Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Respecting each other

(Image by way of Seth Godin and Purple Cow. One of my favorite books.)

Nice post at by Jake McKee about respecting your customers. Turns out that when he worked at Lego sometimes folks there thought that passionate customers who bought huge quantities of Lego's were odd. His point is that all of us are odd and we should respect those differences.

I work with Creatives every day and think this analogy extends internally as well as externally for people in the tourism business. You should never have disdain for your guests or customers since we all have our parlor tricks and don't be so quick to dismiss your co-workers as "weird", "strange" or "odd" either.

I remember my 8th grade yearbook filled with comments about me like, "you're not like anyone else I know" or "you're the strangest person I have ever met". At the time, I wasn't sure how to take these remarks but now I get it. Of course, I was different. These critical differences have led to my success today. I managed to nuture my interesting qualities and navigate the real world at the same time. (I thank my family and friends for encouraging that process!)

I often think of the creatives I work with as the Island of Misfit Toys and born out of that stew of different viewpoints, backgrounds and approaches comes massive creativity. I'm often surprised, astonished and delighted at the ideas, fresh approaches and unattainable visions that come from these sessions which lead to real, measurable, outstanding tours, performances and presentations. Most days it's like herding cats. That scares some people.

Where would we be if everyone looked, thought and acted the same way? Pretty boring! We spend so much time with people in this business that it is easy to get jaded and look for the worst. So the next time you are quick to judge someone who isn't like you, take a moment and be thankful. What a wonderful world we live in filled with interesting people. Vive la difference...

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