Customer Service in Croatia

I recently was blessed to experience an amazing trip to Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and the Dalmation Coast.  I will eventually write a journal on this trip; however, one of the most impressive experiences for me occurred in Split, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, the third-century “retirement home” of the Roman Emperor, sits on the waterfront .

Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia


We had toured the ruins and then had some free time to shop which, of course, is one of my favorite things to do as I always want to bring back gifts for everyone.  I have never liked backpacks because I always think they make you look “nerdy,” but my purse had gotten so heavy to carry that it was making my shoulder ache (and the strap eventually even broke), so I decided it was time to give in and find a backpack I could live with.  Actually, my body ached so much I was desperate!

Just behind the castle we found a local outdoor market where they had all kinds of merchandise.  In one of the first blocks of booths I saw a backpack with butterflies on it, so of course, that was the one!  I had just gone to an ATM that morning and still was unfamiliar with Kunas and the exchange rate, so when the vendor told me it would be 100 kuna, I dutifully counted out five 20 dollar kunas.

I gathered up the backpack and began to walk down the street when the vendor came running out and shouted in broken English, “Miss, too much!  Too much!”  He showed me that instead of five 20 dollar kunas, I had given him five 200 dollar kunas!  Oh, my, I had paid him TEN TIMES what the backpack cost!

I was astounded at his honesty.  I thanked him profusely and gave him a tip, but I couldn’t help but think what might have happened in America.  I had left, was walking away and probably could never have found that same booth again, there were no witnesses who saw how much I had given him, and it was, literally, my word, a foreign tourist, against his, a local small business owner.  Sorry to say, but in most places in the world, I think I would have been the loser big time.

I left Croatia with a deep respect for the people, the culture, and their attitude about serving.

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Oklahoma University Medical Systems Employees Appreciate One Another!

Several months ago I was privileged to speak to all the leaders of the Oklahoma University Medical Systems in Oklahoma City.   Jed Liuzza,  Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at OUMS, recently sent me a copy of an email  he shared with the leaders about a special way to appreciate one another:

Good afternoon everyone!

It’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining which reminded me about how we might bring some sunshine into the lives of our team.

We all know there’s always something happening here at OUMS…like saving lives…and we have a great team of individuals who are committed to doing that each and every day. It’s never too late to express how much you appreciate your team or individuals on your team. In fact, as leaders, we should practice showing appreciation every day.

So to help you, I thought I’d share an idea from Barbara Glanz’s book, “180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm.” I hope you have found it helpful with so many great ideas on showing appreciation.

The idea I selected was one that spreads appreciation among all of your team members. The idea, as stated in the book, says, “Post a large poster page next to everyone’s office or cubicle door for a week. Ask other employees during the week to stop by and write something they appreciate about that person.”

Now for those of you already saying this won’t work because most or all of your employees don’t have an office or cubicle, I’d like to suggest that maybe you use your employee break room. For those of you with a very large number of employees, maybe do several employees a week over a period of time or group the posters by types of employees (i.e., administrative, clinical, support).

Let your team decide what the poster would look like – let them get creative!

Have a wonderful day everyone and know we appreciate the work you do for your teams and our patients!


It is so precious to me to see a client taking an idea and making it happen in their workplaces.  Every one of us needs more appreciation, and this idea will work anywhere.  If Jed and OUMS can do it, so can you and your team!

Another friend shared this photo with me from Illinois Toolworks.  People are finding many creative ways to appreciate one another.

Another way to appreciate one another!

Another way to appreciate one another!

For more creative ideas on how to make your workplace more caring, creative, appreciative, and fun, go to

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Are You Kind?

Next week I have been asked to be part of an interview on the subject of Kindness, so I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be kind. In my work in customer service, I use a three column chart model that has a minus column (-), a zero column (0) and a plus column (+). Below, it says “Your Choice in Any Interaction.”

It refers to the impact we have on each person we meet. We can either discount them and make them feel invisible or less important than us or our organization (-). we can simply do the work at hand (0), or we can make what I call a human level connection (+), seeing them as a unique and special person in the midst of that interaction.


These interactions do not have to be long or involved. We can focus on another person simply by asking and remembering their name, giving them a compliment, asking something personal about them, or just sincerely thanking them for being there. I tell my audiences that I want them to leave with this simple 3 column model in their heads so that connecting with people on this level becomes part of their daily life. This, to me, is what kindness is all about!

I recently realized how much a part of my life this practice has become when Jed Liuzza, one of my clients, introduced me as the opening keynote speaker for the Oklahoma University Medical Systems Leadership Symposium this fall. After my formal introduction, he shared what had impressed him most was that I LIVED what I was going to talk to them about. He said the minute he picked me up for dinner the night before, I had begun asking him questions about his family, his goals, and his interests, focusing on him as a human being.

Then, when we entered the restaurant, there was a couple with a baby, and he noticed I stopped and talked to the little one and told the parents how blessed they were. Then, he shared, I immediately asked the server her name and gave her a compliment. Finally, when I was introduced to the rest of the team, I asked during dinner to have each of them tell about someone who had greatly impacted their lives. They all told touching stories, and this allowed for a much deeper level of sharing the rest of the meal. What he said he noticed most, however, was how each person simply “came alive” when someone truly connected with them.


I was deeply touched by his words as all of these things I had done unconsciously, simply wanting to acknowledge each person as a precious human being.

One of my beliefs is that every person who comes into our lives is a gift. We have the choice to either open that gift or pass it by. Sometimes, depending on time and circumstances, we may only be able to untie the ribbon, but other times we can dig down deeper to the true gift inside. However, if we ignore that gift, it is a loss for both us AND the other person.

Being kind to me is noticing and loving all those persons with whom you interact, and that day I realized I was modeling the message I was going to be sharing without even knowing it!

Mother Teresa said, “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.” In this new year, we all have the choice to make this our philosophy of life. I hope you will choose KINDNESS.

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Barbara Glanz Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Friends,

(This is long, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy! 😉


It seems like the older we get, the faster the year goes by, yet what a BLESSING it is to be alive! I realized I have lived 10 years longer than my father, 4 years longer than my precious husband, Charlie, and 3 years longer than my grandfather……AND I am still am not feeling old! 😉

I so love writing these letters – it’s like reliving my year in review, yet the most special thing of all is feeling such love for so many wonderful people in my life like all of you. How very grateful I am for friends, family, and clients all over the world! I truly believe life is all about relationships and the people we love.

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Pay It Forward

I want to share with all of you a wonderful email newsletter article I received from Derek Mills in the UK. These are his ideas of many simple ways to “Pay it Forward” which is a wonderful message for this holiday season. Some of these are so easy and take no time at all but could make all the difference to someone’s life.

Top 50 Easy “Pay it Forward opportunities, today.

Image of "LOVE" courtesy of Nutdanai Apilhomboonwaroot at Free Digital

Image of “LOVE” courtesy of Nutdanai Apilhomboonwaroot at Free Digital

1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighbourhood, office, school, etc.
5. Tell someone they dropped a pound/dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give it to them.
6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
7. Say hi to the person next to you in the elevator.
8. Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats!
9. Let someone go in front of you in line at the supermarket who only has a few items.
10. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump.

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What is YOUR “White-Hot Why?”

What is your “White-Hot Why?”

Two weeks ago I went to the annual Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Illinois. Throughout the two days of presentations from top level leadership gurus, the most prevalent message was the critical importance of finding purpose and meaning in one’s work.


An organization with a sense of purpose!

Bill Hybels, the lead pastor of this mega church, discussed the intangibles of leadership as the following:
• Grit
• Self-Awareness
• Resourcefulness
• Self-Sacrificing Love
• Sense of Meaning

He used the term, finding your “White-Hot Why.” Instead of thinking about WHAT you do and HOW you do it, start with WHY you do it. He even suggested leaders should have the title of “Chief Meaning Officers!” He referenced Bob Buford who writes about moving from Success to Significance, finding a sense of purpose or mission in your work beyond making money.

Jim Collins described an Engaged Culture as having three elements: First, a sense of Service to a cause or purpose; second, a list of BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals), and third, Communal Success (all succeed by helping others succeed).

Horst Schulze says, “Don’t come to work just to work. Come to work to be proud of a purpose.”


Dan Pink tells us that purpose is one of the three big motivators for knowledge workers, along with autonomy and mastery. He writes:

“Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people–not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied–hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves.” (“Drive,” pg. 131)

Do you feel a PURPOSE in your work? Does your organization adhere to a cause larger than you or them? If not, what can you find in the work you do every day that inspires you and makes you feel as if you are making a difference? What is YOUR “white-hot why?”

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Gus, the Singing Butcher!

I had the most delightful customer service experience at Publix this week. As I was waiting to get my sockeye salmon which was on special, I saw one of the regular butchers who always is happy and greets everyone with a smile and usually a joke. Since I rarely eat meat anymore, I had not seen him for some time on my grocery visits. But there he was –with a little display in the aisle sharing a new service Publix is offering for seafood.

I greeted him, learned his name, and told him how much I always appreciated his good humor when I saw him. Then this is what happened next:

I was so tickled that I asked him if I could videotape his “performance,” and he responded by telling me that he had several videos from customers on YouTube and one even from a customer from Brazil, and that, as a result, Publix was going to do a story about him in their company newsletter.

Not only is Gus a very good singer, but just like Johnny the Bagger®, he has definitely added HIS personal signature to his work!

Publix is lucky to have so many employees who care about their customers and use their special gifts to add more joy to the customers’ visits.

To learn more about Johnny the Bagger® and how he added his personal signature to his work, go to click here.

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Golden Rule Recipe

Southwest Airlines has been a client of mine several times over the years, and through these experiences I have come to treasure my friendship with Colleen Barrett, Chairman Emeritus. When she retired from Southwest, I was deeply touched that she used her personal money and bought 3500 copies of “The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®,” the book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard, for every SWA employee. For several years we have exchanged Christmas presents — I love butterflies and Colleen loves hearts.

Recently I had some surgery and had to be out of commission for several weeks. Last week a large package came from Colleen — a framed portrait of the “Golden Rule Recipe” in SWA colors.

The Golden Rule Recipe

The Golden Rule Recipe

This is the recipe:

1 cup of Love and a half cup of Kindness

Add alternately in small portions:
* 1 coup of Appreciation
* 3 cups pleasant Companionship into which this has been stirred:
* 3 teaspoons carefully chosen Advice

Lightly fold in:
* 1 cup Cheerfulness, to which has been added a pinch of Sorrow

Pour with tender care into Clean Hearts.
Let bake until well Nurtured.
Turn out on the surface of Society.
Humbly invoke God’s blessings and it will serve all mankind.

What a beautiful expression of love and service that each one of us and our organizations can take to heart. And certainly Southwest Airlines does just that. Thank you, Colleen, for adding joy to my week and for the caring leadership you have provided at SWA. You and your airline have touched many lives as you live out the Golden Rule!

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New 2015 Demo Video!

We have just completed a brand new video demo tape. Please watch and send us your comments. A huge thank you to Primeau Productions for the fine work they did for us. I hope you will enjoy it!

Is your organization experiencing overwhelming change, high employee turnover and low morale, increases in customer complaints, or burnout from having to do more with less? Are your employees struggling to find a balance between their work and home lives or do they simply need a boost of positive energy? If so, Barbara Glanz can help you! Clients say her exciting, motivational, action-oriented presentations have given their employees a new sense of direction, understanding, and hope.

For more information about how I can help your organization, follow this link .

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Questions for the New Year

A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year 2015!


My friend and client, Arlin Sorenson, the CEO of the HTG Group, suggests we ask ourselves the following questions as we think about the year gone by:

1. Key Accomplishments. What are all of the great things that you got done over the past year? Which of your goals did you really miss the mark on? Which one is your key accomplishment?

2. Relationship Development. What new relationships did you develop? Which relationships have you overlooked or not given enough attention to?

3. Learning. What opportunities to learn new things did you take advantage of? What were the new things you learned about yourself?

4. Mistakes. What mistakes did you make? What mistakes could have been avoided?

5. Time Management. How well did you manage your time? Are there any significant “time wasters” that you need to reduce or eliminate from your life?

It is great to start 2015 on purpose with a purpose, and one of the best ways to do that is to contemplate the past year and then make a plan for 2015 in each of these areas.

I also choose a theme for each year. Last year my theme was “Rebuilding Relationships.” I realize with all my travel last year I developed many new relationships including a new man in my life, yet because of limited time, I neglected some others, many of which are very important to me. So my theme this year is going to be “Renewal” — renewal of relationships, my faith, my family, my health, and my business. What will your theme for 2015 be?

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