Dan Sanders' Built to Serve

Dan Sanders, CEO of the award-winning, service-oriented, United Supermarkets, reveals how leaders can adopt a people-centered culture that consistently delivers outstanding customer service.

New York, NY, September 19, 2007 --(PR.com)-- “Built to Serve calls for a profound shift in the philosophy and practice in business. We can all learn a great deal from Dan’s leadership and United’s legacy”
– from Built to Serve’s Afterword by Ken Blanchard,
coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

United Supermarkets, one of America’s oldest family-owned corporations, has a 91-year record of accomplishment in passionate customer service despite razor-thin profit margins in the supermarket industry. With 26 stores in Texas, the chain serves more than 1 million guests per week and is a well-known, well-respected member of the communities in which it serves. While most stores rely on cutting costs to survive, United Supermarkets is sustained by a culture-driven, people-centered approach to business.

In Built to Serve: How to Drive the Bottom Line with People-First Practices (McGraw-Hill, October 2007), United Supermarkets CEO Dan Sanders shares the remarkable success of his company and provides the tools and techniques every organization needs to tap into that employee passion. Sanders weaves in his own experiences in business, sports, the air force (he was an air force pilot and officer for more than a decade) and in life, and is self-critiquing in offering up the obstacles United Supermarkets has encountered in developing their people-centered culture. Sanders shares:

- How using a powerful, short mission statement brings clarity to your organization. (Theirs is “Ultimate Service, Superior Performance, Positive Impact”)

- How calling customers “guests”, the human resources team “talent management team”, and creating employee “ambassadors” without the checklists and training manuals helps develop a people-centered culture

- The difference between a storekeeper and a merchant: the storekeeper wants to maintain the status quo, but the merchant is entrepreneurial and always looking for ways to improve

- The difference between a player vs. a fan: players represent the team everyday of the week whether or not they are playing, but fans are fickle and only happy if the team is winning

Among the insight we learn about United Supermarkets:

- The company developed a “United We Care” program which was conceived, designed, and funded by team members to enable co-workers to assist their peers in times of extraordinary need. Currently, 9,000 team members are voluntarily contributing more than $7,000 to the fund each week. All proceeds from Built to Serve are being donated to “United We Care.”

- The family-owned corporation has recently restructured to capitalize on the individual differences within its chain of stores. They used to operate in a homogenized manner, but now manage each chain using 3 divisions – specialty, international, and traditional.

Built to Serve’s real life stories about what it takes to create a fully engaged and productive workforce will resonate with companies around the world, in every industry, large and small. Leaders, managers, and employees alike will be inspired to create a workplace where people want to come to work, not just have to come to work. The result is the creation of a competitive advantage that goes beyond selection and price, and that focuses on service to customers and the community at large.

Built to Serve includes a foreword by Stephen R. Covey and an afterword by Ken Blanchard.

About the Author
Dan J. Sanders is CEO of United Supermarkets, Ltd., the first supermarket to win the prestigious National Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. He is also cofounder of The Center for Corporate Culture, which coaches CEOs and their teams to build corporate cultures focused on leadership, ethics, wellness and execution. Sanders is a former Air Force U-2 reconnaissance pilot and a highly decorated officer.

For All Media Inquiries:
Kenya M. Henderson
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Kenya Henderson