What we stand for

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.

Elad

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2 Responses to “What we stand for”

  1. Vino824@aol.com Says:

    I’ll even add to this… I was taught in a company I worked for that word of mouth was the best advertisement for your brand. They spent mega bucks on research to back it up with the numbers. Bottom line good or bad experiences are shared and can make or break a brand. I found it astonishing that they never considered the brand damage they were causing each time they created a bad experience with an employee. I don’t remember anyone researching the amount of damage actually caused. I can only tell you first hand this is the more costly damage. This damage can no longer be avoided by a simple change (company name change) because people recognize the organization by the people they support. Things have changed and if companies want to continue they need to stop the short cuts. Just some random thoughts.
    Anne

  2. sherfelad Says:

    Thanks Anne,
    Great comment.
    Elad


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