Reliability Seal

Reliability something every leader wants more of from his or her team. Your challenge is to coach for reliable individual performance as the building block of a reliable and profitable business.

Jeanne Bliss, an expert on customer-driven growth, discusses the power of social media to amplify your experience with any given business, good or bad:

There are three repeated points that customers talk about through social media, which will earn you the right to new customer growth without the acquisition cost and organic growth of your existing customers:

  1. Was the experience consistent and reliable, no matter where or whom the customer talked to in any channel?
  2. Does their relationship with you improve their life or business? Did your actions prove your commitment to them?
  3. How does it feel for the customer to do business with you? Honored, distrusted, ignored?

Of course, on the contrary, when the customer experience is unreliable, word-of-mouth referrals decline or disappear. Reliability is a customer magnet, whereas unreliability is a customer deterrent.

When a customer needs something done by a set date, or a service performed in a specific manner, he’s seeking someone who can provide that service with certainty. Many companies have built their reputations by providing that certainty for customers.

For example, FedEx realized it could corner the market by promising to get your letter to its destination overnight, without fail. The company created an entire niche that never existed before. McDonald’s has built its iconic brand based on a promise of a reliable experience, regardless of location.

There are five habits that excellent coaches use to create the reliability advantage. The five habits give your team the biggest boost if applied in sequence. However, you must use your knowledge of your team to determine when to accelerate through or spend more time on a specific habit. The root meaning of the verb “to coach” means to bring a person from where they are to where they want to be.

Consider the role of a football coach…

He sets clear expectations for his team with a game plan to win. He asks players if they have any questions to ensure they are clear about their respective roles on the team. He also asks them questions like, “How can you improve your performance or overcome a certain obstacle?” Then during the game, he involves them in changing the game plan, if necessary, based on what they are seeing on the field. The coach also observes and measures each player’s performance (e.g., number of tackles, yards gained, etc.). Finally, the coach gives constructive feedback and recognition so his players can elevate their performance in the next game.

These are the same five habits excellent leaders employ to coach their teams.

  1. Explain expectations to ensure alignment with their teams before moving forward.
  2. Ask questions to clarify problems or solicit ideas and suggestions. Asking questions ignites employee engagement.
  3. Involve team members in creating solutions to improve their work. This enlists ownership because we are committed to things we help create.
  4. Measure results to boost team accountability.
  5. Appreciate people to build commitment for sustained results.

Using each of these coaching habits in concert elevates team reliability.


“Lee and Julie deliver powerful lessons. As inspirational as it is practical. A vital tool for leaders at any career stage. An extraordinary book!” 

Marshall Goldsmith, The Thinkers 50  #1 Leadership Thinker in the World