Vail Daily column: A tale of two businesses
No doubt there is some heavy duty competition taking place these days. Many businesses are fighting for a little bigger piece of the pie each and every day. And this holds true for the single entrepreneur, the small- and medium-size businesses and the large enterprise organizations.
We see the competition play out in marketing campaigns, advertising, social media and through intentional word-of-mouth battles as we all talk-up our favorite products and businesses and talk-down their competitors. I mean, we will share posts and “like” pages on Facebook for the companies we love and support and then we will jump on the bandwagon of negativity when it comes to those products and businesses we do not like or where we had a bad experience.
Who is ultimately responsible for our opinion, favoritism or dislike of a product or business? I mean, our thoughts can only be influenced by the opinions of others to a certain extent; sooner or later we get to the point where we make up our own minds based on our experiences with that person or business.
Let me share with you the story of two businesses, competitors in the same industry. The owner of the first business runs his company with an attitude of winner takes all, win at all costs, take no prisoners and a total lack of trust and respect for the employees at the company. The turnover is very high, employees come and go and the customers become very frustrated with having to deal with new employees all the time. The owner’s view of the world is driven purely by greed.
Now if you have ever watched the movie “Finding Nemo,” there is a scene in the movie where Nemo’s dad, a clown fish, and Dory, a Blue Tang, end up on a dock surrounded by dozens of seagulls. The seagulls start calling out, “Mine, mine, mine … Mine, mine, mine” in a typical seagull like cry. And when I met the owner of the company I described above, that is all I heard as I spoke with him. I could literally hear him saying, “Mine, mine, mine … Mine, mine, mine.”
In contrast, the other company couldn’t be more different. The owner treated the employees like family, there was hardly ever any turnover as the staff has stayed on for many years. The team built solid relationships with customers and each other and even with the local business community. The owner had a mentality of “A rising tide lifts all boats” and wanted to see everyone succeed, even the competition. The ownership, leadership and management delivered a common message to the staff and the community, “We are here to help,” and they consistently communicated the goals and objectives of the business.
They didn’t operate from a position of fear or greed, a minimalist mentality. Instead they operated from an attitude of growth and abundance. The first business owner always finds himself justifying, explaining and defending away the problems in his business. The second owner spends his time celebrating wins and enjoying the benefits of the support of the entire business community.
So which CEO/owner would be more likely to get invited to community events or speak at local or national conferences? As a consumer, which company would you prefer to do business with? Which company would you more than likely “like” on Facebook? Pretty obvious isn’t it?
So how about you? Whether you are a sole proprietor, owner of a small- or medium-size business, or the CEO or executive of a large corporation, are you operating from a “Mine, mine, mine” mentality or a “Rising tide lifts all boats” mentality? Either way I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we learn to live and work from an attitude of growth and abundance, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.