Thought for the month - August 2012

Socks

As the quality of relationships between people becomes more and more important for successful businesses, it is critical that the top person sets a superb personal example for everyone else.

I was paddling in the watercress beds of Surrey. Dave had started this business 30 years ago and as a passionate environmentalist, the site ticks all the green credential boxes. Now he proudly welcomed customers, suppliers and stakeholders to this open day in the countryside.

Each group of visitors had to change into appropriate clothing for the tour. I was sitting next to the female buyer from Waitrose when we all removed our shoes. As Dave shook off his clogs, we were dumfounded to see his faded, threadbare socks that were so full of holes that several gnarled and grimy toes poked through.

Dave must have noticed the astonishment on the faces of his visitors, but he carried on cheerfully telling us all what to do as if nothing had happened.

Why did he do this? Who knows? But the truth remains that we all get just one chance to make a great first impression with everyone we meet.

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