Creating a Memory
“The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matt 23:11).
Ken Blanchard, the author of the One Minute Manager, once shared a story about what can happen when individuals in a company model servant leadership, no matter where they are on the totem pole.
A business consultant was training more than 3000 employees of a mid-western grocery chain to approach their jobs with a goal of creating a memory for their customers. She stated that “this is what will distinguish your store from all others.”
Johnny was a 19-year old bag boy that had down-syndrome. His first response to the consultant’s suggestion was “I’m just a ‘bag boy.'” Nevertheless, he went home and shared what the consultant said with his mother. They began to ponder the consultant’s words about how he could create a memory for his customers. Johnny had a habit of collecting inspirational thoughts that he would often read. He decided he would begin printing these sayings and place one in each of the bags of his customers. When customers came through the line he would place the sayings in their bag and say, “I’ve included some of my favorite sayings in your bag in hopes it will encourage you today. Thanks for shopping with us.”
After just a few weeks, an amazing thing began to happen. One day the store manager noticed that all the customers were lined up at only one cashier station when there were other stations open. He began to panic, thinking the other stations were broken. After further investigation he found this was not the case. Actually, customers wanted to come through Johnny’s line in order to get his saying of the day.
One woman came up to the manager and said, “I used to come to the store only once a week, but now I come everyday!” Johnny’s example spread to other departments in the store. The florist began giving a flower to each florist customer. The meat department put Snoopy stickers on each meat order with a special greeting. This one act by a bag boy changed the entire climate of the store.*
How can you create a memory for someone in your workplace today? Jesus was all about creating memories.
*Ken Blanchard, presentation made at 2004 His Presence in the Workplace conference, San Antonio, TX, 2005