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Happy (post) Labor Day, a long weekend traditionally filled with barbecues and burgers.

Having spent many years living in the same community it’s been interesting to observe the polar opposite leadership “styles” of two competing businesses, the local butcher shops.

These are the “rules” established by Shopkeeper #1:

  • No we will not skin your chicken
  • No we will not cut steaks to order
  • No we will not provide extra marinade
  • No we will not break up that package of bratwurst

The list of “no’s is never ending and the butchers are usually (except for one) rude, pretending they have never seen you before.

And these are the “rules” established by Shopkeeper #2:

The customer is always greeted by a warm smile and usually by their first name, followed by a sincere interest in the family.  And ordering is a breeze.

  • You want the chicken skinned, of course!
  • You want the steak sliced thin, no problem!
  • Take a jar of marinade on us.
  • How many bratwurst do you want?

Is it any surprise that people line up to do business with Shopkeeper #2? What are his secrets? I know a few of them:

  • The customer always comes first.
  • Employees are paid well.
  • Working hard and showing commitment will earn you a piece of his business.

Regardless of the kind of organization, the leader sets the tone. Core values are either established or they aren’t. Which kind of butcher are you? Will you skin the chicken?

In your opinion what is the bigger issue in your organization?

That’s the question we are asking in this month’s Trust Quest. Your response is important and it won’t take more than 30 seconds. Here’s the link:


Thank you so much for weighing in.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World


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