The old way of doing business, including the adherence to mandatory rules and policies, is dead. People expect you to work with them, understand their position, and help them make the best out of the work- life balance they crave. Before I spend the rest of this chapter addressing the extremely different work culture and employee expectations that have become more prevalent throughout the last two decades, I want to offer some sage advice that my personal coach for the past five years, James Malinchak, offered about the necessity of noticing, accepting, and rising to the changes that require us to be flexible.
James is one of the most requested motivational and business keynote speakers in America, and was featured on the ABC hit TV show Secret Millionaire. “The old type of style of business that was more cut- throat…and that usually occurs at the expense of others, will become obsolete,” he told me. “I believe there is a new revolution happening—a realization that we are not here to be takers of others; that ‘making a sale’ means taking from the customer.”5
James then used the metaphor of a bib being placed underneath us when we are born, programming us that we should go through life being “fed” by others, taking from their mouths for our own satiation. But, he says, in order to get ahead in today’s business world, we have to change that by removing the bib from under our chins and placing it over our fore- arms, becoming a servant of others, having the flexibility to change our beliefs about business, and constantly consider how can we serve our prospects and clients. He does all of this by using a system called AME.
“A stands for ‘how do I add value?’ M asks how we can make a difference; E inspires us to consider how to enrich lives. If we approach business with this mindset, we move away from the me-versus-the- customers mentality and spend energy and focus on adding value, making a difference, and enriching the people we come in contact with.”6
Customers are used to getting inflexibility, of buying something and not hearing back, of needing some- thing and not getting it, of leaving dissatisfied. Even James has been a victim of this inability to service. “I just paid over $5,000 for something 30 days ago, and haven’t yet received my order. I am flexible and reasonable that things happen in shipping, but the problem is my calls have gone unreturned and I can- not find out where my merchandise is. They are not serving; they are taking.”