Stooping to Excellence

Years ago, when Walt Disney was still managing Disney properties, he would walk through the park, and when he saw a piece of paper or trash he’d bend over a pick it up. He knew that other people were watching him.


“He called this ‘stooping to excellence,’ because his concept was that if he did not stoop down to pick up the piece of paper then he was giving permission for everyone else to [ignore it too],” explains Shep Hyken, a speaker and New York Times-bestselling author. Hyken works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees—or, as he calls them, “internal customers.”


Of course most pet stores may never achieve the same prestige that the Disney empire has, but creating a strong company culture—one that's consistent through every level of the store—is an important part of customer service.


As we mentioned in this month's cover story, Hyken believes what he calls the employee golden rule: store owners should treat management, and management should treat employees, the same way they want customers to be treated—if not better.


One way to ensure a store's culture is consistent through every layer is to promote from the bottom up. Whenever an opening becomes available the store can select someone already working for the company to fill that role rather making an outside hire.


In fact, Hyken recommends that store owners require managers to keep a "management ready" employee at all times. “If the manager gets sick, the employee can fill in. If you open another store that employee or the manager can go to the new store and you still have a manager for your old store,” he explains. He says including such a thing in the manager’s performance review ensures that the manager is always hiring capable people and that the store is always ready for growth.


Now, is the time to get growing.