This post is part of a 95 post series discussing the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto as they relate to business in 2009. Read more about the series in the introduction post. And check out the rest of the series!
Thesis #24: Bombastic boasts—”We are positioned to become the preeminent provider of XYZ”—do not constitute a position.
This is the sort of “positioning” that you may sling in front of your investors…but your customers don’t give a crap.
Your customers, if they care about anything, it’s what you are committed to. At least one of the things you’re committed to should be them, at least in their mind.
Boastful “positioning” is about as valuable as a mission statement. Remember when Guy Kawasaki suggested that business ditch meaningless mission statements for meaningful mantras? The real reason the mantra was valuable was it gave businesses something to execute against.
Something to make decisions against.
Your “position”, should it be to “become the preeminent provider of XYZ”, says nothing to your customer about how you plan to make decisions, only where you plan to get with those decisions, even if it includes sacrificing them.
Today, I challenge you to drop your position for a set of core values.
A value system is a set of consistent ethic values (more specifically the personal and cultural values) and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity…The first value category is Core Values, which prescribe the attitude and character of an organization…
In your business, your core values define how the members of your company will act and who and what are your priorities in order to attain desired goals for the business.
Core values put people first.
Unlike a boastful “positioning”, which does not.