Bill's Bountiful Blog
May I keep you posted on my thoughts, ideas, observations, and silliness?. Am I serious? Is it relevant?. Does anyone care? Probably not much.
But in today's age of everyone has something to say, why not me? And who can blame me for jumping into to the pool? For speaking up For laying it out?
"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." - Thomas Wiley, Journalist
By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/20 Topics: Advertising, Business, Communications, Reputation Comments: 0
Early on, the first bigger business I ran was an advertising agency. Somehow, one of the world' largest tug and barge transportation companies hired our fledging little firm. They liked our non-stop energy and creative ideas. They wanted to hear a different vision and, boy, did they get it.
This was the time when massive oil corporations were developing the now fabled or infamous (take your pick) Alaska Pipeline, spending billions of dollars. Each spring, a flotilla of barges sailed from our city of Seattle up to the "North Slope" of Alaska, but only after the massive sea ice dissipated. Hundreds of barges, tugs and boats were involved.
Some barges were so large they required two 9,000 horse power tugs, lashed into giant slots in the barge itself, to push them from behind,. These goliaths went first in the fleet pushing the barge up and onto the ice flows (often 12 feet or more thick) and smashing them open, so other vessels could get through. Watching it was stupefying, even terrifying.
Our client secured contracts on huge swatches of the business, generating hundreds of millions of dollars. But to meet the demand, they had to stop serving their smaller clients who had been supporting the company for a century.
The North Slope project took some years, but eventually the pipeline was completed and the flotillas ceased. Some shipping to the slope was still continued, but my client's Alaska business shrank hugely.
When that happened, the tug and barge company returned to their prior small clients to again offer their services. But low and behold, those clients, who had to hustle and suffer from lack of tug services, were more than miffed.
They thumbed their noses at my client. We even attended the world's largest trade show for shipping and watched our clients be cussed out, up one side and down the other.
The company president called me one day and said, "What should I do? These people are really pissed."
So, at the grand old age of 26, my advice to him was what my truck shop managing father had told me, "Be nice to people on your way up; you'll meet the same people on your way down." But, it was too late.
In the end, in an effort to right the ship, we created advertisements, printed materials and sales training for all of their business development crews. They spent millions trying to apologize.
Business improved gradually for my client, but it took them a decade to recover. Sometimes there are business decisions which favor one client over another. It is not always possible to give everyone what they want. But remember this - People have long memories.
Unfortunately for my client, they became too selfish and self centered to realize how dropping customers to go after bigger fish would make the minnows feel. He forgot that some small fry grow into big fish and, when they do, they won't want to deal with sharks.
My client didn't have the benefit of a wise father or mentor, but instead put growth and profit ahead of people.
Maya Angelou said it best, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel."
Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0751 – 01/09/20
By William May
Published: 01/04/16 Topics: People, Reputation Comments: 0
On the Internet people say Oprah Winfrey is really just an alien, that she is secretly married to Barack Obama and that she never actually did a TV show. They say she used a hologram, stole TV advertiser money and sent it back to the planet she came from. (Michelle is actually a man I heard!)
Randy Jones from San Antonio lives with 1,000 cats all named Wilbur. Cindy Rigmore from Alberta has lived her entire life on a diet of egg shells and whiskey, and is 91 years old.
There is a man in Sherwood Forest who calls himself Robin Hood, but lives in a mobile home.
I believe every word of those because I read them on the internet. Or should I? Especially when there are so many anonymous devious trolls out there. Unfortunately, no one is immune from crazies on the Internet.
For decades, I have helped lead numerous businesses which have served hundreds of professional clients and tens of thousands of consumers. They are happy and many have become life-long friends and business partners.
These are the honorable reliable people who know the facts.
Occasionally leaders have the responsibility to handle unpleasant tasks like setting rules, collections, contracts, addressing conflict and even managing litigation. In the many companies I have been asked to operate, consulted for, or invested in, those tasks are always handled with respect and courtesy.
But it is not a fun job - especially when those affected, often resort to online defamation. The outcomes are not always desirable. My long-time colleague Catherine used to say, "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for everything."
With the advent of the Internet, anyone can write anything they want about anyone else, and pretty much without lability. Benjamin Franklin said, "Freedom of the press is limited to those who can afford to buy one." And today that means every crack pot, crazy and coward.
As my Communications law professor put it, freedom of the press means you can publish anything, but you are forever liable for everything whether wrong intentionally or not.
Today the whiners, complainers and defamers are always the losers with nothing better to do with their time because they have done little and tried even less. They have nothing better to do (truly nothing better) than to assail those who pursue goals and try to do good.
We should hope that today's newly minted trolls go back to the planet they came from but, of course, that won't happen because rude behavior, presumptive stupidity and nutty people have been around forever. It is just that now they have a bigger pulpit to spray crazy from.
Because online posts are often anonymous, intelligent discerning people do not believe anything they hear on the Internet, especially from unknown people. Fools believe everything they read and they certainly believe - with their twisted little minds - that Oprah is an alien.
Author: William May, MayPartners
Blog #: 0569 – 01/04/16
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