Skip to main content

Lead w/ Love

There are times when you dislike a person on sight and this was one of those times.
Thin, tall, beautiful, irritable. Scowled when I asked for a bit more room on the bench, to accommodate family and coats.
"What a bitch," I thought. In quotes because so loudly it seemed out loud.
We shuffled and waited and did not look forward to the speech.
We did not know she was going to be the speaker.
"I want to tell you a personal story today," she began. "My mother was my advocate and champion."
She went on to tell us about her humble life. What it was like to be alone with a single mother, whose joy was to run up and down the hallways of their apartment building, telling everyone who would listen that her daughter got into a state school.
The young woman came down here alone and friendless. She fought her way forward for four years. They bonded over food and studied all night and forced each other to make it to their finals on time.
And then she did something she did not have to do. Which was to become a resident advisor for several years, mothering the other students who had come to school alone.
This young woman worked so hard and was so capable she got an internship at a large and reputable firm. Which kept her on and hired her, starting right away after graduation.
"Suddenly, last year, my mother died," she concluded her speech. "I was at the bottom. But my family at school held me through all the pain."
And then I looked at the girl again. I looked at her with different eyes, not the cold and hard eyes of a stranger. 
I looked at the girl through the eyes of a mother who was there to watch her own child graduate, who had taken that child for granted too many times.
Who had judged this child badly for no reason other than how she appeared briefly, from a glance or a couple of words.
And I sobbed, with my husband, for the victory and the pain that comes with growing up and seeing one's child grow up. And turned around to wish the people behind me, "Congratulations."
We ought to lead with love more, we ought to look at other people through the eyes of love. 
We don't know what they have suffered...the immense struggle it takes them just to show up at work in the morning. 
Or what it took to get them up in the first place.
All opinions my own. Photo by WilB / Flickr.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …