Caring is a Huge Competitive Advantage
July 8, 2015
by Mark David
When you care, people notice.
If I had to pick one essential characteristic that consistently distinguishes great leaders, managers and companies from the rest of the pack, it would be this: It all boils down to those who really care, and those who really don’t.
It may sound strange, but the simple human act of caring can be a huge competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. Why? Because lukewarm complacency is the norm in so many quarters. Simply put, there are way too many people and companies out there that don’t really care deeply or passionately about anything. Which begs the question: why would anyone make a special effort to do business with them?
On the other hand, when a company does care—and they consistently show it—they definitely stand out from their competitors, and customers are naturally attracted to them. We hear it all the time: “That company really cares about its products. Or, that company really cares about its employees. Or, that company really cares about its customers.”
Consider this: Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, vowed that sincere and earnest caring would forever remain not just a nice idea, but a critical component of her company’s brand. “We care passionately about our people, products, customers and community,” she said, “and passion persuades!”
Question: How does a company develop a culture of caring?
Answer: I believe caring has to start on the inside of an organization and then work its way out to the customer. It’s a beautiful, predictable human chain of events, and it works like this:
In the long run, employees can’t treat their customers or each other any better than they themselves are being treated by the company. If a company’s leaders and managers respect and take good care of the employees, then the employees will respect and take good care of their customers, and the customers will respect and take good care of the company.
Demonstrate you care on the inside by taking the time to:
Encourage creativity, innovation and breakthrough thinking
- Articulate an exciting vision and mission for your people
- Devote one-on-one time with your employees and support their personal growth and development
- Reward and recognize progress
- Hold your employees accountable and speak the truth
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