Learning from the university of the customer and the co-worker – Interview with Kevin Kelly

Learning from Each Other

Today’s interview is with Kevin Kelly, is a leading authority on the success principles of entrepreneurship, leadership, sales and motivation. Already a best selling author, he joins me today to talk about his new book: DO! – The pursuit of xceptional execution.

This interview follows on from my recent interview: Deliver great customer experience by including your customers – Interview with Mark Hurst of Creative Good – and is number seventy eight in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

Here are the highlights of the interview with Kevin:

DO! – The pursuit of xceptional execution.

  • He’s just written his second book called‘DO! – The pursuit of xceptional execution
  • Kevin is fascinated by what makes people and businesses ‘tick’.
  • The book is a culmination of 23 years research.
  • Kevin has found that the people and businesses that succeed are that ones that DO! – that execute. As opposed to those that think about things too much or over analyse things.
  • When you have an idea, Kevin has learnt the following through his research: Do not put down the pros and cons on a piece of paper. We can always find enough ideas not to do something.
  • Do! doesn’t mean do anything. It means execution based on two pillars: (Self) Awareness and Attention
  • If you have a business idea, we need to realise that we are operating in an attention deficit society. Therefore, your strategy should be built around how can we deliver quality attention to both our clients and co-workers.
  • If you are a leader or manager in a business then you are the culture creator. Therefore, you have got to know who you are.
  • Also, one of the problems in business is not solving problems, it’s seeing problems. And, that is where awareness and self-awareness comes into the equation.
  • The most important attribute a leader should develop is self-awareness.
  • Preparing for or saving for a rainy day can often be a waste of time.
  • The average attention span of someone these days is 8 secs. Therefore, we have to generate engaging customer experiences.
  • (Self) awareness and change is all about an individual or an organisation’s willingness to learn.
  • Ego is the only thing that gets in the way of us learning from everyone.
  • Learning from the university of the customer and the co-worker.
  • Tom Peters said the following about Kevin’s book: “Now I can retire in peace. Kevin Kelly has written the book I always wanted to write. And he’s done to the point of perfection–call it xceptional execution. Even the all-time best title: Do! Ah, Kevin, what a gift!”
  • Kevin’s book is full of case studies of companies that put xceptional execution into practice. These include interviews and case studies with Asthma Care, Balsamiq, Blow Dry Bar, Business Model You, Dwolla, Globant, Outfit7, Unislim and We Demand.
  • Kevin recounts research that he found that was published in the early 2000s that found that 88% of the breakthrough companies in the US, over the previous decade, were created as a result of exceptional execution of an ordinary idea. They were not aha! moments or new inventions.
  • “Business isn’t rocket science. It’s about recruiting the right people and don’t be an asshole!”
  • Research shows that all customers leave. Even satisfied customers. However, they are less likely to leave the better the relationship, or friendship (as Kevin refers to it – we agreed to disagree on the semantics), that you have with them.
  • “You have got to infuse character into each of your outputs”. This means that we need to set standards for each touchpoint that we have with our customers and co-workers and aim to exceed them.
  • For success to happen and for you to achieve exceptional execution you need to deliver quality attention to your customer and co-worker.
  • But to facilitate that you have to start with yourself to make sure that you are trying to be the right sort of person or leader to make that success happen.
  • Use your intuition. Use it more and more and, like a muscle, it will get better.
  • Knowledge will always give you enough reasons to act. Get rid of the idea killer in your head and use your intuition.
  • Always be learning form everyone and everything.

About Kevin (adapted from his LinkedIn profile)

Kevin Kelly Kevin Kelly is a leading authority on the success principles of entrepreneurship, leadership, sales and motivation.

Raised among a small entrepreneurial family retail business, he has been selling and negotiating, listening to and serving customers from a very young age. After graduating from University College Galway with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1987, he proceeded to break sales record in each of the companies he worked for in the construction and manufacturing industries. In 1990 he started his company, Advanced Marketing Ltd.

He’s always been fascinated by what makes people tick, little surprise then that he is now seen as a human behavior expert. Kevin coined the phrase “Xceptionalize”, which challenges organisations and individuals to focus upon the exceptional execution of those activities that really contribute the most to success.

Kevin actively keynotes at corporate meetings and conferences throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. From Fortune 500 companies to prestigious associations (e.g. The Million Dollar Round Table), local chambers of commerce to national investment and growth promotion agencies and more, he’s presented to diverse audiences.

Do grab a copy of the book: DO! – The pursuit of xceptional execution. You should also check out Kevin’s site: www.kevinkellyunlimited.com, follow him on Twitter @kkunlimited and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Thanks to Linda for the image.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review Adrian, I’ll have a look at the book.

    It strikes me that the funny thing about “Doing” is that you never know where it will take you, but it is sure to take you somewhere.

    James

  2. Hello Adrian,
    I enjoyed reading Kevin’s last book and I look forward to reading his newest book. In your write up many points resonated with me, in particular:

    - For success to happen and for you to achieve exceptional execution you need to deliver quality attention to your customer and co-worker.
    - But to facilitate that you have to start with yourself to make sure that you are trying to be the right sort of person or leader to make that success happen.

    Which brings be back to the words of Gandhi:

    “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

    MAz

  3. Adrian,

    Thanks for sharing yet another great interview. Really enjoyed this one. Love what he means by DO – to just do it (apologies to Nike), to execute and don’t over-analyze. Analyzing is OK, as it helps us to make smart decisions. but we shouldn’t get lost in that, such that we are paralyzed and do nothing. And I like how he explained Attention and Awareness… both are huge. Makes sense to me!

    Annette :-)

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  1. […] interview follows on from my recent interview: Learning from the university of the customer and the co-worker – Interview with Kevin Kelly – and is number seventy nine in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders […]

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