The Face Of The Company

 

Smiling is Branding

You work so hard to build your brand.
People connect with Pepsi over Coke or Adidas over Nike or Hellmann’s Mayo over Miracle Whip, and so on.
That simple declaration takes time to build into loyalty.
It involves repeated good performance out of which you build trust to connect with.
And with one bad experience it can be gone.

Perception Spreads

The perception of a company is delivered by the employee who is paid the least on the front line. Or possibly a person who has so much authority, they may not hold the company’s  ethical standard. This is the one employee who is in direct communication with the first people to interact with your brand and, in many cases, also the most often. They may be a person who is overlooked, undervalued, overvalued or unqualified for the job without developed personal and relational skills to match the ethos the business stands on.

What skills are actually required in these positions? Is customer relations regarded highly in the abilities of the job description? How does a company empower those in such a position to handle the variables of the situations they face? Is there a gauge as to when they can be trusted to represent those values?  Is there authority to match the responsibility?
What is the value of a great impression?

Balance Sheets Don’t Determine Value

It’s the intangibles that can cost us the most.
The problem is that we don’t even know their real cost because loss of trust or lack of connection to the product or service doesn’t make it to the balance sheet.
The subtext of these questions posed is getting at how to determine real value.

We spend so much energy on the numbers.
Numbers do tell a story. They can tell many stories.
They have their place. Of course you must be profitable.
The numbers, however, are not the sole reason to make a decision.

Just as in your personal life, values determine the results.
Philosophies make determinations, value judgements.
The choices made become easier when their reasoning is understood and when they fit the philosophy. Profit then, is the reward for serving the needs of your philosophy internally, which correctly made it all the way to your customer, who interacted with it externally by a purchase that connected them to your company.
No profit, no company.
No philosophy, no trust. Soon, no customers.
No company.

Are you in business to help those who use the product or service or is it simply to provide a living for yourself?
It’s worth noting that helping your customers provides both.

Do you prefer to do business with those who meet your needs, big or small?
You have a reaction when customer service is there to really help you, and not just cite company policy that might not make sense in a given situation? Conversely, the company who doesn’t seem to care when dealing with you is poorly remembered,
likely costing future business. Again, not making the balance sheet.
Even attention to the situation, while not being able to fully accommodate, can be a well respected effort.
That small amount of extra attention is real marketing. It’s the intangible cost of keeping a customer.

You Are the Brand

Business is business – an adage that is now old and from the industrial age. It began it’s exit in the information age. It is now gone, although most don’t realize we’ve moved on yet.  We are now in what Seth Godin calls “the connection economy.” He puts more succinctly what I believe to be true. Business is personal because it always ends with connection between people. Be intentional by thinking about things that are beyond what the businesses rules and standards say. They are always subject to more information for the possibility of change. Change can always refine a philosophy.

Think for yourself. Know your philosophy.
That is the heart of your product and your difference in the marketplace.

Is This My Pack?

 

Know your pack.

Your pack appreciates you –

and it’s obvious.

Dilution gets absorbed

Are you trying to reach everybody?
How exhausting.
How fruitless.
How much less time is then available for those that respond well to you?

 

Remember High School? How many real friends did you have?
What do you suppose was the percentage of friends to total students? Even if you were known to many, the amount that you were affected by is your real pack.
Because it takes time and effort to relate to people, you can only invest in a small number that you would call close friends. This is where your life is shaped – by these chosen few, in relational give and take.

 

It does no good to spend any time trying to convince the unconvincible. That’s a waste. It’s not fruitful. If you are to gain their approval at all, it will not be because you catered to them but because you have already done things right and your pack has responded. For them not to align with you then would be taking a stand they don’t take.
You can be cordial to people you don’t trust. And not choosing to do business with them is fine, even healthy.

 

Trolls produce nothing of value and are without real influence. Their comments are not backed up with insightful and meaningful dialog, only hipshot, often drive-by opinion.
You would do well to steer clear.

 

Give first – that’s it.

Giving is a mentality. It comes from a settled spirit. Peace. Abundance.
The results are better almost always.
Giving in order to get in return is manipulation.
Be generous in many ways, then look around. The results are more contented, which repeats itself.

You know who you resonate with because they resonate with you too. That’s connection. The internet has now connected us all by our shared interests providing a broader radius. Good results come from spending your time crafting relationships with those who give good feedback. Crafting relationships means listening to and asking about them.

 

Turn the soil to strengthen the roots.
Cultivate with your time.
Your pack is important.
It likely includes more people than you think but only a few are needed.
Your productive happiness is at stake.

 

Affect and be affected.
A small pack can affect many.

 

Hi, My Name Is Project

 

Your project is a person

 

It helps if you treat her like one.
There’s a counseling method that works in marriages that says there are her needs, there are his needs, and then there is the relationship’s needs.
Your project is a marriage of many minds all vying for their place in it.
Giving the project its own equal vote allows you to look at it more objectively.

With all there is to do, it’s easy to forget that it’s all for people.
 

Remembering this at the proper time is a difference maker.

 

Attraction Reaction

We are all polarizing creatures

Opposites Attract

It’s funny how often the opposites are true. I reference many opposites in my posts.
It shows the polarity of life and how closely connected we actually are to two differing sides. Slight differences can either separate or make things more interesting. Why do most marry someone so different than themselves, especially given that it’s for life?
 
We can choose either side of an issue, the positive or the negative. They both have great force. One attracts and one repels. You need both to make either work. We get  caught up in only one direction, giving no respect to it’s opposite. Yet it’s opposite makes our direction possible, if not equally able to be fully appreciated.
 
We try to attract what we want, often unaware of how. If everything were to attract, we would end up also getting what we don’t want. There is the ability to have too much of a good thing. We have to repel sometimes.

Attracting the force we want

We attract the positive, productive force by throwing away the unwanted, or that which derails us, and even further by giving away some excess good we attain. It feels good to give, and that helps us moderate our portions for balance and stay on goal.
Gathering to excess can often bring about the worst behavior in ourselves.
It’s not an abundance mentality. It’s storing from scarcity.
Decide where the line is, but seek a balance to gain stability.
 
There is no good without bad.
There is no big without little.
There is no success without failure.
The world is not just the depth of one direction but the whole of it’s opposite included.
 
We are magnetic, electric.
There are fields of study to study our fields.
We are always choosing the polarity of any given situation.
Attract or repel?
Your choices determine your field and level of attraction.
 

Top Dog Behavior

It’s animal instinct

 

Being top dogged is when you’re being coerced, appeased, overlooked, played or generally put in your place. When you realize it you have only two choices.

 

The first is to stand toe to toe and fight for top dog honors.
That’s risky. Possibly worth it but know that you can’t go back to where you were once you stand and fight. It’s messy, it’s ugly.
The second is to not play.

 

Not Playing has two choices as well.
1. Focus (calm)
Not playing could mean quieting down and focusing on your job. It could mean not letting the distractions run rampant around you or feeding into the wrong things.
Top dog behavior has it’s run but it’s not long term behavior. So your choice here could be to wait it out.

 

2. Separate (ruckus)
Not playing could also mean mentally separating and beginning to look for
the next answer, possibly with another company or your own venture.
Oddly enough, this is where you can gain what you sought by your desire to be playing the top dog game in the first place. This game has to be treated differently though. There should be no top dog behavior present if shared goals are being sought.

 

Animals react – Humans plan for the long term

 

By not playing that game and playing another version of it – your version of it, you begin to focus on your own vision and bring along the people who are influenced enough to share in it with you.

 

If you choose the your own path, remember what sent you into productivity in the first place and make decisions fairly and with good collaborative trust, respect and communication to avoid other teammates being put off by the pressures of supporting and collaborating your vision only, at the expense of their own.

 

Leadership is influence that pulls vision together. Leadership is not getting your way, it’s merging visions to move in to the goal together – Shared vision. From a healthy, long-term perspective, getting to be the top dog has nothing to do with exerting top dog behavior. Leadership is earned. Trust is earned. Force and coercion is not earned, it’s taken. Once people notice which behavior they are experiencing, they react in kind, making top dog behavior short term.

 

There is always another challenger willing to fight unless you aren’t playing.
There’s plenty of food for all in your game.

 

Feed them well.

 

Do You Know Your Calling?

Your calling might not be
what you thought

 

Is it time to rethink your career?

How many different things have you tried?
If you’re like me, it’s quite a lot.
I’ve thought about a great many things that I would want to do for a living.
What I have been able to make my living doing is something I enjoy but I personally have changed what that is many times in my life.
I view it in eras.
I made a choice, decided to dive into it and before too long, after I faced the fear of not knowing, but doing it anyway, I was good enough to start helping others with what I can now do. That became a money earner. The next few years afterwards were spent getting better at it as I got more comfortable with it’s tools and art. But that’s me.

 

What about you?

I’m astounded by those of you who only have ever wanted to do one thing.
And then you did it.
I’ve also met many who get to be great at what they said was their calling but then started to have regrets because they were “stuck” being an expert in a high paying position. Waaah, right? But they felt bad about it.

 

The point is, it’s your life – your choice.
You are never done living your own life.
You have to decide daily what path you want to take and make even a few steps in a new direction to be excited about it.
Life is great that way.
Just a little bit of new and exciting fills you up and makes you feel great.

 

Call yourself out to find your calling.
Then take a few steps on a different path.
This is your friendly reminder if you should you need one.
What’s the matter with starting today?

 

Try living without regrets.
Whatever happens, the look back will bring a smile and that’s a life well lived.

 

Resolve to Re-solve

 

The word came to me – Resolve.

So I had to think about it.

 

We can resolve to make changes that are needed but are being put off.
Resolve means to settle the matter. And in doing so you become settled.
It also means to heal; the action brought from your resolve brings the result of healing.

 

Then there’s re-solve.
To solve again.
Resolve to re-solve.
That is, decide, benefit, and do it again.

 

You make a choice to handle it, that decision brings peace through action.
Your actions reduce the rising levels, and things get better.
Decide, Settle, Subside, Heal.
Done only by you.
Find your resolve

 

The Popsicle Twitter Stick

 

Popsicle sticks are hand held billboards

My kids and I were having a popsicle.
…wait, there’s more.

The Business of Stick Ads

It seems like if you’re in the popsicle business you have a built-in opportunity that you must not miss to post a message on the stick. I’m sure it’s standard protocol in the “food on a stick” industry. It’s your chance to brand or display the company philosophy.

Mine said “Be Positive.”
Cool enough, I’m with you there.
But that wasn’t enough for me.
How am I supposed to go about being positive?
You don’t know what I’m going through, popsicle stick.
That’s easy to say but how do I DO it?
The message was as incomplete as a fortune cookie and left me wanting more like Chinese food does an hour later.
Well-intentioned happy voids are only the tip of the spear. It is the sharpest point, I get it. There’s just not enough room to hold the whole point. This, of course, got me thinking.

The metaphor for the soundbite culture

People decide that one line is gonna do it. It’s all we have room for. It’s all the time we have to invest in understanding or making the point. That’s why we have drive-by opinions. The time we give it can only hold surface content, headlines. No time for depth.
We carry on 140 character conversations – lives.

This will reach it’s peak, I believe, as the opinion culture seeks more meat. The hamburger was always going to evolve to include toppings. Better opinions will get expounded upon and the info from the respected individuals voice will be louder than the baseless posts of trolls. Simply having a voice will peak and tip. Once people realize they don’t have all the answers, more questions come and that can serve to open discussions. That’s the best of opening up the world in a communication era. The cream always rises to the top.

One of my endeavors through this blog is to talk through my mindset in increments; to add to the sound bite with a small piece of the reason. In searching how I find my way back to contentment, I write it so that I might understand it better and leave a reminder as to at least one way to do it in the process.
Contentment is everywhere you look for it. But you do have to look.  It’s that which keeps you from becoming a troll and knocking down anything you don’t agree with or understand. Your life goes according to how you see it.

That’s what I came to after seeing encouraging words on a popsicle stick.
The culture of the popsicle twitter stick could change. Either the point size will get tiny to fit more on each stick, or there will be enormously long popsicles in the future.

Yeah, ok, I won’t get all crazy now.
“Be Positive” sounds about right now that I’m done with my thought-spew.

Who Are You Helping?

Generosity Promotes Reciprocity

 

Someone asks for your help

Do you:
1. Take the time to ask a number of questions to find out what it is that would help them best, whether it’s something you can do or something another person could do to better serve their needs?

 

2. Dive right in and start doing what you know how to do, even if it doesn’t totally solve their problem, figuring it needs to be done anyway, and that is helping them even if they don’t know it.

 

One says “let’s figure this out.” (helps solve their problem).
The other says “look at what I know” (doesn’t help, in fact, may create more to solve).
Another way of saying that is – one is for them, the other is for the helper.
Yet another way – One is help, one isn’t.

You give help to someone

Do they:
1. Engage enough to be present. You might need them to do something. The chance exists to learn from you.

 

2. Leave, but not before issuing instruction on how it is to be done and when. They’re busy and they have more important things to do to keep the train rolling.

 

One says I appreciate the generosity and am in this with you, thank you.
The other says, I am too busy to learn or engage and just need you to do this.
This is a pattern, it will repeat if you’re around for the asking.
In other words, I need but don’t truly appreciate your kindness or time and will prove it by asking until you’re burned out on the repeated requests.
Again, one is help, one isn’t.

 

Help is not hiring
When you hire someone to perform a service or do something requiring expertise that you don’t possess, there is a contract, agreement, and an understanding of the work to be done. The expectation is that you are not helping. You are more likely getting in the way if you’re too involved. They would no doubt prefer for you to let them do the job you are paying them to do.

 

Help, on the other hand, is given freely, has it’s boundaries and is easy to burn up when not reciprocated in any other way.
Help given should be done with the right spirit and boundaries.
Help received should be appreciated and where possible, reciprocated.

 

Being full of thanks is what makes for great relationships.
It’s what leads to helping.
Being helped makes you want to help back.
That’s the best circle to engage in repeating.

 

The Struggle Of Know And Do

 

We spend so much time trying to gain information about a subject.

The seeking of knowledge

At one point I looked in and found that I actually knew enough to feel comfortable talking on many different subjects directly to experts.
That wasn’t enough.

 

It took me many more years to find out that there is another skill set needed to put into practice all that I had learned. A muscle that needs to be worked. That’s much harder. That’s when you learn exponentially because you are producing things by yourself and/or with others.
Still not enough, and it never will be.

 

Knowing it is different than doing it

I have run across many smart people who will tell you how to do something but they have not managed to practice it themselves. At least to a deep enough level to communicate with an expert effectively through their own experience.
Head smart is only one kind of smart. These are undeniably intelligent people, but they are only halfway there in fields outside of their expertise. An expert will know the standard, and will have done it enough to find their own unique methods to get the results that are their preferences. Their art. Their style. And an expert has more creation to unleash that benefits us all. For the rest of their life.

 

That’s why we’re never done. With anything – ever.
There’s always more to learn and there’s always more to do.
There are so many points of interest that you never could possibly run out.
That is what makes life so interesting to me.
I will always have some pursuit to the end of my days and there will always be projects that could go further.

 

Finding contentment in that statement doesn’t mean slow down your pursuit.
It’s just the never ending struggle of know and do.