Each year we look at our goals and challenges for the next twelve months. We’ll identify a pattern and then pick a theme for the year to designate as our annual battle cry. You can read more about our past battle cry here. If you’re wondering why I’m writing this post in May and not in January, you can get some context by reading this post. It’s about some critical mistakes I made during the selection process, and how it delayed us from implementing an effective battle cry until now.
For 2016 our battle cry is: “Make The Story Great.” Here are some of the reasons Daniel and I picked this phrase to guide us this year.
- “Make The Story Great” puts the relationship with the client at the center.
It makes the client the hero. We have been captivated by the ideas of the Story Brand Framework created by Donald Miller, and making our clients the hero of their story is a key tenet to his philosophy. We have always held our client relationships as precious, and this battle cry challenges us to push that even further. Our clients come to us with the need to transform their storefront and their operational software into something which enables them to grow and ultimately dramatically impacts their personal lives. If successful, the final story will be incredibly rich, rewarding, and fulfilling for all of us.
- “Make The Story Great” serves as an individual challenge.
Every member of our team can ask themselves: What do I hope to accomplish this year? In the next three years? Ten years? How will I push myself to new heights? What will my story be? What can I do to proactively work towards that outcome? It’s important to us that our team members are actively growing professionally, but personally as well.
- “Make The Story Great” reminds us to invest in building great relationships within our team.
The relationship with our clients is important, and healthy client relationships begin with healthy team relationships. Daniel and I feel a strong loyalty and responsibility to our team. Over the years we have made great friendships. We’ve celebrated together as families have grown, and mourned together when they’ve waned. We’ve battled through some pretty hairy challenges and through those struggles, we’ve bonded. When we look back at the history we have with team members who have been here for 3 or 5 years, it’s amazing to see the stories that have already been written. We want to continue to cultivate deep relationships like that within our team.
- To “Make The Story Great” requires proactive action and creative thinking, both of which are critical for our long-term success.
We’ll need to ask ourselves how we can make the story great with every interaction, and constantly keep our eyes open for creative opportunities to make a dramatic positive impact. Over time, many small interactions add up to something truly powerful, like words in a novel. Taken individually, each “word” or interaction may seem insignificant at the time, but when you look back on the whole collection as a unified story, something truly special has been created.
- Finally, “Make The Story Great” refers to a specific goal for 2016: Creating client video testimonials.
One of the “destinations” Gauge is driving toward this year is to create dynamic and engaging client video testimonials for our own internal marketing. In order for these to be the powerful marketing cornerstone we need, our team will have to work together to delight our clients any way we can. The process of launching a new eCommerce storefront is often a transformative experience for the entire business; we’ve seen it happen over and over again. Now we want to capture that in video, telling our clients’ stories in a compelling way.
Ultimately I think our team is more unified at a foundational level than we’ve ever been before, and I am personally very excited to see where our story takes us this year.
What are you doing to make the story great?