Chapter 1

Introduction

Effective leadership has long been recognized as one of the elusive critical factors in organizational success, especially when it comes to improving operational performance. Customers are increasingly demanding higher levels of speed and quality, yet leaders often focus mainly on reducing the costs of operations. Yes, organizations do pay lip service to the slogan “the customer is king,” but it certainly doesn’t always feel that way from a customer’s perspective. The data on customer satisfaction continues to disappoint. Customers were only marginally more satisfied in 2007 than in 1994, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which hovered around 75% in 2007, barely above the 1994 benchmark of 74.75%. ...

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