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Three Words: Simplified, Accountable and Focused

I’m always looking for inspiration and ideas to help me, and our entire company, do a better job of providing the best possible products and services to our customers. One way I do so: I read a number of other blogs on various topics: the industries we serve, leadership, customer service, and general business advice, among others. I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about getting 2013 off to a good start. Some of the favorites I read this month are these from Mark Miller, Beth Kanter, and Dan McCarthy.

In particular, I liked the idea of picking some words that serve as leadership themes for the year in order to guide my efforts and goal-setting. So, I followed their advice. The words I selected are Simplify, Accountable, and Focus.

Simplified: I feel like I can devote more of my effort and attention to simplifying the processes that impact our customers, as well as do my part to further improve our products, in order to make them easy to use and easy to learn, which is part of our mission statement. I feel like we’re going to make a lot of additional progress in this area in 2013, as we have some exciting things planned, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Accountable: Accountability is obviously important. While I do my best to ensure there’s accountability for our performance and results within the departments I oversee, and our team does a great job, that’s not what I’m referring to here. I want to be more accountable to myself to make sure that I’m working on the right issues. It can be easy to lose sight of that at times, especially if you’re having a particularly busy day. And, of course, we always need to be accountable to our customers.

Focused: There are probably a million things that I, as well as my colleagues, could do to improve some aspect of our business. But, in order to make progress on the first two words, it is going to be important to focus on what can really make the most positive difference for our customers.

I feel like these words do a good job of conveying what I’d like to achieve over the next 12 months in order to benefit all of our customers. What are your three words for 2013?

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