These days, we all think we’re so sophisticated with our smartphones, tablets, WIFI, etc. But there are a few timeless, basic principles that, if we choose to live by them, almost guarantee things go well. And, conversely, when we ignore these principles, bad things happen.
I have found that the Golden Rule, the one we learned in elementary school which went something like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is one of these basic principles for success.
One sign of immaturity is the belief that one set of rules applies to us and another set to everyone else. I believe the idea that, “Hey those rules don’t apply to me, I’m special,” is symptomatic of much of what is wrong in our society today. The same person who becomes enraged when his stuff is stolen thinks it is perfectly acceptable to steal from stores. “After all, they have lots of money. They’ll never miss it.”
We always tried to operate our company, Triton Systems, Inc., according to the Golden Rule. Often, we would give customers who did not appear to share our view of the world the benefit of the doubt and honor their wishes. Sometimes we knew they were being unfair, but we took the view that, in the long run, the cost would be offset by the goodwill we generated with other, more reasonable customers.
I have also seen other companies fail to take this approach and often times deal in arbitrary ways with their customers and treat them unfairly. Generally, the cost they bore in the long run was severe. Many times, customers would flee as soon as they were in a position to do so.
Applying the Golden Rule is not just the right thing to do, I have learned it makes good business sense.
Disclaimer: Frank Wilem is an author, speaker, and all around funny and entertaining guy. On this blog, his stories are based on his real life experiences, often with a satirical twist.
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