360° Promises

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the parallels between strong brands and strong leadership. Strong brands are authentic, consistent, confident and influential. They stand for something. They are reliable and memorable. And great leaders, well, they share those very same characteristics. For many years, our brand discovery has included the development of client/customer promises. I’ve worked with all kinds of organizations to write promises that their customers could count on to be delivered by everyone in the organization to every customer, every day. And one thing I can always count on…is that people always get nervous about those “every” words – “everyone,” “every customer” and “every day.” They are afraid of commitment. But that’s exactly what it takes to be a successful brand. If you can’t commit to a few key promises, then don’t be surprised that your customers aren’t loyal. The same is true as a leader. Make and adhere to key promises to all your constituents all the time, and they’ll be loyal too. As leaders (capital ‘L’ or lower case ‘l” leaders alike), we should be committing to promises to our customers, our employees, our bosses or boards, our vendors, our communities, our families and ourselves – 360° Promises. Acknowledging what each of these groups wants and expects from us and being confident enough to deliver those things consistently is the hallmark of a strong leader, a leader worth following.

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