Is there a company or brand that immediately comes to mind when you hear words like quality, value, or trustworthiness? How much time and energy do we all invest on a daily basis to position our own organizations in the hearts and minds of others as having those traits? Why is it so important for a company to have a good name? These are likely all rhetorical questions… None of us want to do business with a company if we’re concerned that they won’t stand behind their product or service.
So why should it be any different for us as individuals? It’s not! This is an often overlooked key to personal (and career) growth and development.
I heard a story earlier today a gentleman received a call from a recent customer asking for help with a product they had recently purchased and if it was still under warranty. In that industry, there’s really no standard warranty. But in this case, the gentleman who received the call got in his vehicle and went to the customer’s home to take a look at the issue. While it was a relatively simple fix, it really wasn’t something that would typically be covered under a warranty even if one had been in place. This didn’t stop him from taking the time to address the issue, as well as every other possible issue like it, and he showed the customer a few simple steps that could be taken moving forward to prevent it from occurring again. Why would he do all of this if he wasn’t required to? He wanted to make sure he did everything he could to ensure his name and the name of the company he represented was the first thing that customer thought of when they had an additional need AND when they heard of anyone else with a similar need. Keeping a good name means everything in situations like this!
In chapter 9 of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, The Law of The Ladder, John says that “character growth determines the height of your personal growth. And without personal growth, you can never reach your potential.” Almost everyone is taught the difference between right and wrong as a child. As we age and have more responsibilities, different pressures can sometimes influence our decisions. And sometimes it can be more gray than black or white… John also references retired general Norman Schwarzkopf as saying “Ninety-nine percent of leadership failures are failures of character.” John goes on to add that “so are ninety-nine percent of all other failures.” He adds that “most people focus too much on competence and too little on character.”
If you had to pick one area in your personal life or in your business where additional focus on character improvement would make an immediate difference, what would it be?