Students in an MBA course gleaned fresh insights on business leadership when author and customer loyalty expert Sandy Rogers visited their class last month.
Prior to his visit, they read core chapters of his book “Leading Loyalty: Cracking the Code to Customer Devotion.” Rogers directs consulting firm FranklinCovey’s Loyalty Practice and previously served as senior vice president for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. He spoke with students in Dr. Lawrence Burgee’s marketing management course Feb. 5.
PBA Board of Trustees Chairman Timothy S. Sotos introduced Rogers to the marketing faculty and bought a copy of his book for Burgee and each of his students.
Master of Business Administration student Rob Anderson said Rogers validated the instincts he’s had about best business practices for 20 years. The book centers on three loyalty principles: empathy, responsibility and generosity.
“I was glad to see that other people have the same deep-rooted feelings that I do about empathy, responsibility and generosity,” Anderson said. “I was chock-full of questions for him, which he answered. It was good to hear him talk about his personal story.”
Eva Bracciale said Rogers’ unconventional approach was new to her but also made a lot of sense. He and his co-authors stressed the importance of demonstrating empathy, responsibility and generosity to employees so that employees will reflect those values to customers.
“I really feel like it ties into our Christian values as well – loving others as you want to be loved, treating others as you want to be treated,” Bracciale said.
Being able to ask Rogers questions was extremely helpful, she said. It gave her clarity.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever read a book and been able to question the author on why he came to the conclusion that he did,” Bracciale said.
Burgee said he was proud of his students for the way they took Rogers’ leadership lessons to heart.
Bracciale, a senior marketing and accounting major who is taking graduate-level courses, said she has been working to demonstrate Rogers’ leadership principles as president of PBA’s American Marketing Association chapter.
Terran Bredl, an MBA student and digital finance lead for Carrier Corporation, said he started applying Rogers’ loyalty principles in meetings so that others on his team are happy to reach out to him and take care of the customers.
Anderson said if he had learned Rogers’ fundamentals decades ago, when he was starting out in business, it would have spared him from making bad decisions, and he would have added more value to his workplace.
Going back to school for his master’s degree has given Anderson more respect for higher education, he said.
“There’s no substitute for learning new things,” Anderson said. “This experience is empowering me.”
Photo: Dr. Lawrence Burgee and his graduate-level marketing management students pose for a photo with author and customer loyalty expert Sandy Rogers, who visited their class on Feb. 5, 2020.