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Tom Feltenstein's 'Uncommon Wisdom': There were days…

There were days when I wanted the world to know that I was alive.
As important as men of power and letters.
As significant a cultural force as names in distant notebooks.
I wanted acknowledgment and homage, respect and applause.
Now I only want to wake up and see the sky.
To know that I walk the world joyfully like the carefree ones of the earth.
I want smiles and laughter, flowers and a silent meditation by the sea.
I want friends who love me as I am, with all my fears and faults.
Who love my very being and presence were I never to write another word,
or achieve anything beyond enjoying the sun and the face of a child.
If life is not serenity, it is nothing.
If life is not peace, it is warfare.
I have had enough war, enough strife.
Now I look for simplicity and friendship and quiet times, satisfied that my
power is in the God who lives in my soul and directs me as He will.
Until I love only what He wants and live as He has destined me to live.
Excerpt from Change is Good … You Go First
A few years ago, British Rail had a real fall-off in business. Looking for marketing answers, they went searching for a new ad agency—one that could deliver an ad campaign that would bring their customers back.
When the British Rail executives went to the offices of a prominent London ad agency to discuss their needs, they were met by a very rude receptionist, who insisted that they wait.
Finally, an unkempt person led them to a conference room—a dirty, scruffy room cluttered with plates of stale food. The executives were again, left to wait. A few agency people drifted in and out of the room, basically ignoring the executives who grew impatient by the minute. When the execs tried to ask what was going on, the agency people brushed them off and went about their work.
Eventually, the execs had enough. As they angrily started to get up, completely disgusted with the way they’d been treated, one of the agency people finally showed up.
“Gentlemen,” he said, “your treatment here at our Agency is not typical of how we treat our clients—in fact, we’ve gone out of our way to stage this meeting for you. We’ve behaved this way to point out to you what it’s like to be a customer of British Rail. Your real problem at British Rail isn’t your advertising, it’s your people. We suggest you let us address your employee attitude problem before we attempt to change your advertising.”
The British Rail executives were shocked—but the agency got the account! The agency had the remarkable conviction to point out the problem because it knew exactly what needed to change.
As Yogi Berra once said… “Before we build a better mousetrap, we need to find out if there are any mice out there.”
Check out these great marketing tips on my blog!

Tom Feltenstein

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