Want my loyalty? Then answer this one question

“I need to feel strongly, to love and to admire, just as desperately as I need to breathe.” Jean-Dominique Bauby

My fascination is us – human beings and the human condition.  As such when an opportunity comes to access us and our human condition from novel perspectives then I tend to take it.  Jean-Dominique Bauby  (“JDB”) provides a fascinating access to us and our human condition. Allow me to tell you a little about JDB in the words of the Independent newspaper:

“Jean-Dominique Bauby. He worked for journals like the Quotidien de Paris and Paris Match and for four years until December 1995 was the very successful chief editor of Elle. Then the unthinkable happened. A cardiovascular accident paralysed him and sent him into a deep coma, from which he emerged 20 days later in the Hopital Maritime at Berck, on the north-east coast of France, his brain intact, but able only to blink his left eyelid. He was diagnosed as suffering from the rare disease called “Locked-in Syndrome”, unable to breathe, swallow or eat without assistance.”

JDB’s mind (the butterfly) was locked into a body that was inert (the diving bell) so whilst all his senses worked he could only move his left eyelid.  Before departing from this world JDB dictated a book that captures his thoughts, feelings and experiences as “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” and on of the aspects of his human condition that he highlights is the human need to feel strongly, to love and admire, just as desperately as our need to breathe. Put differently by virtue of being human we have a need: a need to look up to people and organisations, to feel strongly about who they are / what they stand for, embody in terms of values and what they are up to in life in terms of purpose / mission.  These people connect us with the highest aspects of our humanity: they remind us of what we are capable of, what we can be – the higher Self.

Which brings me to the question of customer loyalty.  You want my loyalty, you want my advocacy. OK, I get that and I have something for you to think about and provide a compelling and simple answer to:

I need to feel strongly, to love and to admire, just as desperately as I need to breathe.  What is it that you stand for, that you are doing and that you are up for creating in the world that enables me to feel strongly about you, to admire you, to love you?

What is you answer?  I should point out that “being the best, the largest, the most powerful, the most global…company in the universe does not do it for me.  Nor does increasing the share price my 100x and making your shareholders deliriously happy and filthy rich do it for me.

Again, my question: What is it that you stand for, that you are doing and that you are up for creating in the world that enables me to feel strongly about you, to admire you, to love you? 

Stunning silence!