By Joe Terry, CEO, Corporate Visions
Before you answer, take a look at this quick video clip from the movie 300, which is a prelude to the famous battle between King Leonidas and his 300 soldiers of Sparta, and King Xerxes of Persia at Thermopylae.
That 10 second clip sends chills down your spine, reveals their profession, and is clear, emotional and passionate! That’s because the Spartans Lived Their Story. At that time, the Spartans were the most highly trained fighting force in the world. From the age of seven, they lived and trained to be Spartans, to be soldiers – they Lived Their Story every day. When you met a Spartan, you knew in five minutes all the details behind why he was a Spartan and why that mattered. He Lived It, and you knew it.
Like the Spartans, your employees should be living your company’s story each and every day. Your company story must be told with clarity, conviction and passion. Is everyone in your company telling your story this way? Do they believe it? Are they Living Your Story?
How do you know? Start by looking at your messages, your sales and marketing tools, and how your people are being trained to deliver your company story. Is your company’s story clear, unique to you, important to your customers and defensible? Do your employees use your messages and tools every day, and believe what they say? Do they embrace your company’s story, rally around it, and convey it with emotion?
A great story is one that is clear, visual, and told with conviction and passion – one that all of your employees know by heart. You should be able to communicate your story in your marketing programs, a sales conversation, a follow-up email to a customer/prospect, or even in the proverbial elevator. But it’s not enough to know the story – you must Live The Story.
If you want to be the best in the world, this is not optional. You should be so passionate about what you do – your profession – that you’re pissed when people don’t buy from you. Not because you didn’t win, but because they just made a decision, or no decision, that puts their personal and company success at risk. If you don’t believe at this level, if you’re not passionate about what you do, then leave. You’re not Living Your Story. You’re working at the wrong company. Go find something you are passionate about, where you can be a Spartan. Go find a cause worth fighting for. And if you are a leader and you are not providing the leadership around the messages, tools and skills to tell your company story, then your level of commitment to your story does not match that of those you serve. You should leave; this is not your profession.
Is this harsh? Yes. I am not a sculptor, blacksmith or potter, I know my profession and I refuse to let you make the mistake of not Living Your Story.
I can say this with clarity, conviction and passion because, “you see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did!” We help the best companies in the world Live Their Story by developing messages that matter, deploying tools that get used, and training on skills to deliver conversations that win!
Learn how to align your entire organization behind your story at the 2013 Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference on Sept 17-19 in Chicago. It’s a conference powerful enough to change the way you approach marketing and sales in your organization, career, and life. A conference that brings together the most brilliant minds in the B2B world to crack the code in getting your company to develop and live its unique story… all the way through your organization.