… Stand. Stand firm.
Stand for something.
People and brands and organisations that stand for something benefit as a result.
Standing for something helps you build trust, makes it easier to manage expectations and helps in daily decision making.
Standing for something also makes it more fun to do your gig, because you are on a mission, doing something that matters. Of course, there is a cost. You can’t get something for nothing.
It is frustrating to watch entrepreneurs, politicians and individuals fall into the obvious trap of trying to stand for something at the same time they try to please everyone or do everything.
You can’t be the low-price, high-value, wide-selection, convenient, green, all-in-one corner market. Sorry.
You also can’t be the high-ethics CEO who just this one time lets an accounting fraud slide. “Because it’s urgent.”
You can’t be the big-government-fighting, low-taxes-for-everyone, high-services-for-everyone, safety-net, pro-science, faith-based, anti-deficit candidate either.
You can’t be the work-smart, life-in-balance, available-at-all-hours, high-output, do-what-you’re-told employee.
You can’t be everything to everyone. If you try to be everything to everyone you won’t be anything to anyone.
To really stand for something, you must make difficult decisions, mostly about what you don’t do. We don’t offer products like that, we don’t stand for employees like that (“you’re fired”), we don’t fix problems like that.
I don’t cheat, I don’t cut corners, I don’t claim easy victories.
It is so hard to stand up, to not compromise, to give up an account or lose a vote or not tell a journalist what they want to hear.
But those are the only moments where standing for something actually counts, the only times that people will actually come to believe that you in fact actually stand for something.
If you have to change your story because your audience is different (oh, I’m on national TV today!) (oh, this big customer wants me to cut some key corners) you Are going to get caught out.
If you want to build a brand for the ages, you need to stand for something today and tomorrow and every day.