This morning I blog with a heavy, bewildered, exhausted heart, as the country discusses nine people shot at close range in a church in South Carolina. My first thought was to leave it alone. This is a business blog, isn’t it? This is a page about branding. I was prepared to skip a day and walk away.
I could not.
As business owners, business leaders, employers of humans, controllers of capital, participants in paid media and public relations, we hold a unique position in the world as influencers of thought. As we build brands and ask the world to look at us, choose us, buy from us… we have a unique opportunity. We can be the change.
Yesterday I talked about branding from your edge. About asking yourself what you stand for, what your company stands for, and building your position from inside those values and standards. It may not be fashionable to take a stand. It may not profitable to choose a side. But it is always feasible – there is always a way – to set an example for goodness.
It’s easy to separate business from life, to speak freely among friends and zip our lips where commerce is concerned. But we need not seek controversy to demonstrate fairness. We don’t have to enter the political arena to stand for decency. We don’t have to alienate to profess a belief in kindness.
We don’t have to be neutral in order to be safe. We can choose connection.
Brand values are not about money; they’re about conscience. They’re about living in your industry as you live in humankind. They’re about showing the world what you’re made of, instead of just your product.
I asked myself this morning, “What can I do? What can I possibly do?”
I can work with tenderness. I can operate from compassion. I can lay down my good juju, so that everyone I meet, in business and in life, has the chance to pick it up. I can reach out. How ‘bout you?