The Devil May Not Only Be In The Details
What is marketing but simply understanding and solving a problem---either a need or a want--- establishing realistic expectations and then meeting them. The one fly in the ointment for most marketers is that they often have no control on the delivery of the promise. That's why the devil may not only be in the details, but in the people. Nearly every new client I get tells me the same woe: "We have the right product, we just have trouble executing." Then they go on to tell me about their need for people with the right stuff such as accountability, integrity, srtong work ethic, loyalty, people-oriented, etc. You know what I'm talking about!
A case in point is with the past two clients I've been working with. Both leaders are bright, focused and experienced, but they lack the bench to field the team. Both of them have inherited situations that requires great patience, diplomacy, and a willingness to risk upsetting the status quo in order to get to the desired outcomes. Both are plagued by the lack of qualified candidates for their organization due to a shortage in a seller's market. And both are fighting strong politics and hidden agendas by some of the main suppliers of referrals as well as internally. So it goes back to that most critical of details, the right people. Sometimes it means firing someone who is just not a fit or does not have the right skills and initiative necessary in a turnaround situation. But as one of my CEO's says, "It's not really a turnaround, it's a rekindling of the fire." Well spoken.
According to Gallup research, only 28% of U.S. employees are engaged or are actively working at the top of their game....that means the other 72% have a significant negative impact on the bottom line. Why should businesses tolerate this? What does this say about more than the bottom line? It tells me that when you think of how many hours we devote to working and careers, why in the world would you want to be stuck in a job that provides no meaningful challenge or does not engage you? Whose fault is that? Is it the employer's fault or is there something deeper like the fact that perhaps we are in a new era where accountability and dedication are antiquated concepts. Everyone has an excuse. At the risk of losing some of my former hippie creds, it does point yet again that business is facing the dilemma that us Boomers have brought on: generations of workers with a an unearned sense of entitlement.
A Day Full of Green Lights
Ever have one of those days when all the lights are green, the sky is blue, the music on the car radio is in synch with your mood, and all your customer experiences are so well executed it nearly makes you swoon? Yep, that was me yesterday as I ran errand after errand and met the most conscientious people solving my problems, meeting my needs, with a smile and courtesy and a genuine sense that I was important. Even dropped in to get an oil change and tire rotation and was taken care of right away: within 22 minutes I was back on the road a smiling and happy wandering marketer.
I share this with you because yesterday proved to me that good, personal service can be done. And it really goes back to the missive above that it takes the right people with the right attitude to get business and keep it. Yes, I did think of pinching myself to see if it was a dream, but I didn't dare. Some things are just too good to spoil with everyday reality.