The holidays are truly upon us and it is such a glorious time of year. I always look forward to it and my favorite thing of all is the way people seem to be truly friendlier and in a spirit of giving to others. I also like all of the old movies and things that are regularly shown, so many have become traditions. For example, my favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life, my wife laughs at me because I have seen it at least 100 times but the holidays are simply not the holidays without it.
Another favorite is Miracle on 34th Street where a little girl brought up largely in an adult world where no play or imagination is encouraged is converted to a belief in Santa Claus. It is a good story, especially today where we are desperate for more imagination or vision or even dreams for that matter. Anyway, there is one scene that I particularly like where Mr. R.H. Macy, the head of Macy’s department store in New York, takes a seemingly crazy idea and runs with it. The idea is to refer customers to other stores when Macy’s is out of stock or doesn’t carry an item. Mr. Macy loves the idea because he wants people to think of Macy’s as the friendly store, the store that cares about customers more than they do about themselves. He even places a catalog of his chief competitor, Gimbels, on a podium to help people find things they need.
What a great mentality! What if stores began to think of the customer’s best interests and started referring them to others when the need is simply something they can’t or don’t provide? How would the business world change? It would mean a huge tidal shift from a “How can this customer help us?” mentality to a “How can we help you succeed regardless of our needs?” mentality. Isn’t this the real spirit of the season anyway, the best interests of others?
Let’s all take this big lesson to heart; how about we take the next few days to really consider what’s in the best interests of others first? How about we take this season to think about how we could take that thinking into the next year? How about we make this our dominant mentality, what would change at work, at home, at school, wherever? Doing things in the best interests of others’ success, let’s make it a not only a theme for the season but a theme for life. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!