1-800 Congratulations and Appreciations.

How bad do you suppose your product or service is?

Why do we like to be treated ill? Why do we ask people to complain about us and recommend us how we can be not so bad? Why do we assume that we are doing it all wrong instead of focusing on doing it all right?

It doesn’t matter where we are, in the supermarket, in a department or a convenience store, walking on the street or driving around, we see it everywhere: clear invitations from insecure brands (no matter their size) asking us to complain:

“Complaints”, “Suggestions”, “Report it at…” or in the best case “Customer Service”, Isn’t any point of contact with a client, customer service, anyway?

Isn’t it ridiculous? We spend so much time trying to convey a positive image for our brand, we invest so many resources to make people want to interact with our brand, so that in the end, through a very poor word “Complaints”, we can tell our customers: “Yeah, we know, we most likely screwed it up, all the effort we did to bring you all the way to here, we probably wasted by not fulfilling your expectations, so please do let us know how bad we did this time, please complain and suggest to us how we can be not so bad”.

I just don’t understand it! Why not invest as much as we do in creating perceptions and attracting people to our business, in delivering an incredible and unique brand experience that surpasses our customer’s expectations?

Let’s make sure that we are really doing the best we can and that the best we can is way more than what our customers expect.

Do this and then invite our customers to call our 1-800 Congratulations and Appreciations line


Remember why you do the things you do

So here’s the situation: you took a new job that promised to be better than the previous one. Better work hours, better salary, better benefits, better title, better office, better development; simply better.

A few months go by and you start to realize that every that things are not so different at all.  Yes you are making more money, but you are spending more money on food, gas, etc. Your great work schedule is back to the old 12 to 13 hours work day. You do have better benefits but you don’t have any time to enjoy them, and suddenly the bigger office and bigger title just don’t seem to be incentive enough to convince you that you are doing better.

The typical problems of any organization start to fill your shoes with little rocks, the bureaucracy, dealing with people you don’t really like and difference of opinions with your boss make you ask your self whether you made the right choice this time.

The answer? In this case it presents itself in the form of another question: Did you choose this new job simply because it offered you better pay and a bigger title or did you took it because you really thing that it takes you closer to the life objective you’ve set for your self?

If your answer is option one, well my friend you sure are in trouble. Because it doesn’t matter how good your new employer is, you’ve chosen him for the wrong reasons, which, sooner o later, will make you tired of it.

However, if you decided to do this change because it helps you get more aligned with your life objective or personal legend, then it won’t matter how hard things may get, you’ll always have a strong and solid reason to stand by your decision.

Of course we all want better conditions as we move forward in our careers! After all these are “signals of our success” and show that we are growing as professionals. But what good does it do us to accumulate all these achievements, if we don’t have a final destination to aspire to? If we are not clear on why we do the things we do, and just do them to accumulate money and a titles, then we will always be susceptible to loosing our ground and going along superficial changes that “promise” being better, but that in reality are just another mirage like the one we are trying to leave behind.

That said, if we have a clear north, if we know what our calling is, what personal legend we are supposed to fulfill, then as we move forward we’ll be able to distinguish between the obstacles that we need to overcome to move on, the ones we need to circle around to return to our path and the small nagging tasks we hate to do but that are a condition to being able to stay in the path that will end up taking closer to where we want to reach.

So here’s a simple advice: If you haven’t done it yet, define how far you want to reach, discover and realize your personal legend; and if you already know what this is, but feel confused about whether to stay where you are right now, just take a deep breath and remember how far you want to get and how being where you are will actually help you get there. 


Your impact in other people’s life.

Usually, when one makes a living by providing intangible services or ideas and concepts like it happens in advertising, consulting, coaching, speaking or writing, you easily get used to sharing your thoughts with everyone. You dedicate yourself to talking and talking, sometimes even without stopping to listen, even though you know how important it is to do so to be able to achieve your ultimate goal which is connecting with people.

This is why a lot of us are frequently asking for feedback, be it through the comments box in our blog, via e-mail or in a phone call, also by way of a mention in another forum, a comment in the hall or in an event or even through a formal survey as well.

We are always looking, observing, learning the opinions of those around us, because we know that there is better way to help us get better at what we do, better at connecting with you.

In time you start getting feedback frequently and in many shapes and forms, some comments more personal than others, some flattering some not so much. But what always caughts my attention is that almost every comment you receive is about how, with a comment you shared, you somehow impacted the life of another human being. And believe me when I tell you that that is really food for the soul.

Now the funny thing though is that in most of the occasions, those people who let you know about how you impacted their life, are oblivious of the impact they are having on you! They ignore how you can go around and around a comment they left and with which you don’t entirely agree or how many times you read a positive comment they left for you and that always makes you smile.

They don’t know how proud we feel when, we get invited to deliver a new keynote as a result of the one we just gave, or how insecure we can get if after a presentation no one is asking questions or commenting on what we just discussed; or the great satisfaction we get when we are able to help or collaborate with someone else, be it a group, an entire organization or just one single person.

This is why, this week, I just wanted to share with you how gratefull I am for all your comments and the way you impact my life: the short and precise comment from Mr. White or from Jack, Franciscos e-mails, the comments from Tam in this blog, Ramiro’s opinion from Caracas or Gerardos messages too. The invitation from different universities to collaborate in their new conferences, the invites to connect in a social network and the mentions and links from other sites to The daily and the not so.

These are all what, in days like this, when I don’t have much to say, remind me of how important it is to keep sharing, because without a post like this every week, I would most likely not hear from you.

So here’s a quick recommendation: Never loose sight of the impact you can always have on the rest. It’s like Anita Roddick  (Founder of The Body Shop) used to say: “If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to ven with a Mosquito.”

By the way! As promised, here are some of the pictures I took during the last 2 seminars at Google, the one at CIM and the presentation at Ogilvy…Were you in one of these? Check out the photos and see if you can find yourself!





Don’t miss on the opportunity!

Being judgmental is pretty easy. So much that some times we are being it without even realizing it. It’s enough that somebody makes an “unfriendly” face at us, for us to start thinking that they don’t like us, they are whishing us ill or that they are just unbearable.

Of course there are some people who do not have the greatest charm and who are a little more complex than the rest. However, more often than not, our prejudice makes us elevate the things we don’t like in them to exaggerated heights.
And that’s when we deny ourselves the opportunity to see the good in them. We close the possibility of connecting with them and miss the chance to learn from them, benefit from their company or maybe even miss out on a great friendship.

I know this well because in the past, I’ve made this mistake more times than I’d like to admit, judging and classifying people on a first impression. But also because in some other occasions I have allowed me the chance to wait to get to know them better before I form an opinion on them.

I must confess that even these last few weeks I’ve made the mistake of judging the intellectual and professional capacity of one specific person just because I don’t think the way he treats people is the right one. And I’m not trying to excuse his ill manners now; I’m still in complete disagreement with his style. I’m just thinking that instead of judging, criticizing and classifying him, I will try to change my approach with this person, pushing my prejudice aside and opening myself to listen to what he has to say and to share. Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn something great from him and help him change his approach to other people too.

So here’s this week’s question: Are you passing judgment on someone? Are you doing it right now? If so: Do you think you can allow yourself the opportunity to push your prejudice aside to get to know them better?

What say you?

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.