Integrity Service: Book Club Discussion #1

1100408Well, I must begin this post with an apology for the delay with this post.

However, there’s no better time than the present to kick off our first discussion! To read more about what we’re doing with this book club, click here. Please consider the questions below and input your answers on the comments section of this post. Feel free to come up with additional discussion questions too! The more insight we have, the more we’ll learn from each other.

We’ve been reading Integrity Service by Ron Willingham.

While we didn’t specify any reading assignments, I read the first four sections and am planning on discussing them in that number of chunks each week.

Discussion Question 1: Do you agree or disagree with this statement: “It’s your personal growth that will help you advance. It’s more who you are than what you know.” Why? Do you find it challenging to focus on your personal growth while busy at work? How can you make changes to focus more on personal growth?

Discussion Question 2: Just how important is internal customer service at your company? The story of Southwest Airlines is one example that brings up how Ron watched the way the employees interacted with each other. It is also noted that, “The more value you create for internal or external customers, the more valuable you are to them and to your organization.” It helped provide a sense of security in his customer experience. Do you agree with this? How do you feel you can improve internal customer service at your company and enhance the employee experience?

Discussion Question 3: Did you read up to the “Jell-O” experience for one cafeteria worker? How often can we apply this in our daily lives. We may say, “I just answer phones and fix their problems.” But, what are we really doing and how much does it matter to discover a purpose within our daily jobs? To what benefit does having a purpose help us at work? Should we motivate our team to have a purpose? What are the challenges with this?

Leave your comments, questions and answers in the comments on this post and let us know any time if you would be interested in discussing further in one of our Google Plus Hangouts.


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  • Q1: Personal growth, for me, has always included adding to what I know. While I agree with the statement to a certain extent, I also realize that what I define as personal growth it’s somewhat limited. Immediately I head toward the life-of-mind rather than life-of-heart approach. It is challenging to focus on personal growth at work because I don’t want to ask for help. I’m busy being task-focused or “other people focused” so I don’t feel like I am supposed to be focusing on any sort of personal growth during work hours. Do I get paid to personally grow on the job? (rhetorical). If I do want to focus on personal growth, I would need to enlist the people around me. This means choosing to be vulnerable and putting my ego aside. Plus—where do I begin? A self-assessment? A peer-assessment? Personal growth is deep and I am not always willing to excavate.

    • Lara, thanks so much for your honesty here. I’m actually really intrigued by your answer. Let me ask you–you say that it’s challenging to focus on personal growth at work because you “don’t want to ask for help”. Do you find that by not asking for help, this benefits you? Would this be a challenge you’d want to face head on? I gotta admit–back in the day, I had a really hard time with this. I learned though, mostly through talking with my boss and experience with my team (which I did feel vulnerable about), that when delegating the right way, I am actually better at my job than when I try to take on everything and not ask for help. You also bring up a really great point too though–where the heck do you even begin? And, once you do begin, what is going to come up?! I guess the best thing to ask yourself is: Is your current way of doing things benefiting you or are there ways in which you think, fear/vulnerability aside, you could change to be more productive and feel more satisfied at work?

  • Discussion Question 1: If you would have asked me this question 10 years ago, I probably would have thought it IS about what you know rather than who you are. But now, after having some experience diving deep into the personal growth/customer service/business world of things, my eyes have been opened up to it is more about who you are than what you know. Obviously, you have to know your job–but if you’re a person who has the strong foundation of dedication and motivation to do your job as well as the ability to ask questions when you don’t know the answers–you can learn anything you want and stay inspired on a regular basis.

    • A quote that stuck out to me on page 71 was “If you have only a career purpose, you’ll ultimately discover an emptiness that leaches out your overall sense of worth, happiness and meaning. Workaholics bear this out, and brokenness is left in their wake. Their exteriors and success trappings thinly veil a deeper emptiness.”

      That reminds me of the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective people and the importance of sharpening our saw. We have to continue to grow and develop ourselves and think about the big picture in our lives once in a while.

  • Discussion Question 2: The worst job I ever had, I didn’t hate it because I hated the job itself (I worked at a pizza kitchen at an amusement park restaurant) but rather I hated it because the management and the team members were “experience killers” so to say–it was a place where we were trained and treated like crud. I quit after one month. Internal customer service is something that is so ridiculously important. It all begins with creating a culture where people want to go to work every day. It doesn’t matter what the job is…it could be picking up elephant dung at the zoo…but if you have the backing of a strong management team, a positive work environment and the appreciation for your team, you are going to have a stronger and more productive team as well as a happy place to work.

    • I know this isn’t a perfect answer to your question but I really, really loved his story about the hardware store. I’ve often said my ideal job is being a Walmart greeter but I would like to rather be a greeter at that hardware store in Texas. There’s a real sense that they are creating value for their customers. From an internal standpoint, how could would it be to work for a company where the people on the front lines are WOWing customers as they enter the door. It makes everyone else’s job that much easier. How can we wow our customers better right from the start?

  • Discussion Question 3: I absolutely LOVE the Jell-O story. I struggled with this a lot back in the day–just trying to figure out that purpose at work, in all the jobs I had. I knew customer service was important but also (and perhaps this is selfish) wanted to have an internal feeling of purpose for myself to continue to stay inspired. Some people might consider this the, “Go ahead and keep telling yourself that” scenario. I tell myself that there is a purpose for what I’m doing–and I stay motivated at work, dedicated to my job and to my team.

    • Great story and great example that in any job, we can choose to see it with a great sense or purpose or we can choose to be miserable. It seems like we don’t have a choice for the latter but we do. We must keep seeking to find ways to see how our jobs can make a difference in the lives of others and fixate on those things!

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