As I sat in my Strategic Services Marketing lecture, in order to complete my Bachelor of Business Hons Degree in Entrepreneurship, I was strangely challenged by an innocent word play.
Let me fill you in…
We were discussing the various ways one would develop your company’s ‘Flower of Service”, with a view to offering the best functionality for the service or product that customers are willing to pay for. We discussed the various ways you can add value to your customer’s experience while also running an effective and innovative marketing strategy. It is all about the core of your service plus your additional back-up services, which guarantee you the differentiation you desire. The ‘petals’ you develop as part of your marketing strategy are of immense importance, but so are other elements.
So, as the word ‘credible’ was suggested a few times, and we tossed around the idea of creating these added services as a business, I started to think about the word ’incredible’. The Incredible Hulk would never have become the superhero we grew up believing he was, if it were not for his superhero powers to impress and deliver. So in the latest new word of my amazing little nephew/godson, be “CLASS”, be a class person who delivers in an awesome way!
I would imagine every entrepreneur, whether an innovative product designer or a creative service manager, wants to be ‘incredible’. But I am also pretty sure they want to be ‘credible’ too, wouldn’t you?
So how does this translate? Well, I went off on a roll thinking about these two words and their definitions:
CREDIBLE:Able to be believed; convincing. Capable of persuading people that something will happen or be successful. Being capable of being believed; plausible. Keeping your word, being worthy of confidence and reliability. Being of sufficient military capability to deter an attack or carry out an operation successfully: Those of you involved in the marketing world may have heard of the term ‘credibility gap’: this describes the difference between high expectations aroused by unrealistic claims, and the actual performance of a product or service.
So for a moment let’s just switch to my other focus word and see how it is defined.
INCREDIBLE: marvelous, amazing, astonishing, barely believable. It can be described as possessing a rich quality that provokes amazement and awe from your audience or customers. Others see it as maintaining a quality which is awe-inspiring and astonishing.
If you look at your own person-hood as a brand, do you see yourself as a trustworthy person who delivers credible value to those who do life with you, or are you more concerned about your ‘incredible ways’ than to bother with maintaining a strong ethical stand when it comes to fulfilling what you promise? These questions provoked me, and I considered the many organisations worldwide, who promise a product or service of infinite value to their consumers/users, while failing miserably in their real genuine power to deliver.
As I embark upon a new chapter in my writing career, I am so aware of the importance of being ‘credible’ and ethical, while hungering for the ‘wowness’ of the ‘incredible factor’ also. These are deep questions which should cause us to challenge our core beliefs. I believe it is possible to encompass both of these amazing qualities into our marketing mix, our ‘Flower of Service’, and more importantly our dealings with colleagues, family, and friends on a daily basis. Good petals are only valuable if they are equally as credible as they are incredibly wonderful!
In my current studies, I am seeing many stories of human resource departments having to fire people due to their poor moral standards, ethics or personality traits. It is sad that people who tick all of the boxes in remarkable ways, can fail in the personality department and lose their employable strengths over it. You may deliver incredibly well in your interviews, but turn out to be an awful person to work with every day. Be careful! be credible and incredible.
Today I was reminded of quite a special conversation that took place a little over a year ago, but has been revisited in my thoughts at various times. The memory has been awakened by the emotion I see daily in the current 2012 Olympic Games being held now in London.
Let me take you back to that special occasion .. .. .. I packed my bags and hit the road. My arms were ready for hugs, my heart was eager for slobbery kisses and smiling faces. In my bag were goodies and treats for two little boys and a little pink princess. Soon I was there, and hugs and cuddles commenced eagerly. Eskimo kisses were exchanged and laughter filled our hearts and the room. I was on a sleepover with my nephews and niece, oh and their parents, who I had told to go on a date as I would babysit for them. Soon it was just me and the three musketeers, all in our pyjamas on the couch watching a movie. My eldest nephew, a courageous 7 year old then, turned to me as he noticed my black & pink heart pyjamas. He giggled and said, “Nisey, you always have heart things, why?” I snuggled him closer and explained to all three of them how important the heart is. They were giggling with laughter as I explained how the heart inside us keeps us alive by pumping blood around our body, but that it is also with the heart that we are able to love, and without a heart we would feel nothing. As they followed my lead they placed their little hands on the spot where their hearts were beating and their eyes opened wider as they understood what I was saying.
So then the challenge came…my eldest nephew turned to me saying, “Nisey, do you think you can find a heart every day and take a photo of it with your phone?” ~ I accepted his challenge, and we agreed that for a year, I would find a ‘heart’; and so the “Hearts 365 Project” began! The heart project has finished now, but in all of our lives the work of living with courage from our heart, still continues! It was an amazing project, and one that many people all over the world became involved in, joining in the fun of finding hearts. A heart revolution you might say! There will be more about that project at a later date ✿♥‿♥✿
.. .. .. As I watch the Olympics I am left in awe at the sense of teamwork and commitment I see between the various countries and their teams. On the night of the Opening Ceremony they each walked with pride behind their country flag and joined together in courage and preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Surely each of us felt our hearts beating loudly with anticipation and excitement? I know mine did as our dear friend Katie Taylor proudly led Team Ireland♣ with the Irish flag in her strong boxing arm! Go Katie!♣
“Semper Fidelis”, (a motto I love), resounds loudly from their hearts as they challenge their physical capabilities for the next two weeks. But no matter what medals are won or lost, they are together under the umbrella of “Always Faithful”, and even those who fail to make the cut or win their medal are still on the team, and will not be disowned in terms of their flag colours and team membership. We have much to learn about this in our own evaluation of the way we do life together day to day. Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal”, as the motto of the United States Marine Corps (and often shortened to Semper Fi in Marine contexts), Semper Fidelis has served as a slogan for many families and entities, in many countries, dated to have been started no later than the 16th century. Newly married couples have even had it engraved on the inside of their wedding rings, as a beautiful sign of their commitment and loyalty for the rest of their lives ~ beautiful! Semper Fidelis goes beyond teamwork ~ it is a brotherhood that can always be counted on. This became the Marine Corps motto in 1883 and it guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to their country, no matter what.
So to live as a committed person is to walk with a code of personal integrity, and they say that it is honour that guides those who do the right thing when no one is looking. It is not only a duty, but also a distinction, and one that sets you apart from those who easily compromise their values and ethics. It is true, that when you meet someone you can trust, your heart feels safe and refreshed, that although they are not perfect and may fail, you still know that at their core there is a code of honour and truth that they strive to live by. What is found in one’s beliefs is exhibited through one’s actions; When our truest principles are tested, it’s courage that prevents us from crumbling. It isn’t about ignoring fear, but being stronger than fear. Courage starts in the heart, and it is also the guardian of all the other values that we hold fast to. It is there when times are toughest, when difficult decisions have to be made.
A Nisey Note ~~> May God’s love reach in and heal where disappointments and emptiness war for our hearts! May His love stir our hearts again to live from a place of abandoned adventure. When the heart hurts it is tempting to kill it, to not feel from it, to hide it away where nothing can hurt it again; to pretend what we treasured was less than the beautiful gift we knew it to be. But from our heart is where God wants our life to live; from our deepest part comes our deepest impact on this world, from our heart our worship sings! Don’t kill your heart, for it is the place where real intimacy and life must spring from. Semper Fidelis “Always Faithful”…. must be the anthem of our hearts and the motto of our lives.
The amazing cyclist, Lance Armstrong uses the great slogan LIVESTRONG ~ so keep in mind no matter what you are battling, you can live Always Faithful ~ Forever Strong!