...goes a long way, especially when I'm thinking about brands, brand management and the power of brands to build successful organizations and careers.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Be subversive: be courageous

Now that you've figured the lay of the land, you've learned the issues and opportunities within your organization, you've crafted a brand promise and tried it out on your colleagues and managers, and you've started wearing the brand proudly, what happens? Do others rally around you? Do they insist that the organization be different, inviting, relevant and truthful?

If the answer is yes, then you've won the war. You've created something wonderful and you and your organization with survive and thrive.

What happens when your pleas for brand warfare and doing what is right fall on deaf ears? What happens when the team falls back in lock-step with the way things have always been done. What happens when your organization settles for mediocrity, uninviting, irrelevant and deceitful practices?

You run! And you fast. You run away with courage.

I believe the saddest thing that can happen to a brand warrior - or any employee, for that matter - is to go to work in the morning without passion, without a sense of accomplishment and without something to look forward to. All too many workers these days are stumbling through the day delivering average service, making average products and producing average results. These are the zombies that Mike Wagner writes about. Many times they are the result of managers who don’t empower them to be brand warriors. Other times, they are victims of the brand war; walking wounded emerging from repeated battles to do the right thing in a world of the wrong thing.

So I say to you brand warriors, don’t become brand martyrs. Run. Now.

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