We attended a promotion party for a dear friend this weekend. Our friend, a recently commissioned Colonel, drew our attention to the words of the oath taken by officers. They do NOT promise to obey or defend their superior officers, the Joint Chiefs, the Commander In Chief even the Army itself.

 

Promises

They swear to defend the Constitution of the United States.

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

(DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

So, why is this important?

Well, when you look at armed forces around the world who are obligated to support and defend the “tyrant of the month,” personal loyalty comes at a premium but also has a great price when there is a shift in the politics.

I have to cringe when I see marketing that makes unrealistic promises to unknown entities.

It’s one thing to say “We do whatever it takes to delight our customers,” until some overprivileged jet pilot brings your receptionist to tears, or some irresponsible student puts the safety of people or property at risk, or a group of young celebrities tries to sneak their stash of controlled substances on board a charter flight.

There have always been irresponsible consumers, but we have to wonder if the “over the top” marketing messages imply that imply “we’ll do whatever it takes to get your business” may have contributed to the problem.

Our philosophy – make smaller, more specific promises to carefully targeted prospects. They’re more believable. And it’s easier to meet (or exceed) expectations and get referrals to other carefully selected prospects.

What do you think? Does overblown marketing contribute to the phenomenon of “customers behaving badly?”..

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