Creating a Meaningful Impression

Greetings.  Shortly after arriving in Sweden we attended a fantastic concert in a beautiful old church in the city of Lysekil.  The performance brought together two very talented singers and songwriters for an evening of traditional Swedish music, jazz and even a few popular American songs (depending on your age).  The artists were Lisa Lovbrand and Goran Fristorp and in an era of iTunes and YouTube you can check them out with a click of your mouse or a touch of your smartphone.  

And while the music and the evening were delightful, one other thing struck me about the performance.  A very large heart that hung in the church.  A simple but powerful symbol of the essence of spiritual life for many people.  And something I kept thinking about throughout the evening.  As well as a perfect compliment to the skill and passion of these two artists for their craft. 

All to often I find myself walking into the generic offices of companies of all sizes and getting only the sense that they have interesting taste in furniture.  Stylish and well-lit reception areas that provide no real clue about what the organization does and what it stands for.  No compelling notion of the thing or things it believes in and the things that matter most.  No way to quickly gauge its passion–if there is any–for its customers, or its people, or the problems it tries to solve or the power of innovation and collaboration in making a real difference.  Just the latest and most trendy colors, the hippest new chairs, an attention grabbing reception desk made from the finest woods or the shiniest metals, and a big question about what they believe in.

When all it would take is a simple heart hanging from the ceiling.  Or a picture of someone whose life was changed for the better by their offerings.  Or a photo of a team of employees proudly demonstrating the value of their latest technological breakthrough or community initiative.

Assuming, of course, that they really believe in something other than selling stuff and making as much money as possible.


We win in business and in life when we make very clear the things that matter most.  And when we bring heart to the people we work with and the people we serve.


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