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Inconvenient People

I pick up the phone and dial.
"Hey Ma." 
This is literally how we start every single conversation.
"I keep having this dream that I am a baby, I am crying and nobody's coming for me."
"That's not a dream."
"When you were a baby we followed Dr. Spock. When it was bedtime, we put you in the crib and that was it."
* * *
"Can you believe that? What kid of childrearing is that?"
It is later that night and I am ranting and raving in the kitchen.
"No wonder you're so screwed up," my husband says.
"Very funny."
I cannot believe they abandoned me in the crib to scream my head off all night because of some stupid self-proclaimed expert.
"Well, you always argued they should cry it out," my husband says to me, referring to our kids. "Now you're on your high horse about your mother?"
* * * 
Having a kid is one tough job, just like running a business is. No matter what the experts say, there's no one way to do it right.
But there's one mistake both parents and managers commonly make, with the best of intentions.
They ignore what they see as "people problems" and focus entirely instead on operational matters - facilities, IT, finance and so on - anything that sounds like "paying the bills."
What stewards of people ought to be doing is focusing on those under their care. 
They should be nurturing them from seeds of excellence into trees of greatness.
But they do not take that role seriously. They do not see that role as important. They do not trust their children or employees to grow, or maybe they're intimidated at the thought of it.
Great brands are only a collection of people, serving customers, together and in the same way every day.
Everything else is decoration and it can be copied or replaced.
Lousy parents and lousy managers only want to see their people when it's convenient, such as when something has to be done. 
And the more accolades they get, the better they like it.
The great ones are emotionally there, centered and centering, gently nurturing their children and their staffs toward productivity. They aren't in it for the awkward family photos at all.
Why is this so hard for people to understand?
You build brands the same way that you grow children, nurturing people until they flower. And you focus on creating that same relationship with your customers, until they passionately want you and nobody else.  
Love isn't just for cult brands. It's for every great brand. And it is only passion that makes them come alive. 
** Sponsored Message **
As a professional courtesy, I'm sharing a link to the following event, which I will not be able to attend and so the promotional code they gave me to share is somewhat useless. I also don't know exactly what makes any of these brands "cult" offerings exactly, but the Cult Collective tells me they've been through a rigorous test. Plus the venue is gorgeous, and I like their online magazine too, possibly enough to write for it.
Here's the link: 
Copyright 2014 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions my own. Visit my author page on Amazon. Photo by Tom Blackwell via Flickr. 

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