One of the professional organizations to which I belong had as its theme a few years ago: Keep It Real. It was meant to encourage us members to truly be experts in what we proclaim to be and do. To be honest, when I first heard the theme, I thought: Boring! However, over the past several months, I've come to appreciate it.
With the business environment continuing to be a challenge, it's been interesting to note the validity of Warren Buffet's famous saying: "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."
I vividly remember, as I was wrapping up a training program a few years ago, one of the participants said, "You actually know this stuff don't you? You actually do what you're training us to do." I looked at her and initially thought, "Well, yeah." But then I realized, "Oh my gosh! They must have had others stand in front of them who didn't know what they were talking about!"
For the first time in 22 years of business, I've also experienced a client blatantly lie to me. His business is in a desperate state, but his actions are what are concerning. He's not handling the situation as a courageous leader would. He's not respecting the business relationships that have supported him over the years. He's breaking trusts and relationships. He's killing his business.
There are far too many innocent victims of these troubled times. Yet there are many organizations and professionals who have been getting by, and as the economy has continued to pose challenges, are now being severely tested. When the economy was strong, it was relatively easy to hype less-than-excellent products or services. But as the marketplace looks to make decisions more and more on legitimate value, how will your company stack up?
Will your past customers continue to be future customers? Will your business colleagues and supporters continue to support you? Have you proven that your products or services have been and will continue to be 'worth it?'
If your answer is "No," now's your chance to revamp. Challenging times are often the best times to revisit how and why you do what you do. During your review process, it's also the right time to ask,
So, how good are you and your company at doing what you say you do? In tough times and bad, how good are you at Keeping It Real?
Copyright MMXIV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.