As many of you will know, both Steve and I are huge cycling fans. It might therefore seem an obvious choice to blog about something so close to our hearts, given the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on TV last week, so I will…..with a positive emphasis!
Whilst I have no doubts Steve won’t be alone in feeling let down by Lance, let’s look at the positives.
Firstly, whilst there’s no disputing how wrong what he did was, he has come clean now.
Secondly, this and other sports can only improve when such scandals are unearthed – they may suffer an immediate backlash but in the long run, it sends the message down the line that such action won’t be tolerated, which can only be a good thing.
Thirdly, as has been highlighted by the magnitude of the Lance scandal, I think it highlights how it pays to be honest.
We all make mistakes. I believe, however, that wrongs can be righted, providing done correctly and in a timely manner.
Many would say Lance has had plenty of opportunities to come clean yet has always denied the doping allegations, hence he has run out of chances. I dare say in time he will be accepted back into society by many, possibly most. Just look at others who have suffered similar “embarrassments” and made comebacks – Jason Manford, Paddy Ashdown, Bill Clinton!!
I have my own opinion regarding these instances, though my aim with this blog is for another purpose. My point is this – whilst honesty has to be the best policy, the indisputable number one way to secure trust and acceptance, if someone does stray from the path, so to speak, they’re not necessarily beyond redemption and ought often to be given the chance to put it right.
Often such mistakes are made with good intentions or, indeed, completely unintentionally (OK, maybe not so for Lance), regardless shouldn’t people be judged not only on their mistakes but also in how they deal with righting their wrongs?
Now the same applies in business – mistakes happen. I challenge anybody to say they have never made a mistake in their business life. I know that as a data broker I’ve made plenty and they’re often a great way to learn! However, should you judge someone on their mistake, or should you allow them the opportunity to rectify the situation and then judge them?
Sure, it’s best if mistakes never happened, however they’re a fact of life. For me, providing the person owns up, accepts responsibility and puts it right, they ought to be given credit. Don’t get me wrong, if there’s an attempt to swerve responsibility or if they fail to rectify the situation then they’re unlikely to be on my Christmas card list. Nevertheless I find such instances quite rare.
From the perspective of the person making the mistake, I believe there are clear benefits in making amends – retention of customer, evidence of caring, avoidance of abuse / adverse PR in the worst instance (hence aversion to brand damage) – what good could possibly come from trying to avoid liability? Furthermore, the sooner you confess, the more respect you’ll gain from the customer.
Now I’ll end on an even brighter note – Yorkshire has won the bid to host the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France! What a fantastic achievement this is for the region, let alone the country and one that can only bring welcome revenue to many local businesses. Watch this space for more blogs about the advantages of direct marketing and how to maximise your business’s opportunities / lead generation as the event gets nearer.
As always, I welcome your views and opinions on this week’s blog and invite you to respond. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call me on 01274 483936 with any queries on this or for other direct marketing tips / direct marketing services.
Enjoy the snow……