Are they really that Soft…

Values

Decency

Thoughtfulness

Appreciation

Design

Beauty

Saying Thank You with meaning, intent and regularity

Giving gifts

Listening

Strategic listening – customers, the market and damn well everything in-between

Managing by Wandering About (MBWA) – note: don’t stand over others when you speak to them

Being cheery

Enthusiasm

Having a sense of humour

Sucking down

Communicating, communicating, communicating

Ignoring the vanity metrics just long enough to know if you are doing more than just your job (super-pleasing or whatever label you want to adhere to)

Customer service [service being the operative word]?

Of course, it would be easy to decry all of these and revert to the hard numbers: profit and loss, return on capital, earnings, profit – net and gross, cash is king (and some more…) and a whole slew of charts, graphs and pretty diagrams.

Getting the balance right is job #1 for any leader worth his or her salt.

Don’t forget, wherever your gaze is fixed, most of the (soft) elements are free. A smile, a thank you and a kind listening ear and especially knowing when to say sorry cost nothing.

Make sure that whatever agenda you set, you don’t lose sight of what is really important.

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