When I was a little girl I had the perfect role model in my Pop. He was a family man who ran a stock and station business in a small town. He was all about people, and he ran his home and his business with integrity. I don't remember ever hearing a critical word said about him and if there ever was one, I am certain it there would of been 100 to 1 in his defense.
He radiated a certain warmth that was magnetic and as a result was well respected in the town and surrounding country areas.
I cannot say for sure, but I get the sense that this gentleman never once tried to push his business onto anyone, but the people came to him anyway. Why? Because they knew he was a man they could trust. They knew he would get the job done, and he would do it well, and most importantly, they weren't a sale, or a number - they were met as a person.
My grandfather wasn't perfect by any means, and the point is not to put him up on a pedal stool, but rather to share the values that he lived as being a role model for how we can lead in business.
It really is as simple as this and yet the rise of marketing, and more recently digital marketing, has seen many replace this natural way of relating in business for a more methodical sales driven approach that can be at the very least pushy, and at other times, downright imposing. Social media is another perfect example of this, where the sale has become more important then the interaction itself.
Call me old fashioned, but do we not all look for businesses that are truly genuine. That offer a quality service where we actually feel met as a person and not just another sale?
In my own business, I often have people ask if its possible to market a product or service with integrity, and after questioning this myself, I genuinely believe the answer is yes. There is nothing wrong with sharing your business or service with others, but it is the approach we take to this that is important.
If we don't first make it about people, but rather are driven by a desire to make a lot of money, or are governed by the fear of not making enough money, then these things will influence our business dealings and ultimately drive our marketing endeavours.
There is only one way around this and that is to lead in business from the heart. To make our approach about people first, and trust that the rest will take care of itself. Not to say we don't need a sound business plan, because we absolutely do, but only to say that our underlying intention holds the greatest value in terms of the potential success of our business.
Integrity is magnetic, we all love it, we all want more of it in our lives, and this is the digital revolution we are all silently craving - to see more integrity from our businesses online (and off), and this of course starts with ourselves.