I live in a wonderful small community just outside of Ottawa (Canada’s capital). This Summer it was one of dozens of communities that experienced record-setting amounts of rain, with many families suffering devastating losses due to flooding.
True to the nature of small communities, however, people rallied. Over a period of just a couple of weeks untold thousands of volunteer hours were spent sandbagging, pumping, rescuing, feeding and housing. Petty differences were left behind as neighbor stood beside neighbor for days on end, selflessly trying to make a difference. It was amazing to be a part of.
It didn’t stop there. Local businesses donated thousands of dollars in supplies and food for the volunteers and the victims. Our City Councillor and his team were tireless in helping to organize the volunteer efforts. And while they have received precious little credit, the city employees and leaders were prepared, and executed well-thought-out action plans that likely saved home-owners millions of dollars.
The Power Of Good Will
Out of the devastation came a wonderful thing – Good Will. There’s no metric to quantify it, but you can feel it as you go from community to community. People are a just a little gentler, a little more helpful, perhaps a little less quick to judge. Three local business owners who made a concerted effort to help out have told me that they are having an unexpected banner year – with many people making a point to support them. Through their good will, they have created loyalty.
A Lesson For All Of Us
It is a lesson that businesses – and all of us – can learn from. For businesses, the most effective way to create good will is through consistently outstanding customer service. The more good will we create, the more likely a customer will remain loyal to us. Sorry, it’s not about collecting points.
The same holds true for us on a personal level. The more we can do for the people around us, the more good will we create and the more people will have our backs when times get tough.
This isn’t a new concept, of course, but perhaps we don’t need to wait for disaster to strike to get started.
“There are very few people who respond badly to kindness”