The Success Effect: What’s Your Vision?
Posted on October 3, 2011 by Gail Danneman
Looking for a great fall book to read about leadership that is easy to read? The Success Effect by John Eckberg is a great place to start. Eckberg, a former writer for Cincinnati’s Enquirer newspaper has the chance to interview numerous business people. The book highlights the most interesting interviews and Eckberg’s favorites. The format makes it easy to read and gives you insight into how success can be attained in the business world.
One of the most fascinating interviews the book discusses is with Dean Butler, founder of LensCrafters. I have been purchasing my eyeglasses since the second grade at LensCrafters. Before reading this book, I was unaware of how the chain eyeglass store began. Interestingly enough, LensCrafters began in Florence, KY just across the Ohio Rive where the Cincinnati Airport is located.
Dean Butler began his career working at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati. Soon after working in the labs, he realized he wanted to open his own company. Leaving Proctor and Gamble is a brave move, as it is one of the most coveted organizations to work for. However, Butler took the risk and has ended up with one of the most successful eyeglass companies in the world.
In Eckberg’s interview with Butler, Butler reveals that LensCrafter’s emphasis on customer service has separated it from other competitors. LensCrafters began with a very simple concept: Make glasses for customers in one hour. Dean Butler revealed his core values and what he feels has led to his success. He said you have to have a clear vision of where you are heading in order to be successful. When he started Lenscrafters, the single goal was to provide customers with a one-hour service and made it the 100% goal. The thought was that starting with this goal would eventually take the company where it wanted to go. Butler believes other eyeglass companies have lost sight of the simple goal of one-hour service and therefore lost a large amount of customers.
The customer service sets LensCrafters apart, no question. As a customer myself, I have always felt that how I feel matters. LensCrafters has a policy that allows you to return glasses after 90 days if you find that you do not like the glasses. Speaking as a nearly blind eyeglass user, this makes a difference for me. My lenses are so thick that certain frames will not work for me. I have never been worried about my choices at LensCrafters because I know that if something is not working out, they will help me out. And this is why I have bought over eight pairs of glasses there.
I think Dean Butler’s greatest piece of advice was to keep things simple. His idea started with a simple focus of giving consumers glasses in one hour. Not overly complicated, this focus allowed the company to have a single vision. Organizations can fail because the goals are overly complicated and often lose focus. With a simple focus, an organization is able to devote the appropriate attention and energy to make the goal a success.
What can we learn from Dean Butler?