Ducks and Eagles

July 17, 2011

Public relations

Are you an eagle or a duck? (Image credit:














Have you heard the one about ducks and eagles? Ducks always follow the leader. One quacks, they all quack back without really thinking. On the other hand, eagles always soar. They lead and find their own way.

It kind of sounds corny. But at the same time, it really is true. And it happens all the time.

I used to work at Sprint. There are a ton of great people there, but it’s no secret that the company dug itself a huge hole over the past 10 years because of its customer service practices. Too many customer service scripts and “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do’s.” Not enough answers to questions and resolutions to problems. Too many ducks.

But then came 2007. A new CEO, Dan Hesse. A new approach to service. A new culture about solving customer problems, including incentives for employees when they fixed customer issues.

It’s take a while, but recently, Sprint just reported positive Q1 results. And the company was named one of 40 J.D. Power customer service champions, an honor that would have never been possible a few years ago. If you think the correlation between positive business results and a new approach to service is a coincidence, think again. Whole lot of eagles there now.

Every time you face a decision at work, whether it’s an internal one you face with colleagues or an external one you face with customers, you have a choice. Quack or soar. Duck or eagle.

Eagles lead. Ducks follow. No matter how corny it sounds, it really is that simple. Which one do you want to be?

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