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Has Uber’s Leadership Finally Gone Too Far?

Posted March 22, 2017

A few weeks ago the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, apologized for cultural failings at his company after a former employee alleged she was harassed and discriminated against while working there. Is it too late for the company that revolutionized public transportation? Kalanick apologized for a lack of diversity in the company's workforce and for not properly responding to employee complaints. Uber & Kalanick are no stranger to public controversy. Last month, the #deleteuber movement came about after customers accused Uber of breaking a New York taxi drivers' strike and allying itself with President Donald Trump. Then this past weekend, former software developer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post alleging that she'd been sexually harassed during her year at Uber and that the company's HR department had tried to protect her manager, rather than resolve the situation. In a February 2014 GQ profile, Kalanick said people referred to the company as "Boob-er" because it helped him attract women. A few months later, Uber employees in France offered riders a chance to be driven by "sexy girls."
In the beginning of March, Uber got blasted by its own investors for fostering a "toxic" culture. To make matters worse, Alphabet's Waymo, parent company to Google, sued Uber for allegedly stealing some driverless car technology. If this wasn't enough, on an Uber driver's dashcam, Kalanick was shown berating the driver when he questioned him about fares. The CEO issued a staff-wide apology in which he admitted that his behavior had to change and that he was seeking leadership help.

*Related - Culture Reflects Leadership

8 Things Exceptional Bosses Constantly Tell Their Employees

A poor culture will destroy a great business model, as we are seeing with Uber. Having a good culture in your organization or department is a direct result of how good you are as a leader. Great leaders create great cultures. An article 8 Things Exceptional Bosses Constantly Tell Their Employees shares how leadership always starts with great communication, so amazing bosses use these phrases daily:
  1. "I have total confidence in you."
  2. "This is what I want us to accomplish..."
  3. "What can we do better next time?"
  4. "I want to play to your strengths."
  5. "What is your opinion?"
  6. "How can I better support you?"
  7. "Let me know if you have any questions."
  8. "Good work."
Ask John?

"How do you implement 'making price irrelevant' when a new customer has never heard of your business until now, and doesn't know of your awesome service yet?"
Hello Sam,
The first place you need to start is ensuring your Customer-facing employees understand the true value of the services, products and most of the Experience they are selling to the Customer. They need to be taught the difference between doing business with your company and anyone else. Things like the trust Customers have, peace of mind, expertise, quality of product, the guarantee, relationships built, and that doing business with your company is Zero Risk. When done correctly, the Customer should realize they couldn't afford to go cheaper.
Have a question for John? Ask him your question on twitter @johndijulius.


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John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America's #1 Customer Service Conference.


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