page title icon 275: Annette Franz – Customer-Centric Leadership and Culture

Annette Franz Show Notes Page

With the current pandemic going on, Annette Franz goes through this difficult situation with the help of her two teenage boys who lives together with her and shares some quality time with each other.

Annette grew up on a farm in West Salem, Ohio. She is an animal lover through and through and, as a young girl, had dreams of becoming of a veterinarian. An intense dislike for Chemistry courses, of which six were required to get into vet school, and a severe fainting reaction to the sight of blood woke her up from that dream. After completing three years of Animal Science study at Ohio State University, she moved to southern California and completed her degree in management at California State University.

Her love of math and writing came into play when she saw a posting for a position with J.D. Power and Associates, and 25+ years of career progression through a variety of firms on both vendor and client sides later, she continues to call this customer experience space home.

In 2011, she started her blog at CX Journey as a way to share her passion for all things customer experience, to help companies not only understand the importance of the employee experience and its role in delivering an exceptional customer experience but also transform their cultures to ensure the customer is at the center of every conversation.

In 2017, after having more fun working on side projects than her day job, Annette became the founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc., a customer experience strategy consulting firm. She helps executives in client organizations develop customer-centric cultures where employees and customers are put before all else.

Annette is also the 2020 Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) after previously serving as Vice-Chair and Treasurer. She is also an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for successful business and career coaches. And, finally, she is an Advisory Board Member for CX@Rutgers.

Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, and keynote speaker. She is also the author of, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business).

For fun, she loves writing, working out, running, going to the movies and sporting events, playing at the beaches of Southern California, traveling, and hanging out with her boys.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @annettefranz to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“If you focus on what it takes to move the needle then you will do things differently.” – Click to Tweet

“The purpose of a business is to create and nurture the customer.” – Click to Tweet

“If we focus on the people (employee and customer), profit and shareholder value merely becomes an outcome.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s all about the people. Customers are human-beings, not just numbers.” – Click to Tweet

“We need to listen in order to understand what the customer needs and wants.” – Click to Tweet

“You need to get into the heart and mind of your customer if you want to understand them.” – Click to Tweet

“When we know what’s in the customer’s head and what’s in their heart, then we can design an experience for it.” – Click to Tweet

“The important thing for businesses is to remember that people are at the core of the business, whether it’s customers or employees.” – Click to Tweet

“Customer needs have changed and will continue to change.” – Click to Tweet

“Serve your customers in a way that they deserve to be served.” – Click to Tweet

“You get what you allow.” – Click to Tweet

“Customer-centric culture is one that is deliberately designed to put the people first.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

With the current pandemic going on, Annette Franz goes through this difficult situation with the help of her two teenage boys who lives together with her and shares some quality time with each other.

Advice for others

Have your tribe.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Fear of the unknown.

Best Leadership Advice

Take care of your people. Put your people first.

Secret to Success

I’m organized and I live by my calendar.

Best tools in business or life

My calendar.

Recommended Reading

Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business)

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Contacting Annette Franz






CX Journey Resource Page:

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay. Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have a few rare moments today to share with you and one of them being is that I have Annette Franz back on the show.

Jim Rembach (00:10):

Uh, so that, that’s a rare moment, meaning that, um, I don’t have a lot of repeat guests and so this is one of my favorite people and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy what we’re going to talk about today because it’s very apropos to things that are going on now. But a net Fronz grew up on a farm in West Salem, Ohio. She’s an animal lover through and through and as a young girl had dreams of becoming a veterinarian and intense dislike for chemistry courses of which six were required to get into vet school and a severe fainting reaction to the sight of blood or woke her from that dream. After completing three years of animal science study at Ohio state university, she moved to Southern California and completed her degree in management at California state university. Her love of math and writing came into play when she saw a posting for a position with JD power and associates.

Jim Rembach (00:55):

And 25 years of career progression through a variety of firms on both vendor and client size. Later she continues to call this customer experience space home. In 2011 she started her blog at CX journey as a way to share her passion for all things customer experience to help companies not only understand the importance of the employee experience and its role in delivering an exceptional customer experience but also to transform their cultures to ensure the customer is at the center of every conversation in 2017 after having more fun on side projects than her day job and that became the founder and CEO of CX journey inc a customer experience strategy consulting firm. She helps executives and client organizations develop customer centric cultures where employees and customers are put before all else and that is also the 2020 chairwoman of the board of directors for the customer experience professionals association, the CSPA after previously serving as vice chair and treasurer.

Jim Rembach (01:51):

She is also an official member of the Forbes coaches council, an invitation only community for successful business and career coaches. And finally she is an advisory board member for C X at Rutgers. A net was named one of the top 100 most influential tech women on Twitter by business insider and is an internationally recognized customer experience, thought leader, coach and keynote speaker. She is also the author of customer understanding three ways to put the customer in customer experience and at the heart of your business. For fun. She loves writing, working out, running, going to the movies and sporting events, playing on the beaches of Southern California, traveling and hanging out with the boys. And that bronze. Are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Annette Franz (02:31):

I am ready. Let’s do this. Thank you so much for having me again. Again, I’m back again. This is Austin. And as we talked about before we came on a video,

Jim Rembach (02:41):

you didn’t do video last time. We did audio last time. I know we didn’t. So you’re right. So you were back in episode 39. Um, and we added on to that bio. But you still have that issue associated with things that are, uh, not gonna allow you to be still a veterinarian veterinarian. But you know, you also added the book, you’ve added a lot of other experiences in regards to working with client organizations. You know, I just had the opportunity to see you be a keynote speaker at a conference before this Coban 19. We’re going to talk a little bit about that and the customer experience, but I really wanted to get into your book because I really enjoyed reading it. Also, you give some awesome tools that we’re also going to put on your show notes page as well. But you talk about three ways in order to be able to put the customer actually on the customer experience. And you talk about, listen, characterize and empathize, but you mentioned there are four reasons businesses actually struggle with delivering the experience. Customers desire. What are those four?

Annette Franz (03:48):

Yeah, you’re going to test me. You’re going to test me. It’s a good thing I wrote them down before. Um, you know, first of all I want to say I love your backdrop there, but thank you for putting the book up behind you. I actually have a poster of the book on the wall behind me, but my office is very not conducive to being on video with, with light and whatnot from windows back here. So, but um, but thank you for that. Um, so the four ways, so, um, and I’ll try to keep it short cause we could spend the whole time talking about just these four ways, right? So the first one is this thing called the CX perception gap and it’s about that vein statistic from 2005 80% of executives bleed. They deliver a superior experience and only 8% of customers free. And you know, those numbers have shifted a little bit, but it’s really the reasons behind that that are the problem.

Annette Franz (04:39):

Right? And I’ll go into them in detail, but the first one is, is like a focus on growth, growth, growth, right? At the cost of retention, retention, retention. So when we focus on bringing customers in over focusing on retention, we do things like offer discounts, promotions, freebies, you know, those kinds of things that are really just designed to bring customers in. But then we forget that we actually need to focus on keeping them. And then the second reason behind that is, um, an ad nauseum focus on data and metrics and especially the metrics and the main offenders here. You know, this started back in the days when I was at JD power associates where the car dealerships were saying, you know, Hey, I’ll give you a free Sam’s club membership, a free oil change. I’ll give you my firstborn, whatever. But please, please, please, please, please rate me a 10 out of 10 on the survey that you’re going to get.

Annette Franz (05:30):

And that company is not focusing on its employees and they’re not focusing on their customers either, right? Because if they were, they wouldn’t be so driven by moving that metric. And I always like to say that if you focus on, on what it takes to move the needle and then you do things differently and you do different things and if you focus on improving the experience. So that’s the first one. Like I said, we could talk at this whole time about the four. So the second one is misplaced purpose. So this one goes back to the old management adage. Um, purpose of a business is, is to create a nurture customer. I’m sorry. Wait. The purpose of a business is to maximize shareholder value. I just got ahead of myself there. The old adage is the purpose of the business is maximize shareholder value, but the purpose of the business really is, as Drucker says, to um, create a nurture the customer, the focus there needs to be on the, if we focus on the people, the numbers will come, right?

Annette Franz (06:26):

I think that’s the bottom line, right? We focus on the people, we focus on employees and we focus on customers. Shareholder value, profits and shareholder value are an outcome. I think that’s so weak. So it’s not a purpose but an outcome. Um, the third one is, uh, around a misplaced focus on acquisition over retention. And talked a little bit about this already, but I go into a little bit more detail on that one because there really needs to be more of a balance that it can’t just be all acquisition. And I have actually three clients who are CRS, chief revenue officers. Um, and that’s unique because you would think that the folks who had come to me or to any other consultant, cause for experience consult would be CCOs or you know, CMOs who need help with their CX strategies. But these three are CRS, they’re overseeing sales and all that that entails.

Annette Franz (07:16):

And what sparked then is the realization that we spent all this time and effort bringing customers, new customers into the fold, but we don’t focus on how we keep them and we don’t even look at retention numbers. And one of them had, you know, went from, Oh my gosh, we just suddenly looked at retention numbers and went, what are we doing? You know, this is, this is insane. So, and then the fourth one is really, um, about forgetting that there are humans involved, forgetting that customers are not account numbers for getting that this is really about the people and, and I think that’s a really important one. So those are, those are the four in a nutshell.

Jim Rembach (07:57):

Well, and, and I, and you know, you also talk, I mean, so part of that, you know, you in the book you talk about forgetting the customer’s human, and I’m going to get into that for a moment as well. But part of this is that reference that you make to an insight out in an organization’s thinking and what prohibits them to actually delivering that exceptional customer experience. So if you could elaborate a little bit more on inside out and then what needs to happen.

Annette Franz (08:24):

So inside out is really when a business, when, when leaders within the business, within, when people within the business think that they know what’s best for the business and think that they know what’s best for the customer and they, they develop products, they develop services, everything that they do is based on what they think is best. They don’t listen to the customer. And if they do, they don’t actually use that data or that feedback or any of it to too. I always like to say, and this is the flip side of it, right? The outside in the customer approaches, no discussions, no decisions, no designs without bringing the voice of the customer, without bringing the customer voice into it and ask them, well, how will this impact or how will this make her feel? What value will it add? What, what problems will it help her solve?

Annette Franz (09:09):

And so, um, so yeah, so that’s, and here’s a way to know if your businesses is thinking inside out. When you sit around the table, and this actually happened at a, at a client meeting back in January, sit around a table and you are talking about the customer experience and the customer and the business and everything. And you say, I think the customer, we think the customer, no, no, no, no, no. I told them, I said, every time you say I think the customer wants or I think the customer says or does this, I said, put a dollar in the jar on the table. Every time you say that because what you need to do is say, we know the customer does says wants whatever because we listen and cause because we understand

Jim Rembach (09:48):

or just like you’re saying is if we have not listened and we do not understand, we’re flipping it into a question, you know what would, and they are exploring that because I would dare to say that mindset is one of the most prevalent things that I even run into. I, you and I had a conversation about something. I put together an email campaign for somebody where we were really focusing in on webinar registrations and somebody was complaining about the message in it saying that it was too contrarian and you know, the word was worried about the tone and yet that one had a 37% higher click through rate than any of the others. So it’s like, Hey, the data just speaks for it. It’s not, I’m not marketing to you. You’re already registered. Right. And you’re part of the organization. It’s somebody who’s not.

Annette Franz (10:34):

That happens more often than not, unfortunately. Yeah.

Jim Rembach (10:37):

Okay. So when you start talking about the foundations, in order to do that flip and the foundations for organizations to have a CX transformation that is successful, you mentioned several things in the book. You talk about the executive conviction and commitment, culture, mission, vision, purpose, brand promise, leadership alignment, CX governance, which we haven’t talked a whole lot about. Um, organizational adoption and alignment, customer understanding and an employee experience and then the CX vision and strategy. So I think that kind of surmised everything that you’ve talked about at this point. But when you talk about characterizing customers, you know, you talk about using empathy maps and really connection, connecting emotionally. And so me, myself, I’m certified as an emotional intelligence practitioner and empathy mapping is one of the really one of my favorite tools that I use for, you know, marketing and lead generation and you know, service, you know, sales. But from your perspective, where do you see value in using something like empathy mapping?

Annette Franz (11:37):

Well, I think it’s, so, you know, and I think we’ll get to talking about the three ways to put the customer, customer experience, listen, characterize and empathize. And I think it’s really empathy, maps cover both characterize and empathize. And when I talk about, I talk about personas, really understanding who your customers are and getting into the head and the heart of your customers, right? And those empathy maps will help you do just that when you want, when you want to really understand your customers and who they are. Just having personas that tell you, you know, their demographics and their brand preferences and why they buy and what they buy, that’s, that’s, that doesn’t help us. That doesn’t help us really design an experience for customers. But when we know what’s in their head and what’s in their heart, what their pain points are, what problems are trying to solve, what there’s hearing and what they’re saying and what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling, what we know, all of that. And then what we know that they would like to say and what we know that they’d like to feel as they interact and transact, transact with our brands, then we can design an experience for them. I think it’s such an important tool in such an important process, um, to use within the CX design toolkit because again, you will have such a depth of understanding of your customers that you will be able to design an experience that’s, that’s for your customer, not certainly not inside out and definitely outside in so

Jim Rembach (13:00):

well, okay. So you know, and you talk about journey mapping, uh, as a tool to help you, you know, implement an organization shift and you know, do the three things, listen, characterize and empathize, right? In order to be able to have that customer and that, that, that viewpoint of the customer come into the organization and be front and center. And so the six steps for journey mapping and you’re talking about plan, empathize, identify, introspect, ideate and implement. Of course you go into great detail on those in the book. But for me, when I look at this, I, I, it seems to me like empathize, introspect, and ideate seemed to be the most difficult of all in those particular steps. So, but of those, of those three, which one do you think is the most challenging for organizations?

Annette Franz (13:50):

Well, I think in a way that they are all challenging, right. In their own respects. But the one that I think is especially challenging and I’ll say, and it’s really maybe not even challenging, it’s more, um, that people don’t do it and they don’t, or if they do, they don’t go into enough depth detail is um, uh, the, I identify or I’m sorry, not the identify the introspect. So introspect is such an important part and introspect is really about, um, the service blueprints, creating the service blueprint and that’s all about that surface to core view. You know, the, the journey map is telling us what’s happening above, above the fold, what’s happening in front of the business. People call it onstage, right? It’s, it’s the things that the customer sees and experiences and feels and does as they go on this journey. But the service blueprint is the surface core view of what’s actually supporting and facilitating what’s helping to create that experience. And so it’s such important step because it allows us to get to the root of the problem. It allows us to get to the heart of the problem of where the experience is breaking, breaking down for your customers. And a lot of folks don’t even do that. So I call that the most challenging one just because I think most people don’t even know what that is. And if they do, they probably aren’t going into the right level of detail to get to the real heart of, of the problem.

Jim Rembach (15:15):

Okay. So you bring up a really interesting point because I’m thinking for me in a lot of times I’m taking all the things that we’re learning here and pulling these into the call center coach leadership Academy where we help to develop leadership skills or frontline leaders. And, and so for me as you’re talking, I’m starting to think about it isn’t necessarily the why we’re doing the things that we’re doing. It’s, you know, the things that are helping us do it. And then we don’t necessarily go back in and look and analyze that in a way by which we can essentially maybe even get more out of those tools. Um, you know, maybe understand the gaps between the way things are designed and the way that we’re using them. I mean all of those things. It’s like, so to me it’s like, okay, yeah we’ve been doing it this way forever, but not asking the question, but should we,

Annette Franz (16:06):

exactly. Exactly. And that’s why, you know, Ida is the next step because when we ideate, that’s the future state. Right? And that’s the ideal. Pardon the pond. But the ideal time to ask those questions, well should we keep doing that? Clearly it’s broken for the customer. It’s, it’s, or it’s delivering a painful friction, full experience for the, for the customer. Should we really be doing it this way? And yeah, I think that’s, so it’s really hard to answer your question now. Which of those three is the most challenging? Cause they kind of all, they all flow together, right? And so if I just say, if you start off wrong in terms of empathizing and if you don’t have the right people in the room, if you, and you have to have customers in the room when you’re mapping the customer journey, if you don’t have the right people in the room and you’re not mapping correctly, if you’re not capturing what the customer’s doing, thinking and feeling, at the very least, then you’re not journey mapping and you can’t be sitting around with a bunch of people just creating what we think we’re calling assumptive maps.

Annette Franz (17:04):

Those assumptive mapping sessions typically devolve into process maps or just internal use of what we think the customer is experiencing. The assumptive maps are also, you know, I think it’s a good place to start if you, if you need to start somewhere, but you’ve got to get out and validate with customers. You’ve got to talk to the customers about what the experience truly is.

Jim Rembach (17:26):

You know, as we’re sitting here talking and it’s, you know, for you and I recording this, it’s April 17th and we’re in the midst of this lockdown that’s been going on essentially globally. I started thinking about all these journey maps, I started thinking about all this customer empathy and how it has just so dramatically shifted. So you and I had also talked about, you know, transformation, CX transformation, digital transformations, all, I mean I think all of that has just been absolutely thrown into disarray. And right now companies are going through, you said the five levels of uh, um, actually grief or whatever. Talk about that a little bit in how it plays into the customer experience.

Annette Franz (18:03):

You know, don’t ask me what the five levels are cause I don’t know, but, but I, but I think you, you started off with sort of where, where businesses are today versus where they were a month ago when we went on lockdown, right? A month ago it was sort of like, and it was sort of, pardon my French, but it was sort of that Oh shit moment. And suddenly you just put your hands down and go or throw your hands up and go, I dunno. We’re going to do, we’re going to, we’re just going to collapse. We’re just going to fold. And I think as, as time has evolved, people have said, okay, well a, we can’t fold. So now we’ve got to figure out what we gotta do. And I think there are a lot of businesses are in sort of that, but what do we do now stage, you know, and, and really trying to figure out, some have pivoted bastard and others and have had to because you know, they’re, they’re now making PPPs or they’re, you know, ventilators or hand sanitizer or whatever they’re doing that they didn’t do before.

Annette Franz (18:54):

Uh, but others who are not doing those kinds of things will really have to figure out how to pivot or change their business too. And maybe it’s not their product or whatever it is, but it’s the how, how do we do it? And it’s going to be different going forward. You know, it’s, it’s whether we’re all working from home or whatever it is, people are, I think that’s the stage that companies are in now. And they’re probably, if we think about it, you and I could probably come up with five stages here, but if we think about it once there, they’ve gone through this, okay, now that we’re know that we’re, we can’t die, but we’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do instead or how we’re going to do things differently and they move into the next phase to implement and start to go through that process of, but there is, I think there are those, I think each of us individually have gone through those five phases of whatever our grief is during this period and how we handle the crisis and how we handle what’s happening to us.

Annette Franz (19:48):

Whether you know, you’ve lost your job or you’ve lost, you know, 80% of your business or whatever it is. We’ve all sort of had to go through those phases. And I think the important thing for businesses, for me as I think about this is that this is a great reminder that people really are at the core of our business, whether it’s employees and how do we take care of our employees or its customers. And how do we, how do we, you know, you know, you probably got this swarm of emails at the beginning where everybody was just like, Hey, I’m here to help you. I don’t need help from you. I don’t know why you’re even emailing me. I’d never heard from you ever. Why are you emailing me to now the messages are, you know, some, some brands have gone back to just the usual advertising email messages, you know, but here’s how you can purchase online and sort of gone that direction where others have continued to, you know, the airlines have continued to keep people posted on what this means for the business and what it means for your loyalty programs. You know, your frequent flyer miles and, and canceled flights and changes and all those kinds of things. So some of those messages have definitely evolved from day one when, when it was just, you know, verbal diarrhea all over us. But now it’s become more about employees and customers. And so I think that’s my point through all of that is really that this is a good reminder that the people are at the core of the business. And that’s one of the major takeaways that I hope that businesses take as we come out of this.

Jim Rembach (21:15):

Well in as you’re talking, I even start thinking that you know, more and more organizations are going to need your help and work. Uh, because first of all their journey maps, if they ever did it, were just totally in disarray. If they weren’t, you know, doing it effectively before. And you know, you talk, you talk about that study from Esteban and only 2% of organizations, although 34% that actually did, you know, any type of journey mapping had success with it is that Hey, I need to get better at it. But then also I think being able to understand what a future state looks like takes a dramatically different perspective than it has in the past. Because otherwise organizations, I think we’re really just doing and creating a glorified operational plan with our journey mapping. Hey, we’ll get incrementally better. But now I think people are going to be looking to, Hey, well it’s a whole new world that could happen.

Annette Franz (22:04):

Yeah. You know, it customers are customers, customers are always really important to have in those future state mapping workshops and they’re even more so now because customers are, needs have changed and will continue to change as we continue to go through this, you know, um, and then employees will be really important to have in those future state service blueprints because the way we do business internally, the things that we do internally to create those, um, those experiences different. You know, yesterday I had called my, um, my mortgage company something, you know, I had, it had to do with my escrow account and stuff and, and the first rep couldn’t help me, so she escalated me to the second rep and when she got, you could tell the second one, I don’t know where the first one was, but you could tell clearly. The second one was working from home.

Annette Franz (22:52):

I was on a speaker phone. It sounded like she was in a cave somewhere. Every other word broke up. And I was like, wow, okay, yes we are. But clearly did did, did the bank or the lender not provide her with the equipment that she needs to work from home to serve our customers the way that they deserve to be served. And so some employees will be really important to that service blueprint exercise as well because they need to have input. You know, they need to let their employers know that I just don’t have what I need to, you know, and I love using that phrase, serve my customers the way that they deserve to be served because that’s what employees tell me when I interview employees at the beginning of an engagement. That’s what those are, the words they use and those are powerful.

Jim Rembach (23:37):

They are. And so on the show we often talk some talk about favorite quotes that we like because at this time we definitely need inspiration, things to help us focus.

Annette Franz (23:46):

And you just shared one there. But is there another one that you like that you can actually present to us? This is one that that comes up a lot lately and I think this is a really important one and this is about culture. This is such, it cause culture right now is your anchor, your culture that you had before is what’s going to get you through this and continue taking you on into years ahead, right? If your culture was not good before, it’s certainly, it’s not helping you right now. Right? And so there’s a quote out there, something along the lines of I’ve bastardized it I guess for lack of a better words, something along. It’s something along the lines of the culture. You get what you allow basically you get what you allow and I think it’s important that customer centric culture and people centric culture is one that is deliberately designed to be that way.

Annette Franz (24:39):

One that’s deliberately designed to put the people first put the people at the heart of the business, right? And so I think that’s really important. So you get what you allow. If you allow, if you allow your employees to do things that are not aligned with your values or your brand promise or those kinds of things and you don’t, I don’t want to use the word punish, but if you don’t correct course correct, then that’s going to evolve and continue to be the way that your businesses and your culture is going to be. So I love that hope. So you know, you get what you allow talking about course correction. A lot of times we have to do that because the things that we’ve learned, right. We talked about getting over the hump on the show now it’s been five years or so since story.

Annette Franz (25:17):

Could you share one that has happened in the interim to help us all get over the hump? Oh my gosh, you didn’t prep me for this. I know. Um, let’s see. Can I, can I share a personal one? Absolutely. Right. This is like this and this is a good one. This is a, this is a happy one. You know, you mentioned at the end of my introduction that, um, that I have two boys. I have two teenage boys and I love them dearly and you know, I’m divorced, um, custody, 50, 50 custody and all this at the very beginning of this, um, it pandemic, the boys decided that they want to live with me a hundred percent of the time and so they’ve been here through this. So, you know, I love them to death and turn red. I love them to death. And so to have them here with me when I’m locked in the house, 24, seven is amazing.

Annette Franz (26:09):

You know, we’ve done some really fun things. They want to make, they want to cook, they want to make things. And so we’ve spent, you know, our evenings doing some of those things. So that’s been a lot of fun. So that is my hump day. That is what’s gotten me through. Um, the last, uh, 30 to 40 days so far. So it’s been pretty awesome. Well, that is awesome. Thanks for sharing. And, um, similarly, um, although kicking and screaming often brought my kids into the kitchen and they don’t like it, but after a while they start getting into it. And, um, and I said, look, you know, this is gonna happen again. I talking

Jim Rembach (26:44):

about the new normal, the new normal will be every so many years. Something like this is going to happen. I mean, we’re just becoming more global in our society and it’s just gonna be difficult to prevent. The key is whether or not we learn and have our healthcare systems being able to handle it. Right. Um, but there are stories that are going around saying a lot of these younger kids who haven’t had those types of experiences in time don’t know how to survive on their own.

Annette Franz (27:12):

I keep and, and, and it’s so funny, just another very personal thing and they’ll kill me for saying this but, but like at dinner and you know, teaching manners and etiquette and all of that, which I’ve done all along and every time I say something about whatever the manner is that we’re talking about, I’ll go, your future wife is going to thank me. Just say it. Right.

Jim Rembach (27:37):

Well, you know, you also had to talk, I had an opportunity to talk about, you know, what’s next and where things are going, where we’re going and all of that. And you know, you’re talking about, you know, your speaking work and how that’s kind of shifted with all the things that are happening. But you can still, you talked about some goals and objectives. You can talk about this book and you told me one thing I wasn’t allowed to share so I won’t. Um, but when you start talking about one goal that you have for your future, what would it be?

Annette Franz (28:01):

Well is this post pandemic when we’re back to whatever the new, I hate that term now, but it is everybody’s using it, the new normal. Um, would that be, is it okay to say retire in 10 years? I don’t know if that’s even how we were joking before that we’ll probably all be working until 80 now because we’re gonna spend all of our own money, our savings for this. But um, I would say, you know what, I would say getting back on the, you know, speaking speaking circuit and speaking more and getting the message out there more. For me, that’s a big goal. And I was excited with some of the things that I had lined up for this year. I’m hoping that they’ll come back around next year and take this message out to audiences at large. I’ve done some, you know, some virtual summits where I’m sharing this message about the eight principles of a customer centric organization. The feedback has been really amazing. And so that’s the message I want to keep getting out there is that people really understand what that is, what it means and how to achieve that. So that’s hopefully 20, 21. We’ll bring um, more in person events

Jim Rembach (29:06):

and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Jim Rembach (29:34):


Jim Rembach (29:35):

it’s time home. Oh, now part of our show where you give us good insights that your job is to give us a robust yet rapid response. They’re going to help us move onward and upward basket nephrons. Are you ready to just hold down? No idea what he’s going to ask me. Okay. Fire away. Here we go. So what do you think is holding you back

Jim Rembach (30:01):

being an even better leader today?

Annette Franz (30:04):

I hate to say it, but fear and a fear of the unknown, I guess.

Jim Rembach (30:08):

What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Annette Franz (30:11):

Take care of your people, put your people first and take care of your people.

Jim Rembach (30:15):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Annette Franz (30:20):

I live by my calendar. I’m organized like you wouldn’t believe and I live by my calendar. And that is, that’s my secret.

Jim Rembach (30:28):

And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Annette Franz (30:33):

My calendar. My calendar. And this, this dreadful thing here.

Jim Rembach (30:41):

Be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion. It could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to customer understanding on your show notes page. We’ll also put a link to the resources page that you actually mentioned in the back of the book as well.

Annette Franz (30:53):

Nice. Thank you. Um, you know there’s one book and this is a great leadership book and it goes along with the advice that I just gave about care about your people. It’s a book called everybody matters and it’s by Bob Chapman who is the CEO of very, very way Miller. Um, you will not be disappointed.

Jim Rembach (31:10):

Okay. Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast bronze too because you’ve been on before. Okay. And this is my last update. Hold on question. We were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Annette Franz (31:35):

Um, have your tribe. I think that has been one of the things. I have a group of ladies. We are, there’s five or six of us. We text every day. We have worked together at various places over the last 20 years together. I’ve hired many of them to be on my team over the years. Um, they’re my tribe. We laugh together, we cry together, we help each other in situations good or bad. And I think that that is probably something that I would have established much longer ago than I did. Um, had I known that at 25 and I think that’s a really, really, they’ve been like, it’s an amazing thing to have that tribe

Jim Rembach (32:15):

Annette, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Annette Franz (32:19):

Thank you. And thank you for having me again. This has been awesome. Um, you can find or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to make new connections and meet new people. So thank you.

Jim Rembach (32:32):

Annette Franz, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom will pass with the Legion honors you. And thanks you for helping us get over the hump.