With increasing frequency, people ask me about content marketing. In fact, for the last couple years, it’s something in which our company has invested a ton of resources into R&D. If we’re going to offer the service to our clients, we want to do it thoroughly and very, very well.
This weekend, though, two guys reminded me about the most important kind of content for any company
Content of Character
Remember our client Patrick’s sales secret:
Don’t focus on being a good salesperson. Focus on being a good person.
All the most dazzling content in the world means nothing without people of character doing the good works of your company.
There’s a print on my office wall that speaks to character, saying “be true to your work and your word and your friends.” Can I tell you what my friends did for my son and me this past Saturday and Sunday?
The dude on the left in the picture above is Mike. He’s a banker. Don’t hold that against him.
The dude on the right in the picture above is Mark. He wears visors. Go ahead and hold that against him.
The two unfairly handsome dudes in the middle are my son and me. I’ve written before about the special relationship Will, age 9, and I have with each other and the game.
When he was young, Will was diagnosed with autism. He’s verbal, high-functioning, and he loves golf, but we typically play alone (or with his Uncle Scotty) in the evenings so we stay out of other golfers’ ways. Developmentally and golfingly, we are works-in-progress.
This weekend, at Mark and Mike’s invitation, we played in two golf scrambles with them.
While that invitation may not seem like much to you, let me tell you what it meant:
1) They’re both busy guys. They were each going to cough up a large amount of cash and about twelve hours each away from own sons and spouses during precious weekend time.
2) They were not going to win. (They probably weren’t going to win anyway, but they weren’t going to get much help from Will and his pop.)
3) They were going to have to play slower because Will takes a bit longer to play. It was early August. It was hot and humid.
4) They were going to be exposed to Will’s “quirks” for a long period of time. Will doesn’t show the typical golfer’s enthusiasm and wide gamut of emotions. He’s not going to laugh with them or at their jokes. He’s not going to cheer for them. He’s going to get frustrated. He’s going to see bees or wasps and possibly melt down as he was stung recently.
There are at least another dozen “quirks” that had me concerned and anxious Mark and Mike didn’t realize what they’d gotten themselves into.
Can I tell you what happened?
They made both days Will’s days. It was never about their own shots or their own games or own team score. They tended the pins for him and asked him what he needed and let him take their shots and make their putts… BUT they never babied him.
They made him feel special and typical.
They were selfless and caring and relentless—for two days—in doing everything within their power to make sure Will had the time of his life.
I’m crying as I type this. Sorry, people sitting around me on this American flight back home. I’m weird like this. Get over it.
Don’t think they turn off these characteristics when they head to their offices, either. Guys like Mike and Mark make their companies better. You want guys like this on your team. Heck, you need guys like this on your team… as many as you can get. I’ve heard the term “foxhole guys,” but I don’t feel comfortable using it because I’ve never served.
They didn’t do it for money. They didn’t do it so I “owed them one.” They didn’t do it for something in return.
They did it because they’re my friends.
They did it because they’re Will’s friends, too.
They did it because they felt it was the right thing to do.
They did it because they’re good men.
They did it because of the content of their characters.
I don’t believe I can ever repay them. I don’t believe they mind.
I hope you have a Mike and a Mark in your life. I hope you have ten.
And I hope you are one, too.
Oh, and PS – Do you feel misled or tricked by the title of this post? Were you hoping for some content or business secret? Read it again.. then again… and keeping reading it until you realize I just gave it to you.