I was discussing a legal issue with my attorney a few days ago and made the comment that “I just want to ‘do the right thing'” and “would like it if other people had the same standard.” His reply was a real wake up call … he asked, with extreme sarcasm, “would you like a merit badge?” At first I was offended but then it dawned on me that all he meant was the real world is FULL of people who don’t “do the right thing” and to expect otherwise is somewhat naive (sadly).
Take this one discussion and compare it to the values I’m trying to instill in both my boys (12 and 14 years old) AS WELL AS my employees who present my company to the world on a daily basis. It is INDEED a difficult task to always “do the right thing” in business … but without that standard, what happens to the value of your brand?
Jim Collins writes about the “The Value of an Eagle Scout” and comments about the virtues and high standards taught to young boys in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Only a VERY small percent ever achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout (1-4%) — a significant achievement representing years of dedication, committment, community service, learning and pride. Ask anyone familiar with the BSA and they’ll tell you that the brand of the Eagle Scout is indeed one of distinction. Both my boys are involved in the Scouts (I’m the local Committee Chairman) and I will indeed encourage them to try and acheive this highest rank.
Question: Is your corporate brand worthy of being considered the equivalent of an Eagle Scout?