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What a Difference a CEO Makes

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Steve Jobs.  And by contrast, Tony Hayward.  And the past and present CEO of Home Depot provide a lesson in contrast as well.

In the past I hated going to Home Depot.  The sales people were invisible.  And when you caught one with the angry glare of death, s/he was most unwilling to assist you in any way.  The CEO had cut the number of people working at Home Depot.  Many of the ones that remained were bitter having to do more work.  It was all about the bottom line for that CEO.

Today, with a new CEO, I walk into Home Depot and am all but assaulted with as many as 3 sales people at the doorway asking if they can help me find something!  The more abundant number of cashiers call out for customers if they have availability in their line.  It’s no longer all about the bottom line.  This CEO gets it:  It’s about people!  If you serve your customers well, they reward you with their business which then in turn impacts the bottom line.

I’ve been to Home Depot several times over the last few weeks.  I still can’t get accustomed to the amazing level of service!