Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

How Do You Become World-class?

Because I teach business excellence for living and have won a few “Thought Leader” awards I often have people ask me, “John, how do you become the best in the world at something?” The answer is very simple, but definitely not easy. Here is my advice on how you become world-class.

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FOCUS

You have to define very clearly what you hope to become world-class at and then focus on that intensely. People do not become truly great at something by happenstance, it’s because they’ve identified exactly where they want to excel, studied it very carefully, created a detailed plan, enlisted a group of supporters and helpers and then dedicated their life to becoming among the best-of-the-best in their chosen field. IMPORTANT: You’ll notice that I put “among the best” not “best in the world,” because to actually be number one on the face of the earth at something is exceedingly challenging. It is one thing to be really, really good at something, it is a completely different pursuit to be the undisputed global leader, so be careful what you wish for.

DISCIPLINE

Once you have determined where you want to be considered as one of the best, then you must have the discipline to get up every day, follow your plan and take all of the steps necessary to become world-class. There is a significant amount of research that supports the idea that it takes about 10 years or 10,000 hours of persistent and disciplined practice to achieve world-class status. I recently read that if you were to pick one business topic and study it for one hour a day, seven days a week, for seven years…at the end of those seven years you’d be considered a national authority on that subject. I know that sounds ludicrous, but I’m living proof. I have read a minimum of 100 business books year every year since 1989 (this does not even include magazines, white papers, blogs, videos and audio books) and have been named one of the Top 100 business thought leaders in America and one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world. I am not a genius, I’m just very, very focused on the topic of business and leadership excellence and have dedicated 26 years of my life to learning everything I possibly could about those topics. With enough discipline, you can achieve the same level of expertise in any area that you might choose (as long as you are physically able).

ACTION

The amount of disciplined action you apply will in large part determine your success. A little bit of focus; not quite sure where you want to go… a little bit of discipline; you don’t always do what you’re supposed to do… a little bit of action; you don’t really try that hard – the outcome is mediocrity. If you choose someplace where you deeply and passionately want to be regarded as world-class, exercise extreme discipline in pursuing your plan and apply massive action… you will likely look up in several years and realize that you are among the best in the world in that area.

Yes, it is just that simple and just that difficult!

To make my point even more strongly (definitely not to blow my own horn), I hope you’ll take a moment to read the press release below. I was recently recognized by the American Management Association for a cool designation and was blown away by the other people on the list. Also, I’ve been nominated for a different award which is considered the single most prestigious management and leadership award in the world, the Thinkers 50. Part of this award is based on voting, so if you feel that I deserve your vote I would be extremely appreciative if you would take just a minute and fill in the needed information to cast your vote for me (you can only vote once).

For those of you that aspire to be among the best in the world at what you do, I hope that you will use the formula of:  FOCUS + DISCIPLINE x ACTION to assist you in your quest to be world-class.

John Spence Named one of the top 50 leaders for 2015

The American Management Association, one of the world’s most respected business and professional development organizations, has named John Spence as one of the top 50 leaders to watch in 2015.

As part of AMA’s continuing mission to provide the best resources and insights from the world’s leading business minds, this list was created to highlight the work of some of today’s most impactful business leaders. According to the organization’s website, “These influential business leaders have contributed to the business world in many ways, and AMA is excited at the potential contributions and innovations they will make in 2015.”

This prestigious award for John Spence comes on the heels of recently being named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speaker’s in America and by HR.com as one of the Top 500 leadership development experts in the world. In the last year Spence has also been recognized by Small Business Magazine as one of the top 100 small business influencers in America.

“I am extremely honored to be on this list,” said Spence. “I have spent my entire career trying to help businesses and people be more successful and this is a wonderful validation that my work is making a positive impact.” Other leaders on the 2015 list include, Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, strategy guru Henry Mintzberg, world renowned consultant Ram Charan and leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

About John Spence: John has presented workshops, speeches and executive coaching to more than 400 organizations worldwide from firms such as Microsoft , Coca-Cola, GE and IBM, to dozens of private companies, non-profits and associations.  He is the author of four books and has been a guest lecturer at over 90 universities including Stanford, Cornell, the Wharton School of Business and the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT.

About the AMA: For over 90 years, American Management Association International (AMA) has been a world leader in professional development. Organizations worldwide, including 90% of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner.

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the Thinkers 50 voting page, I cannot possibly thank you enough for taking a moment to vote for me if you feel that I am worthy of this award.

You will need this information to cast your vote:

Person who gets your vote: John Spence
Person’s title: Managing Partner
Person’s organization: John Spence, LLC
Person’s email address: John@JohnSpence.com

Click HERE to vote

How To Get More Customers

Small-Business-Owner-Regrets-and-DifficultiesRecently I’ve had several friends who own small businesses ask me how to get more customers. Since this is an issue that nearly every small business owner struggles with I decided to grab an article I wrote several years ago about “How to Win in a Local Market,” and updated with some new ideas and suggestions.

1. Figure out exactly who your key target customers are – the part of the market you want to own. The best way to do this is to look at your current customer base and identify the customers that you absolutely love, the ones that are easy to deal with, really like your products and services a lot, see value what you offer, are glad to pay the full price – the ones you wish you had lots and lots of more customers exactly like them. Then take the time to write down everything you can possibly think of that clearly identifies this specific target group or groups of customers. What is their age range? What kind of car do they drive? What do they buy from you now? What is their education level? Where do they get their information – magazines, TV shows, social media platforms, and websites? What groups do they belong to? What are their hobbies? Do they have kids? What sort of jobs do they have? (if you run a B2B company you’d want to learn everything you can about their business, who there customers are, how they are positioning their business in the market and who are their top competitors).The more you can understand about your specific target market and what motivates them – the better job you can do of serving them and capturing more customers just like them.

2. Another great way to understand what motivates your target audience – is to ask them! Again, identify a group of your very best current customers then send them a brief survey with these questions:

• What, specifically, are the top three or four reasons you chose to do business with us?

• How did you find out about our business?

• Is there anything we could do to improve your experience in doing business with our company?

You might want to add a few other questions, but the goal is to look over all of the replies and see if there is a clear pattern. If there is (and there almost always is), the answer to question number one is your brand. Your customers have just told you exactly why they buy from you, which is likely the reason that other customers like them would buy from you too, so make this the main focus of all of your advertising and marketing. The answer to question number two tells you where to invest your advertising and marketing dollars – these are the places where your target customers are looking to find out about businesses like yours. Question number three tells you exactly what you need to go back and fix right away to increase the loyalty and engagement of your current and future customers. This is extremely powerful information and unfortunately very few businesses ever take the time to actually ask their best current customers why they are customers and what they could do to increase their loyalty. It is always been one of my top business mantras: Whoever owns the voice of the customer owns the marketplace. Take this to heart!

3. Once you get all this information back, create a very detailed “Ideal Customer Profile” to help you understand and stay focused on the people who will make your business successful. Clearly describe exactly who your target customers are, why they do business with you, how they found out about you, and what you can do to continuously delight and surprise them – and then make sure everybody in your company understands that critical information and uses it to guide their daily actions and behaviors when interacting with your customers — and you use it to build your business and branding strategies.

4. Determine who your top competitors will be for those specific target customers, who is already servicing them right now? Then study those top competitors to deeply understand how they position themselves – what services they offer – what promises they make – what sort of value proposition they are currently bringing to the marketplace that is, for some important reason, winning over the customers that you want to win way from them!

5. Figure out how to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors in a way that will raise the bar and recalibrate the customer’s expectations, and be sure that the way you differentiate yourself is of true value to your customer, as defined by the customer, not by you. Understand this: All effective strategy is just Valued Differentiation multiplied by Disciplined Execution. In other words, to win in the marketplace you must offer something that is unique, exciting and compelling – that is differentiated from all of your competitor’s offerings, hopefully in a way that is defendable so it is not easy to copy – that your customers truly value and are willing to pay money for… and then you must execute on that flawlessly each and every day for each and every customer. It’s a fairly simple and straightforward idea that is exceedingly hard to do successfully. This will be one of your biggest challenges in gaining new customers and running a sustainably successful business.

6. Create strategic alliances with people who, by the nature of the business they are in, can become wonderful sources of referrals to you. You want to get as many people like this on your team as possible… but you especially want to identify the top four or five “Opinion Leaders” who are the most influential sources of referrals for you so that you can get these very important individuals on your team and creating a constant stream of high-quality, targeted referrals that represent your Ideal Customer Profile. The best way to do this is typically to define the people who have the same general customer base as you and that you feel do an absolutely fantastic job at delivering something to these target customers – that is not in competition with what you do – or even better is a complement to what you do. For example, if you are an expert in building high quality pools, you can easily partner with many of the local builders in your area. If you make custom clothing, partner with your local dry cleaners and high-end shoe dealers. If you own an accounting firm, you want to be connected with the top bankers and financial advisors in your area. If you owned a boat dealership that sells high-end boats – partner with a local Mercedes-Benz dealer. These sort of symbiotic relationships with people who are highly connected to your target customers is priceless.

7. Also determine people that are in your direct area of competition – but that you do not want to compete against, and try to form strategic alliances with them so you can work together and be in co-opition instead of competition. For example, you own a great Italian restaurant but there is a fantastic Chinese restaurant on the other side of town, why not share gift certificates to share customers. No one is going to eat Italian or Chinese every single time they go out, so rather than competing, why not share the top customers and help each other be more successful. This is why you often see five or six furniture shops or restaurants in the same mall, they are all attracting more customers to their “destination” and thereby everybody gets more business. Can you do this with some of your friendly competitors?

8. Identify your key “Moments Of Truth” — the handful of key things that absolutely have to go right in order for you to be able to meet and exceed your customer’s expectation —  and create processes to make sure that they are delivered flawlessly — flawlessly – – – every single time. For example, although there are hundreds of interactions every time you go out to have a meal, pretty much every restaurant on the face of the word only has 4 moments of truth:

• Food quality

• Service quality

• Price / value

• Cleanliness

If a restaurant does lots and lots of other things right but messes up any one of these four items badly, they will go out of business. On the flip side, if they do these four things exceedingly well every single time, customers will overlook failures in a few other minor places. So here is the BIG question: What are the moments of truth for your business? The three, four or five things that you must do exceedingly well in order to create highly satisfied, loyal and engaged customers. Figure out those key moments of truth and make sure that everybody in your company works tirelessly to deliver them perfectly all of the time. (This is one of the most powerful business success ideas I know – if you can determine what your key moments of truth are and deliver them flawlessly you will build a strong foundation for a highly successful and profitable company. Make sure you work on this).

9. Position yourself as an expert, trusted advisor, partner and peer to your customers by continuously delivering them REAL value. If you are in a B2B Sales, add real value and assistance to your customers by helping to make them look really good and delivering massive value to their customers. The key idea here is the only person that can decide what is valuable… is the customer. It does not matter what you think is cool, exciting, fun, unique or valuable – it only matters what the customer thinks. So invest the time and energy necessary to get as close to your customers you possibly can and thoroughly understand exactly why they think that what you offer is special, unique, differentiated and valuable to them.

10. Be sure that every single time you do a superior job – and your customers tell you that you are fantastic – follow up instantly with a request for referrals. If they say “You’re awesome, thank you, thank you, thank you”… tell them that the very best way they can thank you is to tell 10 other people about how fantastic you are and recommend that they do business with you. Positive word-of-mouth referrals, are the single most valuable advertising/marketing vehicle there is on the face of the earth. A significant amount of new research indicates that 43% to 78% (that is basically half to three-quarters) of all purchasing decisions today are made by referral – word-of-mouth, social media, texting, email – people ask their friends and colleagues who they should do business with and basically “crowd source” even major purchasing decisions. You can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy ads in every magazine in the world – but a handful of strong personal referrals from key opinion leaders will drive much more business than those as ever could. (By the way you still need to market and advertise – but word-of-mouth referrals, especially through social media, is incredibly powerful and will only get more so).

11. Keep close to your best customers. Check in with them regularly – talk with them – ask questions and LISTEN. Learn everything you can about why your best customers are loyal, and make sure you give them what they want, while them, delight them and consistently exceed their expectations (just slightly – you do not want to erode your profit margin by delivering more value than the customer actually wants). Then gently began to ask these fanatical “customer evangelists” to help you spread the word about how great your business is. If they love you and the products and services you deliver, they will be happy to tell their friends, family and colleagues about how awesome your business is. Turning your best customers into your marketing department is an incredibly powerful strategy, because no matter how good your advertising and marketing is, people will immediately believe their friends recommendations far above even your very best ad. Happy customers who tell everyone they know about how great you are can completely change the future of your business. This is another area you should focus on intently.

**I think this is a good place to make important point: For most of you reading this article the future success of your business will depend very, very, very heavily on the quality of the people that you can get, grow and keep on your team. Great products with terrible customer service = bankruptcy. Hire the best talent you can, train them constantly, treat them fairly, pay them fairly (10% above or below what they would make to do the same job at another company) and empower them to go out and take care superb of your customers. Here is an extremely important point: The customer’s experience one never exceed the employee’s experience. 

“Hire top talent – create a winning culture that engages and empowers them – focus them intently on delivering superior customer service – then hold them accountable for executing on your moments of truth every single day for every single customer.”

12. Become a student of every other business you interact with. What are they doing well that you can adapt to your business? What are they doing poorly that you want to make sure you’re not doing to your customers? Every time you buy something, go out to dinner, order something online, interact with a vendor – it should be a lesson on things that you can steal and apply in your business – or things to avoid at all costs in your business.

13. Track everything I just told you about. Don’t go on instinct or gut feelings, collect data and facts on what is working and what is not – as measured by customer satisfaction scores, profitability and other key metrics. It does not matter what you “think” is working, it only matters if your target customers think is valuable and are willing to pay money for!

14. Once you figure out what works best for you – what truly leads to gaining real market share and significantly increasing profitability – focus like crazy on that area and get better and better at it every day.

15. Lastly, never stop doing everything on this list. Markets exchange, new competitors enter the market, customer’s requirements change – and you have to be able to change with them. Things move really, really fast so agility, adaptability, continuous improvement and ALWAYS listening to your customers is essential to the long-term success of your business. What makes customer’s super happy today, might very well make them very angry next month – so you have to stay on the very cutting edge by knowing more about your customers and your market than anyone else you compete against. Although extremely difficult to do – this is not optional!

I hope you found some of these ideas helpful and that you will share them with anyone you can think of in your network that you feel would find value in them too.

As always, I look forward to your feedback, ideas, comments and suggestions. Thanks so much — John

How to Build a Personal Advisory Board

mentor advisor, mastermind business successI received an email this morning from a colleague who was asking about how to expand their network and specifically how to create an “Advisory Board,” of key individuals with specific expertise that could help him be more successful in his career. I get a lot of inquiries about this subject so I thought I would give you some brief advice about how to at least get this process started.

Step One: Determine exactly what you are interested in learning about. It does you no good to simply connect with people hoping that they might be able to add value to you, so it is important that you take the time to sit down and think through the skills, capabilities, information and expertise you hope to gain through your advisory board.

Step Two: Once you have a very clear idea of exactly the kind of person you want to meet, send a clear and focused note to everyone in your current network asking them if they know anyone who possesses the skills and experience you are looking to learn about and might be willing to assist you as a mentor or on your Board of Advisors (Basically a group of mentors).

Step Three: When one of your current contacts identifies a potential advisor, do as much homework as you possibly can on that person before you get introduced to them. Google them, check their LinkedIn profile, see if they have a Facebook profile, ask your contact for any and all information that they will share with you – before they make the introduction. And then create a very clear and specific outline of what you hope to learn from this person so that your contact can make a solid and compelling introduction on your behalf.

Step Four: Once the introduction is made be extremely respectful, do not waste one minute of their time, explain exactly what you’re hoping to achieve, and then ask them what they are interested in learning more about so that you can work as hard as you possibly can to help them gain new information and ideas that would be of value to their personal and/or professional growth. Remember, for a networking or advisory relationship to be successful you must give as much or more value back to the person who is advising you as they are offering to you. You have to make a significant effort to constantly be on the lookout for ways that you can help them, bring them new ideas/information and introduce them to other people that they might find value.

Step Five: Once you create a solid advisory/mentoring relationship with this new contact, and you feel comfortable that you have gotten to know each other fairly well, ask them if they would introduce you to three people they feel would also add a lot of value to your growth and who would enjoy spending time with you and find value in the kind of information you would bring to them.

Step Six: With each of these new contacts go back to step three and repeat the process over and over again. If you do this diligently, and always strive to add as much value as you possibly can back to your mentor/advisor, you will look up in a few years and your network will have grown exponentially and you will have a handful of very key advisors who could literally change the trajectory of your career and life!

I hope you found this helpful, and if you did please share it with everyone in your network.

Thanks so much – John

What is Your Leadership Philosophy?

8D9xPlllM2WzeTfM4McZ-Tl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBU8NzMXDbey6A_oozMjJETcIn the past several years I have taught numerous “Advanced Leadership” workshops to groups of senior leaders from $20 million to $1 billion+ organizations. At the beginning each session I always ask the attendees how many of them currently have a written list of their key leadership values, i.e. their own “personal leadership philosophy,” that they use to guide their decisions and behaviors on a daily basis. Out of a typical group of 100 to 150 executives, only one or two will raise their hands, prompting me to wonder how in the world the others successfully lead their organizations. I just have a hard time believing that if you’ve never taken the time to truly think through what kind of leader you want to be, what your leadership values are, what sort of leadership legacy you want to leave…and then write those things down so that you have a clear and focused guide for your self-leadership…that you would be a truly effective leader of others.

One of my very favorite quotes comes from Walt Disney,

“When values are clear decisions are easy.”

Put another way, in relation to what I just wrote above,

“When values are not clear decisions are difficult.”

So, for those of you who have not yet written down your personal leadership philosophy, I challenge you to take a few hours and thoughtfully develop a focused and concise list of the key attributes, characteristics, values and behaviors that you personally want to model in order to be a living example of the kind of leader you aspire to be.

To give you some examples, based on more than 15 years of teaching my advanced leadership seminar to thousands of people all over the world, here are some of the things I hear over and over again when people describe what they feel are the most important characteristics of an “Ideal leader.”

  • Honest / integrity/ character
  • Visionary
  • Highly competent
  • Excellent communicator
  • Team player/collaborative
  • Innovative/risk taker
  • Decisive
  • Fair and supportive
  • Creates clear goals and direction
  • Respect/recognition
  • Passionate/inspiring
  • Personally accountable
  • Proactive/action oriented
  • Customer/quality focused

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should serve as a good benchmark of what other leaders have identified as their key leadership ideals and competencies. I hope you will use this list to develop or refine your personal leadership philosophy and then use your philosophy as a touchstone to guide your actions, comments, focus and behavior.

Remember: People judge you by your actions not by your intentions and what you are speaks so loudly that they can’t hear what you say.

As a leader you live under a microscope, nothing is small, and to be effective you need to consistently lead based on your values, the organization’s values and what is in the best interests of your employees, customers, vendors and community. I believe creating a solid personal leadership philosophy will allow you to do all of that and do it well.

I very much look forward to your comments and feedback on this blog and if you find it of value I hope you’ll share it with your network.

Thanks so much – John

Business Lessons from a Broken Foot

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What can be broken foot teach you about business? Well, as it turns out, several important lessons. Last Sunday I tripped while walking down my staircase at home and broke my foot and also tore my rotator cuff. Painful, but on the scale of things, just a small inconvenience. However, I have taken two excellent lessons away from this situation that perfectly relate to business.

 

 

DELEGATION

I might be pretty good at understanding how to run an organization,  build a high-performance team, create a winning culture, or increase levels of accountability – but I know absolutely nothing about the fifth metatarsal of my right foot, except that it’s broken. I have had no problem whatsoever admitting that this is not my expertise and delegating the care of my own personal foot to a doctor that is perhaps 15 to 20 years younger than me, but has a world more experience in dealing with how to heal a broken foot. I think this is a good lesson for a lot of business leaders to examine, just because you can run the company doesn’t mean that you can run every part of it. You have to realize where other people have more expertise and experience than you and then trust them to do the best they possibly can to deliver excellence in an area where you cannot. I would not trust my doctor to stand up and give a keynote address to 4,000 business people on strategy, but I absolutely trust him take care of my fifth metatarsal and return it to pinky toe excellence!

 

ASK FOR HELP

This is a big lesson a lot of business people need to learn, you can’t do it alone, you have to learn to ask for help. In my current situation as hop-along Cassidy I have had to admit that there’s a lot of stuff I can’t do without help. I can’t carry my own food or drinks, I can’t carry my briefcase, I can’t drive, I can’t get it out in and out of the shower… without help.  I’m not helpless, but I’m happy to admit there’s certain things that I just can’t do right now and I need to ask the people around me for help. For someone who is typically very independent, this is a big challenge, but in my current situation I have NO choice. I have struggled teaching this same idea to senior executives that I coach, they believe that they are supposed to be invincible, have all the answers and be able to fix any problem. That is simply not the truth. Nobody can handle the speed of change, the velocity of market factors, the constant acceleration of competition, and the massive challenge of managing a complex organization…by themselves. So, just like me who is hobbling around on crutches, senior executives need to get comfortable with asking for help. And here’s the key thing, most people are willing and eager to help, they see that you’re struggling, they see that you are having a hard time and they want to be there to assist you if you will only have enough courage to admit that you can’t do it by yourself and ask for help.

So those are two big ideas I take away from a broken foot. They are ideas that I’ve taught and coached to business people around the world, but it was brought just a little closer to home this week when they were wrapping my leg in a nice bright orange cast and I was told it would be on for 8 to 10 weeks. I have no option but to delegate and ask for help, and I would suggest that you have no option either.

 

PS – I have been nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious management and business awards – the Thinkers 50. Although a great deal of the award is based on merit, there is a component based on voting. You can only vote once, and I would dearly appreciate it if you would take just a minute to vote for me if you feel I deserve it. They’re going to ask for some specific information so here is what you need to fill out the form:

Person who gets your vote: John Spence

That person’s title: Managing Partner

That person’s organization: John Spence, LLC

That person’s email address: John@johnspence.com

Thank you very, very, very much for your help!! John

Here is the link to the voting page: http://www.thinkers50.com/vote-2015/

***  If you have already voted – thank you soooo much for your support!!!

Do You Really Want To Be The Best In The World?

Business tips and helpDuring the past 20 years I have done hundreds of strategic planning retreats and often times when crafting a vision statement my clients will decide that they should set their BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to become number one in the world in their field. This sounds really nice, and for a very few organizations it is attainable, but most organizations will never, ever be number one in the world at what they do. And to me, that is absolutely fine.

Yes, you just heard a guy who teaches excellence for living say that it is perfectly acceptable to be slightly above average. The hard truth is, it is insanely difficult to become the world leader at just about anything. It takes massive amounts of work, huge sacrifice, incredible focus and a truckload of grit and persistence. Just take a look at anyone who has achieved the top slot in the world at what they do and you will see someone who has dedicated their entire life to the attainment of true excellence in their field.

A great example that has been used a lot lately is the United States Navy SEALs. I have seen countless articles in recent months about SEAL discipline, SEAL leadership, SEAL dedication and all of the other factors it takes to be an elite Special Operations soldier. Here’s the deal, the reason they call these people “elite” is because very, very, very few people are willing to pay the price necessary to become a Navy SEAL… and the same goes for an organization that wants to become, as one of my clients said in their vision statement, “The intergalactic expert on_______.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I think excellence is, well, excellent. I think that every organization should strive to be the very best they can be. But I also think running an above average business, that is highly profitable, takes great care of their employees, delivers real value to their customers and contributes to their community – is just as excellent.

So don’t stress so much. You don’t have to be the biggest or best in the world, you just need to run a good, solid and sustainably successful business. That is a major accomplishment in and of itself, so be very proud of it.

What are your thoughts?

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Three More GREAT Books!

In this video I recommend three great business books that cover the topics of branding, creativity and innovation. These are excellent books that will give you superb business ideas and expose you to some of the dramatic disruptive innovations that will impact all of us over the next decade. I hope you find value in these recommendations and share this video with anyone you feel might want to read one of these fantastic books.

 

The Brand Flip will not be in full release until August, but you can pre-order it here – which I highly suggest!! Just click on any of the books and it will take you to that book on Amazon.

Click below to find out more about the webinar, I promise it will be highly valuable.

 

CLICK HERE

 

Free Sales Prospecting Webinar

John Spence Named a Top 100 Business Thought Leader

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Trust Across America Names Top 100 Thought Leaders for 2013

Gainesville, FL – January 19, 2013 — John Spence has once again been recognized as one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. This year’s recipients hail from around the globe and include leaders from the public and private sectors as well as authors, consultants, researchers and academics. These people collectively represent an elite group that genuinely transforms the way organizations do business across the world.

According to Barbara Kimmel, the Executive Director of Trust Across America, “The honorees are inspiring organizations to look more closely at their higher purpose…to create greater value for, and trust from, all of their stakeholders. They understand that trust is an asset that can leverage real business gains. We congratulate all of these leaders whose work is shining a spotlight on the importance of trust and providing a roadmap for others to follow.”

JohnSpence with borderTrust Across America publicized and received hundreds of nominations from around the world. The list was narrowed through an extensive vetting and independent judging process. Other recipients of the 2013 Top Thought Leaders award include: Sir Richard Branson – CEO of the Virgin Group, Howard Schultz – CEO of Starbucks, Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos, acclaimed business consultant Ram Charan, internationally renowned author Thomas L. Friedman, and business authors Patrick Lencioni, Tom Peters, Rosabeth M. Kanter and Jim Kouzes.

“I am deeply honored to receive this wonderful distinction for two main reasons,” said John Spence. “First because this award is specifically for fostering trustworthy business behavior, something that has been a major focus of my career, and also because it is incredibly humbling when I look at the other individuals who were also selected as top thought leaders from all over the world.”

In part, Mr. Spence was chosen for this award for his work as an instructor at the highly prestigious Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT and his role in the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

“In the past year I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of executives in America, Asia-Pacific, Canada and the Caribbean on the importance of building organizations that are focused on honesty, integrity and trust,” said Spence. “It is a joy to spend my time helping develop winning organizational cultures that create engagement, loyalty and sustainable business success.”

John Spence is a business improvement expert based in Gainesville, Florida. He is the author of “Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas Into Action” and “Excellence by Design: Leadership – The Six Key Characteristics of Outstanding Leaders. For the past 19 years, Mr. Spence has presented workshops, speeches and executive coaching to more than 300 organizations worldwide including; Microsoft, IBM, GE, Abbott, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, Verizon, Qualcomm, and dozens of private companies, associations and not-for-profits. This is the third time that Mr. Spence has been named a Top 100 Thought Leader and in 2011 Small Business Trends recognized him with an Honorable Mention as a leading Small Business Influencer in America along with Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and Apple.

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