Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lent Day 35 (Wednesday)

Exercise: Cycling 19 miles.  Either my heart rate monitor didn't work real well, or I actually managed to ride with my heart rate constantly in Zone 2/3.  I managed to somehow leave the car without putting my gloves on, but it really wasn't a major factor in the ride overall.  Between the weather on Thursday (it's supposed to be chilly again) and the planned training ride Saturday (75 miles including a big climb on Green River Cove!), this is my last ride for a couple of days.  Glad I didn't make excuses.


Jeremiah 17:7-8
New King James Version (NKJV)

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[a] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Thoughts: Last week at work we had a meeting to discuss the company's Net Promoter Score, often times referred to as NPS.  For companies it's a way to determine what their customer's opinion of them, and the overall strength of the brand.  In a nutshell it compares the number of people that love their service (called promoters) versus the number of people that despise it (the detractors).  You cannot please everyone, but the overall object is to have more people that will recommend your products to others than folks that will recommend that you don't use the company.  This concept, on a general level, is relevant not just for large companies, but for individuals and small businesses as well.  

What reminded me of this outside of the corporate scenario was going through my social media feeds.  There are folks out there that live on their brand, like actors, comedians, and independent artists.  These people are "always on":  if they pull a bone-head maneuver it can make or break future deals.  Some of them make a living by the negative hype, as it creates a brand for themselves that a certain number of people will gravitate to.  Others, who I believe are truly more Internet and Tech savvy  have developed their "brand" online and made sure that their communications on all social media always project the brand and image that they wish to portray.  Some of these artists just attempt to "be themselves" as they are marketing their product, but the danger is they are always one rant away from converting a promoter to a detractor.  They need to be sensitive, and ultimately aware, of their actions.

That said, even in our non-online interactions we create promoters and detractors in our personal lives.  Whether it's with my co-workers, folks I ride with, or just friends that I keep in touch with over various mediums (including social media), what I say and how I say it determine the course of my personal life.  I am the first to admit that I've made ill-informed comments on subjects that I really should have just kept out of, or smiled and nodded.  There are many topics that I'm very passionate about, but as I get more informed I've had to completely re-think my stance.  My best example on this is in regards to cycling:  The more I've been involved in the scene, the more I've understood all of the nuances that I simply couldn't have understood before.  It's not that I wasn't aware of the laws, or that wasn't really informed on the issues per se.  It's that experience and tolerance is critical to making a truly informed stance.   I have seen some of the comments I made years ago, and look at them and go "wow, I was a real dufus".   It's hard to realize that the uninformed idiot that was potentially ruining something that I now love, was myself.  In this case specifically I could have, and probably did, create detractors from my own personal "brand" based on my stances on something that I now really love to do. 

The danger here is twofold:  First is that I do not wish to spend the energy to engineer my own "brand" that I have to sell in my personal and professional life.  I specifically mean engineer in the same aspect that a self-employed artist like I mentioned above has to create a brand.  Their image ends up being their life;  they have to leave their face in a jar by the door all the time.  Second is that whether I like it or not, I am create a brand with every interaction that I make.  My verbal and non-verbal communications with people directly influence their opinion of me as a person and as a professional.  I need to be acutely aware of how my actions impact other people and make sure that my overall actions are creating a person that I wish to portray to the world.  My goal should always be to be a reflection of Christ.   

Newsboys - Take Me to Your Leader
They don't know why we care
They don't know what's out there
They don't know how it's done
Let's take 'em to our leader son

They see we've got the joy
They see us live it, oi
It's real, it's free, it's fun
Let's take 'em to our leader son

No comments: