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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Service Before Self: Why Strength of Character Compels Others to Do Business With You

Written by  Duane Bailey

For many in the Washington, DC area, Wednesday evening’s snow storm presented us with some of the more difficult challenges we’ve faced in recent memory. Harrowing hours-long commutes, abandoned cars, falling trees, heavy snow accumulations and lengthy power outages are just some of the stories leading the news these past few days.

So you can imagine how refreshing it was to walk around the office on Friday, as several of my colleagues shared stories of those who put service before self by helping others to cope with these challenges.  There was the marketing manager, who made sandwiches and hot drinks for her neighbors who didn’t have power; the financial planner and the Eagle Scout lifeguard, who took it upon themselves to clear their elderly neighbor’s driveway without being asked; and the president of the advertising agency who helped over half a dozen drivers push their cars up an icy hill.

As I thought about each of these people and their professional relationship with me, a single word came to mind - trust. I trust each of them to help me succeed in the things that are most important to me. Whether it is helping me to increase sales, manage my money or keep my family safe at the pool, I know I can count on them…even in the most difficult of circumstances. Their strength of character makes me proud of my association with them and it continues to compel me to want to do business with them.  

Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Ask yourself where you stand the next time your neighbors could use a helping hand.

For more on the importance of character in the business world, please see:
- When Nobody is Looking, Character Still Counts - Make Your Business Stories Credible
- Character is What You Do When You Think Nobody is Looking
- Do a Good Turn Daily 

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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