Build One Version of the Truth

In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below, in which I walk through the quiz that’s available here on my website for you to take and use with your team.

Today on “the Daily Dose,” I want to talk to you about the importance of having one version and one understanding of the behaviors that are required to build a legacy inside of a business. What I call this is “one version of the truth.”

As we work to transform businesses, and as we work to elevate our organization and our leadership inside of our company, we very quickly work on action items or fixes. And we don’t think about the behaviors and the DNA that we really need to embed in our organization so that we become a sustainable, different kind of company at the end of our labors—at the end of our work.

So what I want to do is share with you the quiz that I’ve created, so that you can really do two things: create clarity with your organization and as a leader of what behaviors the best companies take in how they earn, build and live this kind of legacy and this kind of growth in the marketplace that fuses people to them.

Take the Quiz

Why I Built This Quiz

What’s important is that this quiz asks you to evaluate and define the set of behaviors that really shows up in the marketplace, that describes who you are as people and all of those things that really end up fusing people to you and creating legacy, because it’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it.

And, you know, as I was writing this quiz, I had to wax poetic here a little bit: experience is in its purest form, leadership bravery. It is bravery and making choices that enable people to rise and really put your company in a position to show up differently to show up as a different kind of company.

A Walk-Through of the Four Categories

What we’ve seen in doing this work for a long time, and in the prove-out work that we’ve done, is that there are four big categories that organizations really do choose and that move people to show up differently.

What you’re going to see when you start each quiz section is an overview of what the section means, and then you’ll see a set of very specific questions. I like to say that I wrote these questions so there’s no wiggle room in them. You can’t wiggle your way out of saying, “Yeah, we do that.”

So you’re going to see specifics in each section, such as: “are people valued as the foundation of our company?” What we know is that the most admired companies really do honor their people.

“Do we enable them to act? Do we pin them in? Do we lead from trust with them? Do we elevate them to rise?” So what will happen is, you’ll be able to push the radio button to indicate where you are on the scale. And this is really again, behaviorally driven: do we always do it, never do it, sometimes do it?

That’s the thing that’s important as you’re leading a transformation and as you’re uniting your leadership team: you start with where everyone is, and recognize that people are in different places, understand why, and then start to make the advancement.

So this, this quiz has four sections for you:

  1. Are your employees thriving?
  2. Do we do things that make our customers feel, not only respected, but also honored? That we honor them because they honor us with their business?
  3. Do we enable them to achieve their goals?
  4. And then finally: do acts of leadership bravery stand out?

Make This Quiz an Action Tool for Your Organization

So here’s what I’d like you to do with this quiz to make it an action tool for you, and also really a part of your transformation so that you can move toward those behaviors that are embedded and elevate your company—because what we know, as I mentioned, is that it’s not what we do only it’s how we do it. And are we embedding sustainable business behaviors and how we act ourselves and how we grow the business and how we lead?

So the first thing I would do is go through the quiz. Go through all four sections of the quiz yourself, so that you can acquaint yourself with it. So that’s action #1: take the quiz. What you’ll find is at the end of it, you’re going to get dials for each section that address where you are and your “always/never.”

The second thing that you should do is have your leadership team take it. Then you can facilitate a conversation about the outcome of their quizzes. What’s important about this is that we create a baseline or starting point. That’s why I call it, “one version of the truth.”

What having your leaders take this quiz will do is it will create clarity around the behaviors, so that this work is not just about fixing or solving problems. It’s about really how we embed a new set of behaviors in how we take care of our employees and how we build honor and respect and how we lead from customers goals and and how we take those honorable brave acts to show up.

This work is not just about fixing or solving problems. It's about how we embed a new set of behaviors in how we take care of our employees and how we honor and respect customers. #leadershipbravery #CX Share on X

The next thing that I would do at #3 is to then cascade that information to the middle leadership of your organization. Because what we know is that sometimes at the senior level, there’s real clarity, but it becomes a game of telephone, as it translates into the rest of the organization. They have separate KPIs, separate focuses; they’re more short-term or they’re trying to manage their area of the business.

As you take the quiz yourself, you may actually want to break up how you unite people to get one version of the truth by each section. First, do it for employees, then do it around honor and respect, then do it around goals and then finally around leadership bravery. In some organizations, we’re seeing it work that way where you break it up into bite sized pieces. I love these four categories; you may want to take them one category at a time.

I hope this provides real value for you; this quiz was something that I took a lot of time to write because I wanted to, as I mentioned before, make these questions so specific that you can’t wiggle out of them—that you really either can say “yes, we are doing this,” or “no, we’re not truly doing this comprehensive set of actions that will yield us this outcome.”

Take the Quiz

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