiration of this man really came into focus was only a few years ago. My brother Bob, sadly and suddenly was stricken with pancreatic cancer. He was blessed to have spent his last days in comfort at an amazing facility, West Island Palliative Care in Pointe Claire, Quebec.

Bob lived for football, almost from birth, and his eyes flew open with disbelief when he watched Anthony Calvillo stroll into his room that afternoon. It was just, “Hi Bob,” from Anthony. The hour he quietly spent with my brother, later presenting him with an autographed football and handwritten personal message, melted my heart. Those of us who witnessed this man’s warmth towards my brother that day were completely moved.

Afterward, I was able to visit with him and meet his gracious wife, Alexia, and two wonderful daughters, Athena and Olivia. He is a proud papa, and is thrilled his girls are growing up bilingual. He loves multicultural Montreal, and plans to continue raising his family there. I told him I was surprised he wasn’t returning to the U.S. to spend his retirement, especially having been a California kid.

But, I guess it is a living testament of his love for Montreal, and Montreal’s love for him.

I took him aside in the lobby, and thanked him for spending time with my brother the way he did. I relayed that Bob was thrilled, and deeply honored to have him visit.

This is where Anthony Calvillo took a moment and said quietly, “The honour was mine.”

Not to be mushy here, but there was something about that moment I will remember forever. How calmly he said it. How deeply he looked into my eyes. I believed him. I believed he was completely touched in his own heart, just to have been able to make Bob Meakin happy that afternoon. Just for Bob.

I realized then that Anthony Calvillo is a very special guy. I told him I wanted to write about him in the future, especially to introduce him to people who have no idea who he is. His humility, compassion, and gentlemanly demeanor reminded me of another special guy – the late great Jean Beliveau.

In fact, since meeting Anthony, I have described him on blogs as a modern day Jean Beliveau – an incredible sports legend, but also an incredible example of a class act. A true gentleman.

And as a final note here, I so look forward to visiting with Anthony Calvillo in Montreal, for a sit-down interview after the Alouettes season is over. I plan on learning more about what makes this gentleman tick. Also, what I have not discussed this time around, is Anthony’s tough childhood in East L.A., and his and Alexia’s courageous battle with cancer. Those are definitely stand-alone discussions I will write about after the first of the year.

So, trying desperately to not sound too Man-Crushy here, it’s so cool to be scheduling a date with Anthony Calvillo. Just a sports junkie’s dream, perhaps?

Or, maybe just a Writer’s Maslow Moment of my own.

Probably both.


Copyright 2018 Greg Meakin

Anthony Calvillo photo credit Montreal Gazette.jpg

Anthony Calvillo photo credit cbc.ca.jpgAnthony Calvillo photo credit Montreal Alouettes.jpgAnthony Calvillo photo credit thestar.com.jpg

DADITUDES

51Sjz3kzPgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

DAD-ITUDES

 

by Kevin D. Dunn

“One man’s attitudes, feelings, and experiences of fatherhood & becoming an old kid!!!”

Available on Amazon
$9.99

When I heard my old friend, Kevin Dunn, had published a book about family and fatherhood, I could have jumped for joy. I have known Kevin for decades, and he is a one-in-a-million guy – as a co-worker, a friend, and as a husband and father. We worked together as finance managers in the auto business for years, and indeed became fast friends to this day.

My joy for Kevin here, is for two main reasons:

One, my friend has a highly ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit. He is one of the hardest working and dedicated guys I’ve ever known. To publish a book is a true milestone for any ambitious person, and I was so happy to hear he had accomplished just that.   

Second, he’s one of the most amazing fathers I’ve encountered. He clearly took this book as an opportunity – a golden opportunity to finally lift three decades of marriage and chasing kids off his chest!  

But perhaps most importantly to the reader, Kevin Dunn doesn’t just tell fabulous fatherhood stories (which he does at every turn). He also provides reflection, insight, valuable lessons, and inspiration along the way.

Any new father (or old one for that matter!) needs to read this book.

Not only does Dunn tells endless, entertaining stories about everything from changing diapers to dealing with unruly teenagers, he goes a step further than most anecdotal memoirs. He reflects on each instance, relays his innermost feelings and emotions to the reader – and then offers guidance and practical solutions for dads, or would-be dads.

This is a book that could quietly sit on your coffee table. Whenever you need a break from the craziness of life, you could just pick it up, glance at a page, a chapter, an anecdote. It’s one of those books that you don’t need to plunge in cover-to-cover – you can sit back, enjoy, and remember that you’re not a bad parent after all!

What surprised me the most about Dunn’s work, is its feisty and competitive bent. Having known Kevin all these years, he is a deeply spiritual guy, and, as someone just meeting him would think, he’s pretty straight-laced. But goodness, you might see him differently when reading an account of a crazy kid jumping off his garage roof using a bed sheet parachute, which of course didn’t work. Or the college dorm boxing match where the author bloodied himself in an underdog slug fest against a fierce opponent.

The book had moments where I was glued to the pages – a dramatic, emergency C-Section with his first son, a brutal Triathalon competition where I didn’t know if the author could finish or not, and other struggles of daily life.

Although the book deals with family, and family members, it talks directly to fathers throughout. As lighthearted and inspirational as the pages can be, there is a clear message to fathers. It is a message inspiring strength, patience, understanding, and most of all, belief and hope for a vanishing breed – the traditional father.

In the exhausting, frustrating, and stressful world of fatherhood today, DAD-ITUDES breathes fresh hope. The book whispers words of encouragement to the oft-forgotten head of household in today’s scattered world.  

It whispers, “Keep going. You are awesome.”



Copyright © 2018 by Greg Meakin

 

164610_10151324362568088_1561161066_n
Kevin, Darla, four babies and counting!
148915_10151324363133088_1543717953_n
Kevin and Darla
1395969_460385160748033_507779354_n
Kevin Dunn Triathlon Guy

 

A Mom’s Story About Illness, Courage, and Love

A MOM’S STORY ABOUT ILLNESS, COURAGE, AND LOVE


The rewarding part of publishing is the feedback from readers. The Comedy section has received enthusiastic response, but a letter I received from a mom in Ottawa deeply moved me. Kristen Thompson sent a letter after reading my story about Jungle Jim Jerome, comedian extraordinaire.

I will let the letter speak for itself. I deeply thank Kristin for this moving story about her wonderful kids, and her feelings about a certain comedian named Jim Jerome.

———————————————–

Greg,  

Loved loved loved your story about the indomitable Jungle Jim Jerome. Although you know Jim as a funny man…I happen to know a much different side of him.

But first, I’ll have to tell you about me and my family, before I can tell you about our relationship with Jim.

My name is Kristen Thompson. I am the wife of one. The mom of two. Our son, Kieran was born with a profoundly rare condition called Bladder and Cloacal Extrophy. This literally means his bladder and part of his bowels were on the outside of his body. It’s a medically complex defect and Kieran has, thus far required 46 trips to the operating room to repair this. Some of those surgeries have lasted more than 24 hours!

To add to this, our only other child, our daughter Merighan, is terminally ill with a very rare metabolic disease called San Filippo syndrome (completely unrelated to what Kieran has). Sadly, this disease is 100% fatal. Merighan is now palliative and requires around the clock care.

To say I’ve spent the greater part of my parenting life, living in and out of a hospital…would perhaps be an understatement. And although we call Ottawa home, our children are treated and cared for at The Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto.

When Kieran was 11 years old. He was granted a wish. You know the kind…where kids get to choose whatever it is their hearts desire? But Kieran..was different. He chose to DECLINE the wish. When we asked him why…he told us he’d rather “be a giver, instead of a taker”. In his 11 year old mind, he felt it was better to be giving back.

Giving back to the Hospital for Sick Children. Giving back so his surgeon could create a research endowment fund supporting pediatric urology. Because really?? Who EVER cared about pediatric urology? Kieran, that’s who.

Kieran decided he’d like to organize a golf tournament. He’d already played in a few. And Kieran knew exactly who he needed to MC the tournament – a local radio personality named Jim Jerome.

Thus began a prolific relationship between Jungle and Kieran. With Jungle’s help….Kieran has raised nearly $200,000 for urology research. Research that has, in turn, helped to keep Kieran alive.

We are forever indebted to Jim Jerome. He helped to change the arc of a young boy’s future. How many people own that badge of honor? Well…Jim Jerome does.

With kindest regards,


Kristen Thompson
March 2018

 

Jim Jerome
Screenshot 2018-02-16 at 11.19.05 AM

Sally

by Greg Meakin

I have found that all nice companies have their Sally. Sally is the person who runs the company like a Swiss watch, greets customers, and keeps them loyal for life. Sally is the Go-To person who has all the answers – for customers, for vendors, for employees, and for anyone needing help right away.

unnamed

There is always a person running these companies, and it ain’t the CEO. It’s Sally.

I had a song playing in my head for most of last week, and I couldn’t remember where I had heard it. It played so much, a few times I had to focus on a different song in order to stop this song from playing in my head. It was one of those.

Only this morning did I realize where that mysterious song came from. It was the On-Hold music for a major bank I was working with. It was a successful, household name bank, been around for decades, wonderful products and services – and it absolutely sucked to work with them.

Yes, it was one of those awful companies you would pay a hefty service fee to not have to receive any service from them.

You just couldn’t contact them. Actually, scratch that. You just couldn’t contact them without being put on hold forty times, and wanting to jump off a bridge after listening to the music loop for the umpteenth time. Really nice On-Hold music though, and I do think that’s why it played in my head for so long. It is clear that management selected its On-Hold music very carefully.  

After hanging around the business world for four decades, I can picture the corporate meeting about their phone process – the comforting music choice for customers holding, the sophisticated phone system that can analyze everything for management, the Focus Group templates and strategic word tracks for the odd time an actual human is forced to answer.   

I have no idea why some of the smartest executives can be so stupid sometimes. Multiple college degrees and you can’t figure out how to answer your phone? I just don’t know anything more stupid than making customers mad at you before you even start doing business with them.

You know, those wandering menus that ask fifteen questions, including your horoscope sign, before you can talk to a person?   

And then when you finally reach a human being, they often transfer you back to the main menu, or tell you to visit online. Oh, those creepy phone trees with the endless snarly branches.  

And then there are other companies. Nice companies.

I say “nice” companies because they clearly have a Sally, the one everyone loves doing business with, and keeps customers coming back.  

Many moons ago, when I was owner and CEO of a busy company with a few dozen employees, my Sally’s name was Denise. She was actually my CFO, but she was indeed a Sally. Denise did everything from the company’s books, to answering phones, to being mom to employees, to working with suppliers, to dealing with me!

But most importantly, everyone loved Denise, and loved the company by proxy. She was the person who people would remember, who people would go to, who people would trust.

I was taught decades ago in management training that the most important employee is often the receptionist. The difference with being greeted by a great receptionist, or a nightmare receptionist, can be the difference between success and failure of the entire company. How a prospective customer interacts with your company for the first time often determines position in the marketplace and actual profitability, never mind just dealing with an annoyed caller or two now and then.

I knew I was dealing with a Sally when I recently called a finance company on a car title issue. It was a situation where a notarized form needed to be produced by the finance company, and faxed to a government licensing agency.

The Sally I dealt with that magical day was a Patty. I knew, and Patty knew, that this was an infrequent request, and that it normally could go through a week-long process or worse. What happened however, was Patty jumped into action and within ten minutes the correct notarized form was produced, and faxed at no charge.

I say “magical day” because I am so used to dealing with lousy companies, and goofy fees for everything. Patty so exceeded my expectations, and cut through any red tape or corporate obstacles facing her, and got the job done for me. Right down to faxing the form, and calling me to pick up the original.

She just got it done, and done quickly. Compared to the stress and nonsense of dealing with so many loser companies today, it was magical moment for me.

I felt enthusiasm and trust for Patty and her company. It was a branding guy’s utopia. I became not just a satisfied customer, I became a stark-raving fan.

Some really smart executives tell me it’s impossible to provide what I call “1950s handshake” service these days. They are way too big is always the excuse – often in fancier, modern words.

Then I tell them about PEMCO insurance in Seattle. Big company. Actually, I don’t dwell on the brand name, although I like it. I remember Mick. And Christine.

Although I personally dislike shopping, or being a consumer of most frivolities these days, now and then I am forced to shop. Like so many don’t like shopping for cars, I can’t stand shopping for insurance. I recently chose to re-tool my household’s insurance, and actually selected an insurance company of which to transfer all my policies. I had worked with this company while I was in the auto industry, and I was ready to make it my new home for personal insurance.

I thought I loved their brand…until I actually tried to do business with them.

Sadly, the company made it just too difficult to work with them from the get-go. Being a military membership organization, my wife and I were put through a family verification process that was more complicated than I would have predicted.

It was a situation where we were military brats of deceased parents, which required a battery of questions. After a few rounds of forwarding birth certificates, and discovering I needed an additional membership step, I gave up and called my second choice, PEMCO.

And after one quick menu question, Mick answered. Mick sold me my requested policies, right on the spot. He then gave me his direct number. Whenever I called Mick, he would answer or call back quickly. It was so weird.

And then, Christine. Christine handled one of my policies through a different department. Just like Mick, she gave me her direct number, and when I call her she answers. Christine is so cool.

This is not a silly Yelp review, it is making a broader point. Is Sally a real person? Sure. Years ago, I developed and managed a call center for Toyota, and there was a Sally who worked for me. Sally was one of the nicest employees I ever had, and as I have described earlier, Sally was the go-to person of the department, and the loving, confident voice on the phone to the customers.

She had all the answers, knew the company backward and forward, didn’t have to fumble through memorized scripts and telephone transferring nonsense. Our customers loved Sally, and usually asked for her personally.

Sally’s demeanor became the example I often shared with managers about what a great customer experience feels like. The warmth. The concern. From minute-one to years beyond, you can always count on Sally to be there for you. Sally can be a single employee – as is often the case with smaller companies – but Sally can also be how a team of employees greets and interacts with customers.

He or she can be an upper manager, or entry level employee, and can simply be a company’s culture. The Sally difference is it must be real. It must be genuine. It must reflect an earnest concern for people, an earnest love for the company, and the gift of creating happy, loyal customers.    

When it feels like a company runs smoothly, has happy employees, and you feel happy because they are happy, rest assured it is a company with a Sally Culture.

In this age of online communication, so often the first contact with a company is via a keyboard, and dealing with some sort of computer screen. I leave this perennial  debate of the balancing act between personalized contact and online process to others.

The message here – especially in this era of mammoth companies and micro-managing corporate wonks – is really in the form of three questions:  

1. Do your customers feel like they have just worked with Sally?

2. Were their needs met at a fair price, their questions answered with knowledge, confidence and good cheer, and did they feel great after working with your company?

3. Who is your Sally?

This Pop-Quiz is now complete. And if you have any questions about the quiz itself, just ask Sally.   




Copyright © 2017 by Greg Meakin


GregMeakin2020@gmail.com

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS

Goodness, what a tragedy the school shooting epidemic has become.  The pattern is now the same after these episodes. The left demands gun control, the right says it’s the person, not the gun, and everybody fights about it endlessly.

There have been various solutions presented recently, a few of which I will analyze and publish soon. One thing that seems clear to me, is the American solution might not be culturally acceptable to other countries. America, with its deep roots in the 2nd Amendment, simply will not “give up their arms” as other countries have tried to do.

Stay tuned. Sadly, this is in the Education section of the eMagazine.

SECRET MEMBERS RECEIVE …

  • Sneak Previews of upcoming scoops and articles
  • Early-Bird specials
  • Insider access to Secret Member conversations
  • Press Releases in advance
  • Stories unsuitable for public conversation
  • Secret Member discounts

 

SECRET MEMBERS RECEIVE THE ABOVE BENEFITS, AND MORE!

Only $5 for 60-days, or $50 per year, entitles you to Membership!

 

 

Mayor Patty Lent

Screenshot 2018-02-22 at 4.30.48 PM

Patty Lent was a two-term mayor for the City of Bremerton, Washington. Last November, in a photo-finish election, she passed the torch to a new mayor, Greg Wheeler.

I have known Patty for over fifteen years, long before she entered public office as a city mayor.  I wanted to take a moment here to thank her for the eight years she devoted so passionately to the citizens of Bremerton.

I reached out to Mayor Lent last week. During a long catch-up phone call, I welcomed her back to the private sector and invited her to be a Contributor to my new eMagazine.

She was enjoying a well-deserved sabbatical but is enthusiastic about returning,  rested and relaxed.

I look forward to Mayor Lent contributing her expertise and wisdom to the Politics section, and maybe even a few other categories of Secrets from the Inside.

I can’t wait to read Patty’s articles — I’ll bet she has a secret or two she can share.

How fun.