Joe Girard was a salesman. Indeed, he was a dynamite salesman. He is a 12-time "Salesperson of the Year" award winner and is listed in the Guiness Book of Records. Over the years both in sales and in motivational speaking, he developed a communications concept now known as "Girard's Law". He learned that most people typically know about 250 other people fairly well -- well enough to take/give advice on purchases, dining experiences (and to show up at funerals). He then took this idea a step further. He reasoned that if he provided outstanding service to one person, before long up to 250 people would know that Girard provided outstanding service. And those 250 people (who also know 250 people) would continue to spread the word. He also realized that the reverse was also true. If he cheated a customer, or treated one poorly, pretty soon there would be a stadium-sized crowd that would not buy from Girard.
It makes a great deal of sense once you think about it. Now, with the absolute explosion of internet use and the number of persons who read and/or write blogs, forums, and the like, my guess is (and I don't have solid figures here) that the number of contacts one could have would be exponentially greater than 250. (Although this is not intended to be a post on the CEC, the events in that denomination over the past 18 months -- and the reporting of those events, both positively and negatively on blogs and forums tends to prove my point.)
Because of how Girard's Law operates, there are probably 250 persons whom I didn't know previously, who would love to have a meal with me. (The reverse is also true!!!!!!! There are probably 250 persons who would love to see my goose get cooked!!!!!!!)
Let me give an example. I am aware of a small Christian elementary/high school on the East Coast which has recently experienced a bit of a difficulty with a student and a couple of parent/ guardians. The issues involved were relatively minor, and in a perfect world, could have been cleared up by a brief meeting with the parties involved. Unfortunately, two members of the administration of this school have decided to stonewall and have utterly refused to meet with one of the parent/guardians involved.
Now, Girard's Law comes into play.
You have one concerned family (currently paying three tuition bills); you have a second concerned family cutting off financial support and refusing to send their children to the school; you have several other concerned families asking what is going on -- and now, you are reading this account on a blog some 800 miles away. I'm in the education business myself, and I know how small Christian schools operate on shoestring budgets. The loss of several students and potential students over a single misunderstanding will be a terrible financial "hit". I'm sure many of my readers know the sacrifices parents make when they choose private schools for their children -- and parents paying thousands of dollars per student per year do have the right to expect certain minimal courtesies! This is not rocket science!
But pride is a terrible thing . . . and Girard's Law has no pity.
Labels: Ethics, Personal