As I mentioned in my previous post, I love the Boy Scouts. I spent many years as both a boy participant and an adult leader. Scouting teaches boys important skills and manners that will serve them well as adults and as business leaders.
The Boy Scout Slogan offers another great opportunity learning opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Do a Good Turn Daily. It seems simple enough. According to the Scouting literature, that can mean something as simple as a small, thoughtful act like helping a child across a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor or welcoming a new student to your school; or a really big turn like saving a life, helping out after a disaster or working on a conservation project. It goes on to say that a good turn is more than simple good manners; it is a special act of kindness.
The slogan calls for boys to do a good turn every day. Now if a boy were to have not only good manners, but also behave with special acts of kindness ever day, that would make for a pretty special boy. Little old ladies and young children standing on street corners would be clammering for such boys and their demand would be high. Everyone would want such a boy in their neighborhood. One and all would lavish praise on such a boy. He would be a hero among boys.
What if we replace ‘boy’ with ‘company’? What would happen in the neighborhood, let’s call it a market, if the boy, let’s call him a company, were to act with not only good manners, but also with special acts of kindness, let’s call it superior customer focus, every day? How would such a company be regarded in the market and by its customers? It would be an anomoly in the industry. In fact, such companies do exist, but they are so rare as to have special case studies written about them in business schools because of their unusual behavior. Books would be written about such companies defining how they do what they do. Articles would tout the awesomeness of their employees, systems and management.
So why don’t we, as entrepreneurs, embrace this idea of ‘Do a Good Turn Daily?’ Do we get so hung up in the day-to-day activities of running our little businesses that we forget who our customers are and that this whole process is really about them, not us? Do we just get tired or worse yet, just don’t care anymore? Obviously, the answer is different for each of our organizations. Maybe we should go back to our Mission Statements and Value Statements and see what it is that we’re supposed to be all about.
I think the Boy Scout Slogan reminds us that it’s not about fancy systems and better technology and improved products necessarily. It’s about serving our customers in a way that makes them happy to do business with us. It’s about providing value. It’s about making your customer’s life better. It’s about special acts of kindness, every day. That’s not really so hard, is it?