Lead Generation: A Principled Approach
By Jim McAvoy Founder & President, JWMcAvoy & Company Ltd. | January 08, 2012
Principles matter! They are a public declaration of a firm's DNA, announcing to the world what an enterprise stands for and how it is wired. They provide much more depth beyond banal platitudes such as "We care about our customers" and "Our employees are our most important asset."
Ideally, a firm's principles are conveyed in myriad of actions and behaviors of the leadership team and employees as well as the quality of the products and/or services provided by the firm.
Stephen R. Covey has thoroughly traversed the importance of principles in his #1 National Bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, originally published in 1989. I am especially moved by the following two excerpts: "Principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot be broken" (page 33) and "Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value. They're fundamental. They're essentially unarguable because they are self-evident" (page 35). Thoughtful principles provide the structures that support successful enterprises and are the manifestation of what is good about free enterprise - and that is the inherent belief that hard work and good values will be rewarded.
The truth is that very few businesses, including those in the hotel and hospitality industry, have defined their principles let alone prominently displayed them to the market place. Yes, a vast majority have checked the "mission, vision, values" boxes and posted those on their websites. Revisiting Covey, we learn that "principles are not values. A gang of thieves can share values, but they are in violation of the fundamental principles we're talking about."
So this dearth of either the existence or the articulation of defined principles presents a wonderful opportunity-a breakaway strategy-to thoughtfully reflect upon, decide, craft, agree upon, and nurture your own firm's principles that will in turn serve as a useful lever to help you stand out from the crowd. Said another way, embracing a firm set of principles that defines your goals provides a very subtle three-dimensional approach to customer service.
Following are my firm's seven principles that have served me well and guided me along my entrepreneurial path. My intention is to demonstrate an example that may encourage you to create a set of guiding truths for your own firm, applying my tenets that may be applicable for the hospitality industry (of course, I encourage you to come up with you own).
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