How to Avoid Irrelevance, Guaranteed!

You may be the world’s best pickle packer. But, if the world doesn’t value perfectly packed pickles, you are tragically irrelevant.



Customers determine value, not you. Spend as much time understanding the people you serve as you spend understanding yourself.

Leaders who don’t understand others become irrelevant.

10 things to understand about others:

  1. Pain points.
  2. Aspirations.
  3. Strengths.
  4. Passions.
  5. Frustrations.
  6. Needs.
  7. Wants.
  8. Fears.
  9. Joys.
  10. Goals.

Good but off target:

You might be an innovator, developer, organizer, maximzer, or activator. But, irrelevance looms large if you can’t apply your strengths – in relevant ways – to the people you serve.

Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble, was mentored by Drucker.

Lafley listened to his mentor. The first core strength of P&G is a deep understanding of the customer. (Game-Changer, by Lafley and Charan)

Purpose and value:

Martin Luther King Jr. met fundamental human needs. In the process he was a political reformer. Create customers/followers by meeting needs and enriching lives.

On target:

The center of your business, leadership, or management is the people you serve, not you.

Without a customer you’re irrelevant.

The only way to create, serve, and retain customers is to deeply understand them.

The customer-centric leader:

Influence is a function of relevant service.

  1. Speak to their aspirations not yours.
  2. Bring valuable-value to them.
  3. Broaden your influence by meeting universal needs and aspirations.
  4. Listen to your heart. But, listen to them as well.

There is a sense in which leaders follow their followers.

You are always relevant when you understand people and meet needs.

“Customers are the boss.” A.G. Lafley

Powerful resource: “It’s Not About You,” by Bob Burg and John David Man.

See Facebook responses to, “We have the most impact in life when we _______.”

How can leaders understand and serve others?