Photo by Horia Varlan
I don’t know if what I am going to do is considered plagiarism or copyright infringement. I don’t think this particular author will see it this way anyway. I honestly don’t care, as the following blog post is so powerful I feel an urge to bring it, in full, here. A few days ago, Seth Godin wrote:
The worst voice of the brand *is* the brand
We either ignore your brand or we judge it, usually with too little information. And when we judge it, we judge it based on the actions of the loudest, meanest, most selfish member of your tribe.
When a zealot advocates violence, outsiders see all members of his tribe as advocates of violence.
When a doctor rips off Medicare, all doctors are seen as less trustworthy.
When a fundamentalist advocates destruction of outsiders, all members of that organization are seen as intolerant.
When a soldier commits freelance violence, all citizens of his nation are seen as violent.
When a car rental franchise rips off a customer, all outlets of the franchise suffer.
Seems obvious, no? I wonder, then, why loyal and earnest members of the tribe hesitate to discipline, ostracize or expel the negative outliers.
“You’re hurting us, this is wrong, we are expelling you.”
What do you stand for?
Godin’s writes mainly (although not exclusively) about marketing. This post, however, is not about marketing or branding. It is, as the last line emphasizes, about what we stand for.
How many times have you stood up and said: “You’re hurting us, this is wrong, we are expelling you”. How many times did you say: “this kind of behavior will not do here”. What are you doing everyday to actively maintain the norms that make you proud of who you are and what you are doing?
For me, management and teamwork boils down to this. When and how to put your foot down against behaviors that go against the team. Of course, “behaviors that go against the team”, should not be confused with “ideas that don’t conform to what we are thinking”. Diversity of opinions, styles, approaches and motivations are welcome. Rudeness, disrespect, bullying, fear of failure and discouragement of effort are not. I think most people could agree on that. Can most people do what it takes to make this a reality? Probably not. Surely most managers I know or heard of can’t. So, what are you waiting for? In some respects, being unique has never been easier.