Archive for October, 2011

 

For Those Who Sell Services:Magnify Your Brand With Integrity

October 20th, 2011
Jim Thomas

 Have you ever stopped to consider the core essence of a “service”? If not, allow me one.A service is a promise. Few carry warranties—for distinct reasons. For example, how can the lawyer warrant his advice? That a waiter’s service will be satisfactory? That a minister’s sermons will bring in converts? That the accountant will find every available deduction?

 Enter the brand. Although often displayed in public, it is more than a physical object. In the market place, the brand is an unspoken warranty. It represents an implied promise the service will perform up to standards.

 Think about it. The buyer of a typical service owns nothing—other than a promise that somebody, somewhere, at sometime will carry out a task. Services with the greatest value are based on promises made and kept

 It follows as certain as the sunrise that the foundation element supporting a brand is the integrity of the organization and its personnel. All brands either rise or fall to the extent integrity is displayed in each and every transaction. Let fabrication, exaggeration, or unkempt assurances creep in and the brand is impaired. Its repair is difficult, without exception.

 A fundamental tenet of integrity holds that legitimate promises shall be kept. In marketing services, the tenet converts to the delivery of services–as promised, when promised, in the manner promised. 

 In his acclaimed book, Selling the Invisible, marketing disciple Harry Beckwith writes:” The heart of a service brand is not artful packaging, slick advertising,or the company name emblazoned on everything from sweatshirts to key chains. The heart of a service brand, and a key to a service’slong-term success is the integrity of the people behind it. Invest inand religiously preach integrity. It is the heart of your brand.”

 

 Note. To assist with encouraging integrity and magnifying your brand, Alliance for Integrity, LLC offers free of charge and costs two working tools: An Integrity Checklist and An Integrity Credo. Both are easily adjusted to your particular circumstances. Go to allianceforintegity.com for contact information.

Golfer David Toms Exercises Monumental Integrity and Preserves His Self- Respect

October 11th, 2011
Jim Thomas

 

 Performance with unbending Integrity has more than one legitimate motivation. One, however, outranks all others—a determination to maintain one’s self-respect. Writing in the New Republic, Brad Blandshard observed that self-respect “…is the most powerful of motives for it is what no one can afford to lose; we try to be what we really admire because if we do not we despise ourselves.”

 Toms, a consummate professional on the PGA tour affirmed Blandshard’s tenet at the 2005 British Open, one of the game’s most prestigious events. That year it was played at the renowned Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland. That year Toms held one of the tour’s hottest hands. He was a leading contender to win the Open. That is until an unwanted occurrence came to light.

 On the morning of the Second Round, Toms came forward and made a startling revelation. He informed tournament officials, and later the press, that he might or might not have committed an error on the famous Road Hole. If he did, he should have taken a penalty stroke. Toms reported that once on the green, he missed a medium-length putt, then strode to the pin and tapped it in. He could not say for sure, but the ball may have wobbled in the wind. Placing a club on a moving ball called for a one-stroke penalty. No player or official at the scene caught it. He had no one to ask

 Toms disqualified himself from a major championship, in which he had chance of winning, with a lot of money on the line. The officials instructed Toms the call was up to him, since they could not verify one way or the other. He, himself, never doubted his disqualification. In his book, How, Dov Seidman describes his telephone interview with Toms as he made his way back home home to Louisiana from Scotland.

  Among other things said Toms, “Whether there was a breach of the rules or not, there was a doubt. I did not want to live with it; my conscience is clear because I felt like I did the right thing.  Sportsmanship in golf is on a different level. Whether I had won, or even made the cut, it wouldn’t have been fair to the rest of the field, and it certainly wouldn’t have been fair to me because I would have had to live with it forever.”

 Toms drives home a basic tenet of Integrity: it require individuals, professionals of every stripe, business executives, corporate managers, and organizations of all kinds to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons—even when there is no absolute demand to do so. In this fashion, the priceless capital of trust, confidence, purpose, credibility, and reputation is established and maintained.

 To assist in management of this kind of capital, Alliance for Integrity, LLC offers free of charge and costs two working tools: An Integrity Checklist and An Integrity Credo. Both are easily adjusted to your particular circumstances. Contact AllianceforIntegity.com

  

Why Keep Commitments? Consider an Episode From the UPS Delivery Man.

October 3rd, 2011
Jim Thomas

Because keeping promises, delivering as we promise, builds reputation capital, trustworthiness, respect, and purpose. In today’s world of the internet and e-commerce instantaneous transparency, these intangibles are of greater importance than ever.

 If you keep promises 99 times out of a hundred and the competitor keeps his only 8 of 10 times, you gain a critical advantage in the market place, irrespective of your service or your product line. Bill Rosenberg, founder of Dunk’n Doughnuts, once defined Integrity as delivering as promised, when promised, in the manner promised.

 Dov Seidman cites an excellent example of fulfilling delivery commitments in his book, How, which bears the subtitle: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything in Business and Life. For their wedding anniversary, Seidman ordered a bracelet for his wife from a New York jeweler, with shipment by UPS overnight. Anxious to have the gift on time, he met the delivery truck the next morning. The delivery guy, one Angel Zamora, reported the item was not on board. His shift ended with that stop, but Zamora did not stop. Instead he went the extra mile.

 An hour later he was still on the phone tracing the package. He finally located it where it had become entangled in  a warehouse problem. He arranged for a special run to make delivery . Pending delivery he furnished Seidman his cell phone number and that of his supervisor. Zamora assured his customer he would stay on top of it until delivery. The package was delivered later that afternoon.

 Zamora, as Seidman noted, exemplifies the UPS culture. UPS emphasizes fulfilling delivery commitments, and its delivery man, in this instance, aligned his conduct precisely in accord with his company’s standards. Somebody at UPS, in its earlier days, may have taken a page from Coach John Woodward, the Hall of Fame basketball coach, who instructed his players “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.

 The cardinal virtue of integrity, the indispensable element, is about HOW you do it.

  Professional speaker, Jim Thomas, and Alliance for Integrity, LLC offer free upon request An Integrity Checklist and An Integrity Credo, for professionals,corporations,firms, and organizations. Contact jim@allianceforintegrity.com.