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Top general delivers leadership message to St. Mike’s grads


College Graduation season leadership  goes into excessive general equipment throughout the region delivers 



Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford spoke Sunday at the St. Michael’s College commencement on the topic of management.

It’s been forty years on account that General Joseph Dunford graduated from St. Michael’s College. He says a lot has modified on campus, however, the average spirit has remained the equal.

“The aspect that I remember the maximum of all has been a number of the school participants — some of the workforces that helped me alongside the way. And there were some precise testimonies about those who gave me a lift once I probably wished a boost, and especially, that is the form of what you don’t forget — the faculty, personnel, and your pals,” stated General Joseph Dunford.

Dunford went on to have a protracted navy career within the United States Marine Corps. Since 2015 he has been the nation’s highest rating navy officer as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sunday, the 4-superstar well known delivered the graduation address for the Class of 2017. Leadership was a lasting message.

“What I’ve learned over my 40 years of serving in uniform is that first-rate leaders are in reality ordinary women and men who make a dedication to excellence,” General Dunford said. “Leaders are men and women who dig down deep and do what is proper even if there may be a voice interior of them that announces take the easy manner.”

Security at St. Mike’s tightened for Dunford’s arrival on campus. Local and state police alongside the university’s public protection officers monitored rooms and checked bags at the entrances. Doors were locked once the occasion started.

Over 400 college students– in conjunction with buddies and own family– stuffed the Ross Sports Center for the occasion. General Dunford turned into one among numerous humans offered honorary ranges via the college. Graduates, faculty, and guests collected after the graduation to take pictures. Many took the possibility to fulfill General Dunford.

“The general–he did such a remarkable task. He saved us in order that captivated the complete time. He had such great matters to mention. He had mentioned how he couldn’t pay attention to his speaker, and I changed into like he is doing so well. I turned into so into it the complete time. He changed into brilliant, and we had been simply so lucky to have had him to come back,” stated Molly Roush, a St. Michael’s College Graduate.

And as the students now say goodbye to the college, General Dunford advised them to cognizance their futures on serving others. “I assume it is essential which you realize that it is no longer about you anymore. Up till this point it turned into about your grades, your popularity on the crew, and whatever else that may be, and whilst you go away right here I think it is about different people,” he stated.

Getting prepared for the subsequent step toward success with the recommendation from a national chief.

Customer Feedback That Delivers “Ah-Ha” Moments to Construction Industry Firms


The first thing that comes to mind when most people think customer feedback is customer survey. While a check-box survey will give you data, it’s not the right approach for a company that manages only a few (or a few dozen) important relationships per year.

Checkbox surveys are designed to produce findings that are easy to analyze. Unfortunately, people hate surveys. It can happen that the customers with the most useful insights aren’t the ones who’ll complete a check-box survey.

For most construction-related companies, a few customers determine how successful your company will be this year. Therefore, it’s much smarter to reach out to important customers one-on-one. You want to learn how they view you and your competitive landscape. You also want to know what their current business priorities are.

To make this kind of initiative more successful, don’t reach out to everyone all at once and ask everyone the same set of questions. Instead, narrow your scope:

  • decide what you want to know,
  • be clear about why you want to know it, and
  • determine who the best contacts are to help you amass information you can use.

Even when the focus is narrow, planning a series of customer feedback interviews can quickly become overwhelming. Members of the senior team might not find the time to complete the initiative. And if you assign the project to someone who is too junior, your customers might not fully engage. When this kind of project is executed internally, it’s best to approach it in small bites. However, when time is of the essence, you can outsource customer feedback interviews to someone you trust with your customers.

What can you expect to learn? Let’s look at what a general contractor, a sub, and a supplier learned from their customers.

One general contractor reached out to three customer groups to amass three distinct bodies of knowledge.

  • Loyal customers are experts at what’s so great about you. The general contractor’s loyal customers were able to help the GC articulate the company’s competitive advantages. They also offered feedback about the company’s people and operations.
  • Dormant customers know why they haven’t contacted you in recent years. When asked, the GC’s dormant customers addressed nuanced subjects such as competitiveness and match.
  • “Perennial prospects” know you but haven’t yet chosen you. During their customer feedback project, this general contractor’s perennial prospects each spelled out what the general will have to do to displace incumbent GCs.

This could easily have been three separate projects.

In another example, a subcontractor was looking ahead to developing a five-year strategic plan. The ownership team knew it would be wise to let customer opinions influence their priorities. What they wanted was an assessment of how they were regarded by the general contractors and owners who represented 40% of their prior year’s revenue. Were the relationships secure? What was the lingering impact of the occasional odd incident? Were customers in favor of changes the sub was considering?

The sub-learned about

  • their competitiveness in the selection process,
  • the strengths and weaknesses of their job-site performance, and
  • how partner-oriented their business practices were.

The sub was pleasantly surprised to learn what past (puzzling) incidents were really about. More importantly, the company rebuilt dormant relationships and won projects they otherwise wouldn’t have been invited to bid.

The final example spotlights an out-of-state facility owned by a local materials supplier. In the midst of a construction boom, the satellite facility was losing share to its competitors. Nobody could figure out why.

Similar to the GC’s project, the supplier debriefed

  • loyal customers,
  • customers who bought from multiple suppliers, and
  • prospects who called for quotes but never purchased (or who had last placed an order years ago).

The owner learned how customers viewed his salespeople. He also learned about a subtle change in that location’s competitive landscape. Customer interviews told him where the gaps were that cost him business and where the added value was that kept loyal customers loyal.

In conclusion, in none of these cases would a survey have delivered the ‘ah-ha’ moments that were turning points for these firms. Why? Because surveys are rigid. Further, the results are ambiguous. On a scale from 1 to 10, “4” doesn’t tell you what to do. Conversational interviews are fluid. One benefit is, during interviews, customers introduce topics you wouldn’t have known to include. And that’s what you’re trying to learn: What’s on our customers’ minds? What do they really think and want?

Rather than opt for a check-box survey because it’s efficient and inexpensive, recognize that insightful guidance from a handful of customers can help you take action that helps narrow the gap between your current revenues and your company’s full revenue potential.

When it comes to what customers are thinking, it’s better to know than to not know. And the way to know is to ask.

Ann Amati, Principal, Deliberate Strategies Consulting, helps companies use guidance from their current and past customers to grow future sales. She has a 20-year track record of using deep-dive interviews to create positive turning points in her clients’ relationships with their customers.

In her national practice, Ann has clients who sell millions to companies that make billions and sole practitioners/LLCs with more modest practices.

The Power of a General Benefits Statement


A general benefits statement is similar to an elevator pitch I will explain the difference since we will be covering the Elevator Pitch in an upcoming article.

An elevator pitch is a short statement that will explain your business, one that could be used if you got in an elevator on the ground floor and ran into an old friend who asked what you were now doing. You could give him or her a well rehearsed short statement about what your company does before you arrived at the fourth floor, your destination. Thus the name elevator pitch.

A general benefits statement is just what it say’s. It’s a statement about the benefits of doing business with your company and it’s a transition point that opens up the conversation for you to begin the process of selling your product or service.

In typical sales call we all start the conversation with some idle chit-chat for a few minutes, a courtesy, that helps break the ice but keep this brief. Now comes the uncomfortable part, how do you get from chit chat into the sales call? The answer, a General Benefit Statement.