Just a few weeks ago it seemed nothing could spare us the unrelenting coverage and hype surrounding the upcoming presidential election. Unfortunately, super storm Sandy did just that. The enormity of destruction and disruption left in Sandy's wake abruptly relegated all things election to a distant second.
Amid the crisis and drama, it was interesting to observe and consider the response of our presidential candidates. In those critical days during hurricane Sandy, both President Obama and Mitt Romney suspended campaign activities to focus on disaster relief efforts. After months of verbal sparring, finger pointing and name calling, it seemed both candidates were determined to do the right thing.
The cynical among us would contend that these actions were driven by self-serving motives to garner positive PR amid public sensitivity in this time of crisis. There's no way to know the thinking behind Obama and Romney's actions, and frankly we don't need to know in order to see the important lesson here. Whether genuine or not, this scenario highlights the value we all place on doing the right thing, selflessness, seeing the bigger picture and recognizing interests greater than our own. It underscores the importance of this attribute in the minds of citizens around the country and around the globe, regardless of gender, ethnicity or political affiliation. As citizens of the business community, we would be wise to take note.
Our relationship with customers is driven by the goal of mutual benefit, with profit, growth and efficiency among the common factors for success. But the foundation of any relationship is trust. To cultivate trust, we must demonstrate to customers on a daily basis our commitment to do the right thing. Doing the right thing doesn't mean always telling customers what they want to hear. It does mean telling customers the truth. It means always considering both organizations (yours and theirs) in any decision. It means being reliable. It means being devoted to your customers' well-being. When you think about it, there is actually greater pressure in business than in politics to do the right thing on a daily basis. After all, customers don't need to wait for the next election to remove an incumbent sales professional.
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