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Are you planting food or poison?

I have periodically referenced my interest in and affinity for various inspirational messages.  I subscribe to a variety of sites that provide me with daily inspiration.  I know, it’s corny, but it works for me.  One of my favorites is Simple Truths. I received a message the other day that included this video and book.  You can go to this site and watch the video or scan the book.

Simple Truths Video

Simple Truths Book

The central message is that “success” should be defined, not in terms of what happens to us, but by having a clear vision of what we want to achieve, how we think about it, and how hard we work at it.  While this simple truth can be applied to most life journeys, I think it is particularly relevant for customer advocates.  Consider the following as a possible guide for your customer-focused efforts:

1. Be secure in the fact that your company will benefit from your efforts to make it more customer-driven.  Your cause is just!

2. Have a long term goal that is idealistic, and articulate it to everyone you interact with.

3. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in the short run.  Break the task down into very manageable tasks.  Here’s a few examples:

a.  I’m going to get five account managers to understand how to use this feedback during this month.
b. I’m going to get our customer-driven effort branded inside my company and get on the homepage in the company intranet this quarter.
 c. This week, I’m going to get a meeting scheduled with the leadership of   the  customer  service department, go over their results and help them create an action plan.

4. Write down all of your goals, keep track of them and measure your performance.  Over time you will see small improvements and quick wins turn into momentum and support for your efforts.

5. As you engage others (like account managers, your marketing communications folks, and department leadership) discuss mutual goals, document them, and help hold them accountable.  Soon you’ll see that they will value your efforts as you help them achieve their goals.

I know it may seem trite and naïve, but things really do work out over the long run for the people that have high intent and do the right things.  Don’t let little things get you down or naysayers to distract you from what you know is right.  Make sure you are planting corn and not poison.  

Originally published in Customer Connection March 31, 2009.

About the Author

Steve Walker

Steve Walker

As the third generation of Walkers to lead the privately-held research and consulting firm, Steve is focused on creating shareholder value for Walker’s clients through customer intelligence and customer strategies. Steve was named president of Walker in 1994 and added the CEO title in 1996. Then, in 2006, Steve was named chairman of the board.

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