Then one Sunday morning we were having brunch at the Princess Resort. It’s called the Scottsdale Fairmont today, but it will always be the Princess to us. I asked JoAnn, “If you had to narrow it down, what 10 things define Clients First?”
It was kind of an out-of-the-blue question, because we hadn’t really spoken of it for a couple of months. I don’t know where the number 10 came from. It could have been a dozen or eight. I just wanted to get away from the list of 122. She thought about it, and as she said each item I wrote them on a scratch pad. We ended up with 11 principles, and it was an excellent list.
The next day, I pulled out the 122-item list, and, sure enough, every item on that long list could be assigned to one of the 11 on the short list. We were on to something, and I thought about it all week.
The next Sunday morning, like a superstitious baseball player, I took JoAnn back to the Princess for brunch. We even waited so we could sit at the same table.
We talked about how much more powerful the short list was. Maybe 11 things could be memorably conveyed. We talked about how maybe we could take the list of 11 items and make it 12, then have each one start with one of the letters in Clients First (C for cooperation, L for love, etc.), but that just sounded contrived.
We talked about change. We talked about how keeping the clients by taking care of them had transformed us. We asked how these things on our list would change a person. That was the key question. ...