Darren Hardy posted an insightful piece (which is also his Publisher’s Letter in this month’s Success magazine) about who has the responsibility to make a relationship work. Is it 50/50? Do we believe it’s 80/20? No, actually, it’s 100/0.
“You have to be willing to give 100 percent with zero expectation of receiving anything in return. Only when you are willing to take 100 percent responsibility for making the relationship work, will it work. Otherwise, the relationship left to chance will always be vulnerable to disaster.”, Rise Up and Take Control | Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine
This got me thinking about what our responsibility as marketers is in thought leadership and social media. We need to be 100% responsible for the relationship and be accountable for the good, the bad, and everything in between. There’s no blame to go around between you, the customers, the media or anyone else. It’s all about embracing the conversation and owning up to your end of the bargain, even when the community won’t own up to it’s end of the bargain.
On the flip side, customers and people in the social media community need to know that it’s 100% responsibility on their end as well. Many of you have seen this interesting back & forth between Dooce (Heather B. Armstrong) and Whirlpool and how some have questioned her actions and wonder if she should have, with over 1,000,000 Twitter followers, gone to the web with her issue to raise the ire against Whirlpool. I say, why the hell not! Certainly she knows her reach and with that she’s well aware of her responsibility. Likewise, Whirlpool is 100% in control if their actions (or inaction, as was the case for a bit) and can handle the situation the way they want.
From my point of view, that’s the beauty of applying the Altruism Before Capitalism philosophy of thought leadership. You start from a position of 100% responsibility to yourself, your audience and your market and work in the best interest of your company so long as it’s in the best interest of those you serve. Never forget that your 100% responsibility is the duty to do right by your customers and serve them. That’s where the real value is.