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Today's Marketing Cookie - Courage
"The courage to be great lies deep within each of us."
Today's fortune came from Diana Ermini of Boston, MA. Diana is the Director of Marketing for OnForce, which helps service companies connect with thousands of highly skilled service professionals to fulfill on-site work. In addition to her full plate at OnForce, she is a board member for CompTIA, Creating IT Futures Foundation, as well as the Vice President of Communications for the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association. I've known Diana for a few years and continue to marvel at her high level of professionalism and determination. You should follow her on Twitter: @DianaErmini
Today's Marketing Cookie should humble and inspire you. You should be humbled because you already have the ability to achieve greatness. You should also be inspired today to be courageous. Yes. You have greatness inside you... but are you brave enough to be great? Maya Angelou once said, "Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently." It's true.
I believe that companies can be great too, but often lack the courage to try. The best companies encourage their employees to innovate, take risks and empower them to be great. As a result, they dazzle us with bold, innovative products, they step beyond conventional thinking and are courageous in their marketing. Meanwhile, other companies harbor a culture of fear, dissidence and ho-hum mediocrity. Their employees work in the company, but they don't work on the company. They avoid change, play it safe in their marketing campaigns and the company is unremarkable, unnoticed and marginalized.
In the sixth grade, I got a deathly case of pneumonia and I missed most of the school year. As a result, I was incredibly wimpy and scrawny, and with any form of exercise I would quickly become short of breath. I didn't play any sports for years during my recovery. By the ninth grade, I could run without gasping and wanted to learn how to play basketball! I couldn't dribble, or shoot, but I really wanted to play.
My mother got a job as the headmaster for a private school in Attleboro, MA so I could be enrolled there as a student. Unfortunately, there wasn't a gymnasium at the school, or a basketball team. Before and after school, the guys were always playing basketball in the school play yard. So, I made a deal with them. If I could start a team, they agreed to teach me how to play.
So, I ran for President of the student government promising that if I were elected, I would start a basketball team for the school... and I won by a landslide. Next, I presented our desire to start a basketball team to the school board and they said, "You may start your team as long as it doesn't interfere with education or cost the school any money."
We held several car cash fund raisers and several parents donated money. The dad of one of the guys was a Sergeant for the Pawtucket Police Department and he signed up to be our coach. Soon afterward, we were granted permission to use the gymnasium at another Junior High School. A local screen-printing company made up some T-shirts for us too. Before we knew it, we had games booked with other high schools in the area. We had the courage within each of us to create a team and we and we had done something great!
I believe that you and the people you work with in your company, will accomplish greatness if you'll only be courageous enough to try!