Luxury Coach & Transportation

May 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MAY 2019 23 perfect, you need to be real," he added. "at means sometimes you're vulner- able and sometimes you're wrong. And you need to tell your team when you're wrong, and you need to tell them what you learned. You need to tell them so they're safe being wrong. at's what builds a culture. But you cannot do anything without a culture." Supreme Culture Quoting Peter Drucker, Dominguez said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." "I know many people in business today who have really high I.Q. and very low E.Q. ey have very low emotional intelligence. It's lacking with most leaders. Most people don't understand people. ey're really smart, but they are not smart with people. You can't get any- thing done without understanding it." Dominguez recommends creating a manifesto, which differs from a mis- sion statement. It explains "why you're doing what you're doing, not what you do and what it means to the customer." At MGM, the manifesto is simple: "We believe entertainment is a basic human need. We believe as humans, we're born to be entertained. at entertainment is like air and water. It's the reason you sit at campfires and tell stories, and it's the reason we have always gone to watch people fight or play, because we are a species that needs to be enter- tained." What does that look like? Dominguez asked. At MGM, "SHOW" actually stands for: S mile at the guest, H ear the story, O wn the experience, and W ow the guest. "For all of our employees, it says, 'is is my stage. I am the show.'" "ere's a difference between giving great service, which we've done for a long time, and being entertained. How do you entertain at the same time you service?" Urging operators to create a clear cultural message, Dominguez chal- lenged: "What is your mantra? What is your manifesto? Why do you exist? And if it's just to make a lot of money, that doesn't resonate with your team members. What are you doing to make the world better?" Companies focused on culture see a dramatic increase in their profits, he said. "We tend to focus on the wrong things. We focus on strategy versus making sure everybody in our organi- zation feels a part of it." — e biggest struggle lies in people keeping the status quo. It's often the misfits, rebels, troublemakers, and crazy ones who display genius. "People crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do," he said. Measured Change Change does not have to be big and breaking, just incremental enough daily, Dominguez said. Every Fortune 500 company has a change manage- ment department, since change can be hard and shifts basic psychology. Citing the Kubler-Ross curve, Domin- guez said everyone will go through the change cycle at different rates but still must complete it. "You go through a point of denial, to anger, to actual acceptance, and come out of it knowing you will actually accept the change and know where you fit in." Citing another quote, Dominguez said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble, it's what you know for sure that just ain't so." "If you run your own business, or if you manage a business, you need to understand what's going on around you without any emotion. Let the data tell you whatever it tells you. You need to be able to do some research." Keeping It Real e leading approach operators can take to stay relevant is a core of luxury service: Developing authenticity. Com- panies succeeding today are real with their customers. "We are fair, consistent, and trans- parent with everything we do. Which means I will tell you what it is, and I'll tell you why, and I'll tell you the rationale, and I'm going to keep telling you no, but I'm going to tell you why I'm telling you no. "Being authentic means you don't need to be right, you don't need to be have been the Best Buy of today, but they did not move fast enough. ey had loyal, trained customers, but lost them. "If you have a customer base and think they will be there forever, you'd better make sure you are really focused on keeping them," he said. Dominguez posed three challenges to operators: How do you change? How do you reinvent? How do you continue to evolve your business model? "If you're sitting there saying, 'at's not me,' I promise it's you. If you sat there and said, 'at could be me,' it's not you. It's the people who are wor- ried about it who are the ones that continue to change." Dominguez advised a business owner should come to work a little nervous every day about the constant need to change with customers. Distracted Challenges How do you get to your customers, employees, and team members in a constant atmosphere of distraction? In addition to technology and social media, people are involved with ever-present Internet platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. "I don't know quite what it says about our society, but there are 1.4 mil- lion swipes on Tinder every 60 seconds. at's a lot of distraction and noise. How do you cut through it, and how do you beat your customer to the punch and stand out?" Whether or not you like this new world is irrelevant. You're stuck with it. Dominguez, quoting Chambers again, said: "You need to deal with the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be. And many of us struggle in chang- ing our business models because we're still trying to live with the world the way we want it to be versus under- standing the hand you've been dealt. So how do I plan?" Speaker Michael Dominguez told attendees the world is moving too fast to become jaded. The older you are, and the larger your company, the more you should be open to change.

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