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True leaders do not seek leadership; though are often discovered. 
True leaders are not compliant, they are true to their own ethics.
True leaders recognize, accept and attempt to share Love.
True leaders do not seek to prove but to discover Truth.
True leaders do not compete, they encourage.
True leaders allow others to be themselves.
True leaders don’t advise, they listen.
True leaders serve when needed.
True leaders are often despised.
True leaders are curious.
True leaders are us.
True leaders are.
Truth leads.

From Leadership: A Love Story. 
Lee Broom.



“Oliver was a thinker. He was a man of few biases, He was seldom tempted to prove anything to himself or others; his tool for learning was the tool of discovery. And, if he heard or read or even thought something that did not logically conclude from preceding statements his brain would stop dead in its tracks.

‘What?’ he’d say to himself, ‘that can’t be right’ and without even having to test the idea his brain would present an instant YouTube of information whizzing before his inner vision on mega-fast-forward and satisfied, he’d then move on to the next thing, unless of course his discovery was important enough to stop for a moment and commit to the three by five Wexford memo pad in his shirt pocket.  

Oliver’s thinking skills appeared almost immediately. he spoke before he walked. began his career in sales and customer service in the seventies and was a very fast learner. Today his listening and reasoning skills serve him well in his work; Oliver is a very successful Customer Service Representative. His careful attention to listening well and for asking the right discovery questions has provided him with a great income and an excellent reputation among his peers. But one day he was surprised with something for which he had no answer. He had listened carefully. He found an opening and asked a few YES questions and then made a suggestion to the client whose spontaneous reply  was ‘Why?’.

Oliver squirmed and fidgeted, he hemmed and he hawed and as he struggled for to regain control of his faculties he discovered that he was talking to himself.”

From Leadership: A Love Story. By Lee Broom.


Talking to ourselves can sometimes be an impediment to success; it can also be an excellent tool for success. But never should it be a part of our conversation with a prospect. And never, ever will a successful CSR ask a prospect or a client “Why” about anything.

The same heed must be taken when the person on the other end of the line asks “Why”. Oliver, realized later than he could have easily segued into responses explaining “How”, “What”, even “Who”, “Where” or “When”.

We like to think that today we are more sophisticated than the Olivers of decades past with our iPads and smart phones but the real tools are the ones we carry between our ears. We may have a slightly larger vocabulary to accommodate our electronic toys but the way we talk with others and the respect that is necessary for our daily transactions is as old as language itself.

Unless you’re going fishing and really do need a can of worms, Listen, Investigate and Learn.





Don: What draws you to wanting to be in sales?

Lee: I am a writer. Every novel, every poem, every play is from start to finish, a pitch, a sales presentation, a close.

But let’s say I am a picture framer; I am convinced that only a well-educated conservator should be handling a work of art to be framed and I want the prospect to know this; I let the artist or the owner of the still wet oil painting to know that I meet or exceed these qualifications. I make my opinions known before selecting a sample of framing materials.

Perhaps, I am a young, single man whose eyes and imagination will not allow him another minute to pass without making a presentation to the loveliest woman he has ever seen. I am embarrassed, awkward and at my very worst as I stand before her, determined to present the image of a man of strong bearing.

And lastly, let’s say I have just been born; my umbilical cord has been cut and I cry; my lungs inflate and I am in a new world. I experience danger; I feel the tremor of first fear. Mother calms me. The safety that seemed to have been lost is reaffirmed with mother’s cooing words.  I have learned about danger and the need for safety.  I now link fear with crying. Finally, I discover the connection with making loud baby sounds and the reassuring voice, a voice that I know well, singing gently, “Now, now, Mommy’s here.”

I have in the last few seconds, made my first of a million future sales presentations for no greater reason than to do my part in making the world a better and safer place in which to spend my life.

I am a natural-born salesman. And so are you.



Last year I read The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spencer and Patrick D. McCarthy, published in 1995  (printed on acid-free paper) by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

From the front inside flap:  “When it comes to customer service, Nordstrom’s standards are ‘what we all shoot for’ declares David Glass, president and CEO of Wal-Mart. ‘The Nordstrom Way’marveled correspondent Morley Safer in a SIXTY MINUTES profile, is ‘not service like it used to be but service like it never was.’

And to that I would like to add a personal memoir.

From an earlier post entitled Nordstrom Shoes:

“I own a pair of shoes that occasionally draw curious glances from friends who know me to be choosy in my selection of apparel. Recently, a pal of mine, who like my long-since departed parents spent most of his career working in the garment industry, asked me. ‘Lee, where on earth did you find those pointy-toed shoes?’

During the Seventies, Nordstrom Department Stores assembled a promotional package to test the Phoenix market.  It included round-trip airfare with the newly formed Southwest Airlines, Friday and Saturday nights at the Bonaventure Hotel, two lavish breakfasts rivaling the Las Vegas buffets of the day and generous discounts. I took part in the maiden voyage which left me with wonderful memories.

Atop one of the hotel towers was a park with trees and grass and hotel staff pampering and pandering about and pigeons to distract us from the tacky looking view of older, seedier tenements less than a block away. I compared this event with similar trips I occasionally took to Las Vegas in those years which included young, attractive people of both sexes apparently hired as shills to engage us in friendly banter as we pored over the hundred-dollar shirts and theBallys and Cole Hahns in the leather footwear departments.

I smiled at the question and replied.  ‘At Nordstrom, John; I bought them at Nordstrom.’

This memoir is typical of The Nordstrom Way. In the next few years I would receive similar complimentary forays into newsworthy events on the American scene; the opening of EPCOT Center, the maiden flight of Southwest Airlines, and to many other Grand and Glorious celebrations, many of which were inspired by The Nordstrom Way.

As a member of The Phoenix Press Club this type of pampering of members of the press were not new; it was the level of personal involvement of those who put on these extravagant displays of public persuasion that made them stand out. It was the Nordstromapplication of intimacy that change the way the American Corporate World did business.

This kind of community outreach has pretty much been replaced in recent years by the forceful collection of personal data. As an American business man, I am committed to the continuation of The Nordstrom Way of personal involvement in my way of doing business and in maintaining friendships.

By Lee Broom From Leadership: A Love Story.




There is a learning principle that appears to hold for all creatures. It seems to be nearly as true for humans as it is for apes, parrots and lemmings. This most popular method for learning is the practice of mimicking others of our ilk. When reading of Michelangelo or Edison or Picasso we like to compliment ourselves for being related to such creative history makers and yes, we all have a story describing a moment in our personal histories demonstrating our own particular genius for solving problems and contributing to the overall good of us all.
But we still prefer to make our choices by acknowledging and repeating the claimed successes of friends, family and perhaps the promise of a degree of fame.
As marketers, it is left to us to overcome buyer’s resistance to new products; we do this by using the information gathered by the social scientists among us and adjust our market plans accordingly. We then must overcome unforeseen problems as soon as possible after the product reaches a predetermined saturation point.
Shortly after WW II, the electric blanket was introduced. Instantly popular, the product was an immediate success. However, when an unseasonably cold winter set in, complaints started coming back that these electric blankets were not providing enough warmth. Millions of dollars and trillions of words pursued a re-education program of how to properly use the electric blanket.
Heat rises and therefore maximum comfort would not be achieved if snuggling beneath the blanket; it must go under the bottom sheet. The habit of blanket-use acquired over centuries, resisted all attempts to refine the images supported by words and concepts like “snuggle” and “comfy”. Going to bed was for most Americans a ritual with strong expectations of release from a day of struggle and stress.
Eventually, it occurred to someone to give the electric blanket a new name. Soon it was being marketed as a mattress pad. That was nearly two decades ago. Googling nomenclature for both products quickly reveals that there are to this very day, five times as many listings for the tag “electric blanket” as for “electric mattress pad”.