December 16, 2009
News & Opinion: Outstanding!
I quickly realized the exclamation point in the title of Outstanding! is not coincidental. Author John G. Miller is enthusiastic! Upbeat! Energetic! And, in all seriousness, he is a terrific storyteller. Who hasn’t sat through an excruciating company meeting at some time. Or, experienced service so appalling it gives you a compulsive anecdote for the rest of your life. Yet on the other hand, many have had great customer service experiences worth re-telling or work for a company that has an amazing work culture because of the people. Experiencing these back and forth examples and learning from them is the core of Miller’s book. There are 47 mini stories (3-5 pages each) with everyday observations provided by Miller which translate into ways to improve yourself or the organization you work with. At first glance some of these examples may seem basic or obvious, but when you think about them a little deeper it’s amazing how often customer service, leadership or communication is screwed up. Being reminded of these along with insightful suggestions by Miller is an interesting approach to solving problems or improving the workplace. And having them presented concisely with a sense of humor makes it quite the addicting book to read. A number of times I said to myself I’d read just one or two more chapters and then I realized a while later I was almost finished with the entire book. You’re bound to come away with more than a few new ideas after reading it.