So, I went to Lowes, the local hardware store, this week in search of some items for the new education room that we are putting together for our children.  Now usually, these larger hardware stores are given a hard time for being “big box stores,” devoid of decent customer service.  Unfortunately, this designation is often correct.  However, my experience this week was pretty surprising.  You see, there’s a new leader (store manager) in town, and his presence is making a huge difference (I know a guy who works there, and he tells me that this new leader is really raising the standard).

So, I’m at the store, and the new leader comes up to me as I push my two kids around the store, with merchandise hanging out all over the place, and asks if I need help with anything.  Apparently, he could see the look of confusion on my face as I looked for magnets.  Immediately, he told me exactly where the magnets are kept.  I appreciated that.  Many times people have no clue where items are in their own store where they spend hours and hours a day.  Then, he quickly had a nearby employee escort me to the magnets.  What?! An escort?  That never happens.  Usually, I just get a point of the finger and a “Magnets are over there” comment.  This was a much better experience.

So, the lessons learned from this trip to the hardware store:  1) The leader makes a huge impact on the morale and the standard of excellence.  2) Guiding someone somewhere is better than pointing someone somewhere.  Pointing is good.  Guiding is better.

Have you had a similar experience?  What are your thoughts?