September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to speak at the Utah State Board of Education Suicide Prevention Summit. I met many extraordinary people there doing very important work to build awareness and help reduce the suicide rate.
This weekend, I became a Spartan.
I didn’t do it alone. Along with my team, my fellow Spartans were a diverse group—men and women, old and young, fit and unfit, every shape and size imaginable. Their tribes for the day were co-workers, spouses, friends and the strangers in front, behind and to either side of them along the course.
They all had a story.
And we were ALL there to kick ass in whatever way we could through the 9-mile course scattered with 27 extremely challenging obstacles. To prove to ourselves that “we can do hard things.”
Life is truly lived when you push fear aside and step out on that edge.
We only get one life, but we have many chances every single day to show up and make a difference. We get to choose to experience life rather than watch it pass us by.
When you choose to stand out, you continuously grow and make everyone around you better for interacting with you.
This is what Red Shoes Living is all about. And Paige Cooper, a former employee of mine, is definitely standing out and living life on the edge.
What do you think it takes to be a great leader? While there isn’t one magic formula, I do know when I’m around a great leader, I always want to give them the best version of myself. I never want to let them down. And, I think it’s because they do these three things.
Is it even possible for a Millennial to work with a Baby Boomer?
All we need to do is look at best-in-class organizations such as Google, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks and Apple to find the answer. Indeed they can and they do with great results.
These companies recognize their success is tied to their diversity and the common language they share. When organizations adopt the Red Shoes Pillars as their common language, they produce incredible results because diverse groups come together in a way that connects us all.
Last week, I had the privilege of bestowing medals and presenting Red Shoes Living at the prestigious British Citizen Awards held at the Palace of Westminster to 31 individuals that work tirelessly to make a positive impact on society. These are the quiet heroes that truly stand out in a crazy politically noisy world. They are true Red Shoes Citizens standing out in everything that they do. This is an extraordinary event that recognizes selfless commitment of “everyday” people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. The inscription on the medals say it best: They act “For the Good of the Country.”
Red Shoes Living was originally created as an internal mechanism for the InMoment company culture. It has now been shared with hundreds of companies and leadership groups, and in February of 2017 due to intense interest broke out of InMoment to become its own entity, helping companies develop “stand out” cultures and people essential to customer service and business success.
However, Red Shoe Living extends far beyond the confines of work. The principles cover much more than just building a winning team. When embraced as a lifestyle, the five pillars that are its core concepts change lives, encouraging individuals to be filled with awareness, gratitude, and respect and kindness. Everyone has their own story, and it is good in moments of both tragedy and triumph to shine a light on those who have put themselves out there to help and encourage others.
The recent attacks in London, while tragic, were filled with Red Shoes Moments. Here are just a few.
MP Tobias Ellwood gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in an attempt to revive PC Keith Palmer, the officer stabbed by the attacker. Ellwood had every reason to run to safety: police officers were instructing everyone to do so. Ellwood has suffered personal tragedy as well: his brother was killed in the 2002 Bali Bombing.
Photos showed the MP’s bloodied hands and face, after the former Army officer tried to apply pressure to the injured officer’s wounds.
Dr. Jeeves Wijesuriya, chairman of the junior doctors' committee at the British Medical Association, also rushed to the scene as events began to unfold. The doctor was addressing a regional BBC team nearby.
He was a part of the team that tried to save the lives of both the officer and the attacker. The police and first responders spent nearly an hour trying to revive them both. One died at the scene. The other died later at St. Mary’s Hospital. Wijesuriya truly went above and beyond.
Tony Davis from Gateshead was one of the first to reach PC Palmer. Though not formally trained in first aid, the boxing coach knew the basics, and put his raincoat under the officer’s wound, applying pressure to stop the blood.
A few moments after he arrived, MP Tobias Ellwood took over the attempt to resuscitate the officer. Although Davis told the BBC, “I am not brave, I am not a hero,” his rushing to the scene showed true compassion and bravery.
Dr. Tony Joy is a member of the London Air Ambulance team that landed in Parliament Square. At first, the team was given very little information. They thought they were responding to a road crash with 20 plus patients.
What they saw when they arrived on the scene was much different than what they expected, but a survey from the air told them it was a major traumatic event. The team worked an extremely long day, tending to the nearly 40 injured individuals. Their sacrifice is a true example of the resilience of the British People.
The National Health Services (NHS) Staff. Doctors, nurses, and medics from the nearby St. Thomas Hospital responded to the scene, and the administration called in extra manpower to help the injured and provide the extra medical care needed.
The entire staff went above and beyond to help those affected, and all of them displayed what it’s like to put Red Shoes culture into action. Theirs was truly a Red Shoes Moment.
The British people are resilient, and all over the country people posted signs, Tweeted, and showed their support not only for those injured and the first responders, but about themselves as well. "London is the greatest city in the world,” the Mayor’s office said. “We will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have and we always will."
Lonnie Mayne: I’ve been a part of the British Citizens Awards for the last three years, and love to highlight those who truly stand out and do good in the world. I’ve walked through that gate, visited the House of Lords, and my heart went out to the British Citizens who put themselves out there for the good of others during these horrible events.
Red Shoes Moments are not about me or my company, but about the real people doing good in the world. It is an honor to stand with the British people and recognize a few of the many who did so much good on that day.
A word of advice: Never pass up the opportunity to experience something done right—especially where food is involved. There is a lot to be learned from the things that get people buzzing—and one place that has been buzzing in my hometown of Portland, Oregon is a restaurant called Cheryl’s On 12th.
Earlier this year, my close associate Ken Myres, president of Romacorp, shared a customer comment with me that came out of the Palm Desert, California location of Tony Roma’s. It had “Red Shoes” written all over it. I want to take some time to share it along with the powerful follow-up from Ken’s team, because, at ... Read the full story
It’s a good day today. If you don’t believe me, check out the story I saw this morning on the local news. It definitely convinced me. Take your own detour for gratitude today. Thank Joe Bell and Erik Wittreich for putting on their red shoes by following their examples and changing the course of your ... Read the full story
At last month’s Mindshare Technologies Best Practices Conference, I had the honor, once again, of wrapping up the event by recognizing an outstanding individual who embodies the Red Shoes philosophy: A service hero with a humble heart and an important story of service. Thad Forester is the brother of Senior Airman Mark Forester, who was ... Read the full story
I am humbled to be able to share a story with you that takes “Red Shoes” to its highest possible meaning. I can’t describe how amazed I am to have Red Shoes associated with this experience. The immediate action this man took to serve one of his customers stood out so brightly that it caught ... Read the full story
Without a thought, she split her gourmet NYC cookie down the middle and put one half in my hands. Our conversation continued unabated. Before I knew it, we had moved on to cherries and then blueberries, all produced from her little carry-on bag. Her sharing was second nature. I could tell she had long … Read the full story
Dustin Qualls is a member of the sales team at Mindshare Technologies. He’s a friend, a role model, and the recipient of last year’s Office Red Shoes Award. His story was drastically reshaped a year ago when his only sibling distanced herself from the family and eventually took her life. His world halted. Dark, blurred … Read the full story
This story was told to me by Mindshare’s VP of retail business solutions, Shane Evans. It features a multiple Employee of the Month award winner from one of the nearby Walgreens corner stores—a young man named Eric Marks who credits his older brother for instilling work ethic in him during groundskeeping days at his ... Read the full story
This is a cool story of an employee willing to get her hands dirty in the name of customer service. This lady is an absolute fearless rock star. Red Shoes Elite. I’m sure she was just doing what she considers her job, but it was much more than that to the customer she helped. That customer just so happens to be one of Mindshare’s project managers, a real stand-up guy, Joel Diamond. This is why I love my job. Seeing great people putting aside their egos to help another out. Well done, Eusebia; you were raised right. Hats off to you and all those who taught you the right way to treat people!
READ JOEL’S EXPERIENCE BELOW. JUST NOT WHILE YOU’RE EATING.
My family and I were eating out at Barbacoa when my youngest daughter started coughing and choking on one of her chips. It took some time, and a little of my help, but she was finally able to clear the chip. Of course, she also tripped her gag reflex during the process. The chips she had been eating, the milk she had been drinking, her previous meal—it all came back up, and it was not good for any of the senses.
I stood up to see if the staff had anything I could use to clean it up. In an instant, a sweet lady named Eusebia was on the scene. She sat me back down, went to work, and refused to let me take part in the cleaning. She kept saying, “You sit, finish eating!” She made it clear that, despite my protests, I would, in fact, not be cleaning up my own child’s mess.
When this lady had finished restoring order to our area, management came out and apologized to my family for the mess. At this point I was so impressed and appreciative that I insisted she put on my shoes for a picture. (Yes, I was wearing red ones.)
It’s one thing to clean up messes from drips and spills. It’s quite another thing to take on regurgitated remnants, while ensuring your customers continue to eat and enjoy their meal. I think any parent can relate to the stress and embarrassment of these public situations. Thankfully, on this instance, that stress and embarrassment was neutralized by the quick work of one Red Shoes employee.
Every time someone sends me a red shoes experience, it makes me step back and re-remember how simple it really is to treat someone with kindness and create goodwill for your business. This story is from my good friend and coworker Dustin Qualls. It stars someone who understands that anyone who visits your store is a guest of your brand and should be treated as such, whether they make a purchase that day or not.
This red shoes rock star understands that a commercial transaction is much more valuable when it’s paired with a human connection. —LM
I thought I’d send over a picture and tell you about a Red Shoes Experience my wife and I had last week.
A few months back, my wife and I were looking to kill some time with our daughter, Livia, while waiting for a table at a local restaurant. We saw a Petco next door and decided Livia might like to check it out.
On that first visit, she decided she liked the ferrets the most, even though they smelled bad enough to earn the title “stinky mouse.” Now, whenever she sees a Petco sign, Livia says “stinky mouse!” and asks to go inside.
Just last week we visited another Petco location, again just to kill some time, and an employee named Kim took it upon herself to make our visit special. She took Livia around and opened up the “stinky mouse” cage so our daughter could hold and pet the ferrets. Kim also asked if Livia wanted to feed the birds, giving her some treats and letting her play zookeeper for a little while.
Kim’s attitude and friendliness instantly won Livia—and my wife and me—over.
We aren’t even in the market for a pet at the moment, but I left knowing that, when the time comes, we’d come back to that specific Petco and have Kim help us adopt the right critter.
Thank you, Kim, for making our visit to Petco special by going that extra mile with my daughter!