I’m sitting down to write this out of the blue post at 11:30 am on this here Friday morning and I’ve already had the pleasure of crossing paths with 3 cool strangers in 3 hours. All of them passionate about their work. All of them interesting and genuine.
All of them with great names too….weird.
These 3 new strangers; Bren the coffee shop barista, Slade – a networking connection, and Monroe over at the electronics store have me feeling inspired this morning. Yes, people do still go to the electronics store.
Now, I meet new people often and I visit a number of different coffee shops and retail locations. People are typically friendly and helpful in Columbus, so what made these 3 folks so inspiring?
It’s pretty simple but not witnessed near enough.
Their work and the goals they had set for the tasks at hand had very little to do with the product or service they were paid to provide. It had everything to do with the people they were providing said product or service to. The generous amount of “give a damn” in each one of them was glowing. It was never forced. It was part of their DNA.
Bren genuinely wanted me to have a good morning, enjoy my tea, smile and feel good about myself. Though we had never met.
Slade genuinely wanted to open up a world of creative possibilities and make it accessible to anyone.
Monroe, genuinely wanted me to have the right device to match my needs and wouldn’t sell me anything less. He also genuinely wanted me to know that his name was Monroe despite the fact that his name badge said, Kyle. And to that electronics retail giant I say, stop making people wear someone else’s name badge. I don’t care if you have to write his name on a piece of tape and stick it to his shirt. Careless about your “uniform” and more about how your associates engage with your customers.
I’m off track. My point is this: anyone can memorize a process or a script. They can follow rules and wear what they’re supposed to. And there are a good number of minds out there who can innovate and astound us with what they create. Purpose, intent, passion will trump all of that every time.
Being part of Shout Out Studio all I can think is, I want to tell their stories. I want folks to drive to that store and ask for Monroe when they walk in. I want to see a line of people talking with Bren and see them walk away smiling. I want everyone to throw their weight behind what Slade and is partner are developing and help them blow up the box that holds the way we think about how things are created.
Bren, Slade, and Monroe, whether intentional or not understand they are in the people business and they sincerely want to be there. What’s more, they’re creating stories. When you combine those two things you create an opportunity to differentiate not based on price or product but on something intangible and yet powerful enough that people want to attach themselves to it. This post is a prime example.
Do you run into individuals or brands passionate about being in the people business? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Photo credit: Aaron Stidwell via Flickr