This is a story about keeping the values that have been taught to me by others many years ago.
Over 25 years ago, I was fortunate to begin dealing with NHL players in my role with Christian Hockey Sticks. One of those players was Brett Hull. He was a superstar in the league and had one of the hardest shots in the world!
Brett was paid big money by our rivals at that time, Easton, to use their aluminum shafts but despite all the money that he was given, Brett would only use one replacement blade – Christian.
His teams were given Easton shafts for free but they would always pay full price for Christian blades, despite the fact that our competitor would have given them theirs for free.
Over his career, Brett Hull became a perennial all star and earned a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame after scoring 741 goals and amassing 650 assists for a total of 1,391 points….and every one of those points came off of Christian blades!
Early in my career, I learned some very valuable lessons and many of those came from the Christian family. They are very simple:
- If you are honorable, keep your word and produce a good product while offering great, consistent service, it should never be given away.
For the people at Christian Hockey Sticks, this was their craft…their trade…and they created each product that they produced with great pride.
- There is tremendous value today in simply doing what you say you will do.
Set your goals with ‘aggressive modesty’, follow up diligently and promise only what you believe that you can deliver on.
- Manage your expectations. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
Nobody is perfect all of the time; that is simply unattainable and unrealistic. Mistakes will happen! In our hi-tech, fast-paced world that often demands instant results, no matter how well you have planned your strategy, things happen because there is always the ‘human element’ that comes into play.
- Personal service is still very important.
In today’s business environment where the pace is faster than ever and email and social media are so prominent, you can gain a significant advantage over your competition by simply communicating your people better than your competition through honesty, transparency and respect.
Sounds pretty basic right? Well, it is…but if you do the basics better than anyone else, you will come out on top!
- Giving your products or services away for free often sets a perceived worth of just that….nothing!
These are values that cannot be taught in any university course, grasped by doing a Google search or bought with any amount of money.
These are simple, basic fundamentals and to this very day, I use the values that I was taught over 25 years ago.