Interview with Kit Grant
What do people gain from your keynotes?
- Recognition of personal responsibility and how it influences all their consequences when they make a choice
- Understanding that there are almost endless opportunities available outside their comfort zones
- They have a chance to “lighten up” a bit at the end of a meeting/conference and leave with an incentive to implement what they learned
What are your top three tips for organizations seeking to be more customer focused?
- Customer service is not the “flavor of the month” — it is something you are, not something you do
- Desired behavioral outcomes must be modeled consistently by leadership
- Staff must be rewarded with something other than just monetary reinforcement when they exhibit top-level service delivery
- #4 … do what your competition is unwilling (not unable) to do
What is your favorite experience you have had as a keynote speaker?
I’m not sure if “favorite” is the right word … after 3000+ presentations, it’s hard to pick a favorite but I do have a few memorable ones:
- I was presenting at a large conference and after I finished I was advised that the speaker for the following day would not be there because of travel and weather related problems. I offered to stay another day and presented a completely different program — meeting planner thought it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen and “accused” me of saving her entire conference!
- I had the opportunity to present a 45 minute keynote to many of the top officials from the USMC at a meeting in Orlando — over 100 people in the room with no one under the rank of Major (couple of Generals and many Colonels and Lt. Colonels). They were impressed enough to sign up for a series of 2-day seminar/training programs at 7 different Marine bases in the US and Japan.
- I delivered a seminar in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor), the most westerly part of Alaska (4.5 hr. flight from Anchorage in the Aleutian Islands)
How do your life experiences influence your keynotes?
- I have discovered that most successful people were willing to “do”. Sure planning is important as is knowledge but many times someone will take action and make something happen while others are still “considering” the idea. This is the message I impart when I speak.
- People having FUN are usually more effective at any task than those who are grumpy.
- Always do a bit more than expected — it doesn’t take much to really stand out from most others.
- I have traveled to 15 countries on 4 continents — it’s often beneficial to have exposure to different perspectives although I am always surprised at how much alike we all are.
How do you manage to empower and motivate people?
I am not convinced I have ever motivated anyone to do anything. I make people aware of possibilities, encourage them to act and they either make the decision to follow-through or not. I am full aware I never reach everyone in an audience but if I can make them pay attention and think about how they could make their life better, I think I have accomplished my task. In doing so, I guess I have indirectly empowered them to take more responsibility for their outcomes.