Read to the End and Find a Business Application
It’s entirely possible that today’s memo will make you think less of me.
Maybe not. We’ll see.
People fall into 4 categories in my mind:
1. People I owe.
2. People I know.
3. People Invisible.
4. People I must fight.
If you object to people being put in categories, please keep in mind I said we’re talking about the world inside my head, not yours.
People I Owe: When a person has been there for me and helped me when I was down, or gotten involved with something I was trying to do, I’ll always watch for a way to repay them. Some of the People I Owe have earned huge equity in my life and I’ll happily do things for them that no one else dare ask.
I’ll bet you’re like that, too.
So here’s my question for you: what did your “People I Owe” do for you that you’ve never forgotten? What was it that lifted them to such lofty heights in your heart and mind?
Do those same things for other people.
People I Know is a category that might have been labeled “friends and acquaintances” but it’s much broader than that in my mind. People I Know are the fabric of the social construct that exists within the scope of my limited vision. In essence, People I Know are the population of RoyWorld. I’m aware of their actions and I care about them.
Strangely, the population of RoyWorld contains no newscasters. They are, to me, Invisible. I’m being completely serious with you. Newscasters have no place in my mind. I don’t hate them exactly, but I have no use for them. They don’t matter to me. Consequently, newscasters don’t exist in my private world.
People Invisible are those who don’t count.
Who doesn’t exist in your private world? How many billions of people live beyond the edges of your peripheral vision? You might like to believe you care about all living things and value all human life equally but your mind isn’t big enough for that. You can’t wrap your consciousness around everyone and everything on earth. So there will always be People Invisible in your world whether you like it or not.
I’m suggesting only that you begin 2010 by choosing the populations of your categories consciously rather than unconsciously. Who will you owe? Who will you know? Who will be invisible? Who will you fight?
Last week Pennie and I listened to People We Know talk about their Christmas traditions. One man we know – I don’t know his name – watches each year for the sanitation workers who pick up the garbage in his upscale neighborhood. Walking to the curb, he gives each man a Christmas card containing a surprisingly large cash tip. He said, “It makes them part of our community. It proves we recognize them, know their value, and consider them to be part of us.”
The men on that garbage truck honk and wave and smile as they pass his home each week. The glow of his recognition stays on them all year. Our friend moved his service workers from People Invisible all the way up to People I Owe. And they have never forgotten it.
If you’re in business, your customers are People You Owe. If you let them slip down to People You Know, or worse, People Invisible, your business will definitely suffer for it.
But if that happens, don’t sweat it. You can always blame your advertising.
Roy H. Williams
(That ending was a little snarky, wasn’t it? Sorry about that, it was a tough week on campus. I’ll tell you about it in the rabbit hole.)
IF THE LINKS AREN'T WORKING try again in a little while. When we moved the MondayMorningMemo website to a new hosting company, we jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Our new servers are being crushed with traffic when everyone wakes up on Monday morning. So if you get that evil SERVICE UNAVAILABLE message, try again later. And the archives are messed up, too. Sorry for the hassle. We're currently building you an all new website from scratch. Hope to be done in another couple of weeks. – RHW