The Front Lines

Posted on March 4, 2011


In football it is very common to hear analysts and experts to say, “this game will come down to the battle in the trenches” when referring to which team will win or lose. The “trenches” is a reference to where the really big guys push and shove each other on each play. These players are usually unheralded and relatively unknown. But they probably have the most important jobs. Whoever wins the battle in the “trenches” or the front line, usually wins the game.

The same is true in any organization, you will win or lose up front. The front line consists of the receptionist, customer service team, sales associate, cashier, executive assistant, facility maintenance team and anyone that your clientele is likely to come in contact with first. These are not considered glamour positions. But they usually make the first contact and set the tone for your organization, which is very important. It is when most of the wins and losses occur.

For that reason, the front line MUST be exceptional. In football, it doesn’t matter how great your quarterback is if he is running for his life every time he gets the ball because the front line can’t protect him. No organization can afford to have a subpar front line and be highly successful. Like they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression.

I would love to hear your thoughts about what makes a great front line. What are some of the essential skills and characteristics? Do you have any memorable or forgettable experiences?

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