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Operating with Intention

Posted on May 3, 2013
Kathy AlbaradoWritten by Kathy Albarado | Email author

“Building a Culture of Intention”. This is a term that I’ve used for quite some time while working with executives to define their organizational culture. In fact, Helios even published a book with that very title where we interviewed visionary CEOs who lead intentional cultures.  Each day we have to challenge ourselves to think about how our vision, values and behaviors are being perceived. As we give these intentions consideration, I want to share a story with you.

CB055111Last week I was fortunate to spend a week in Montego Bay, Jamaica and had the most relaxing vacation I have ever had in my life.  My preference is to spend time on beaches in warm climates, so that was not what made it so exceptional.  I discovered that all the locals I met had their own culture of intention.  They were absolutely intentional about demonstrating caring.  We were greeted with smiles upon arrival and warm, authentic hugs upon departure. People were kind and forgiving when we forgot and accidentally drove on the right side of the road instead of the left.  They wanted to know about our families and shared stories about theirs. We saw so many pictures of kids and even met wives of the resort workers.  Even the tourists were exceptionally friendly and warm in this place where the culture was all about ‘happiness’.  To create such an experience, the Jamaicans ‘Operate with Intention’.

It was a stark contrast from my experience on Sunday at the Toyota dealer when I went to pick up my car that had been left to have some repairs.  The manager behind the counter was not hiding his stress.  His customers in line ahead of me were waiting much longer than they had anticipated.  He was telling people that he was buried, he had too much going on, and he would get to them when he could.  He even went so far as to thrust the shop door open and scream as he walked through it–checking on one of the technicians with a late vehicle.  This guy made it all about HIM.   When it was my turn he handed me my paperwork and a coupon for a free car wash attached–which I could use at the Exxon nearby.

I was shocked to see the car in such a state. It was covered in oak pollen, a huge mess. Going to the free car wash was not at all convenient given the construction on Route 7 in Tysons. It would have taken me 20 minutes just to get there.  The bad part about it, is he didn’t even apologize. I was surprised to find that they really didn’t care about the customer experience.

Demonstrating Caring. It is one of the most important values I believe that can exist.

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