Judging the Book by it's Cover
Many years ago, when my daughter was a teenager, I remember having a conversation with a friend about bringing up girls and their future. We touched on all the popular subjects - boy friends, home work, body awareness and how difficult it is to convince a daughter that she is amazing.
At that time, as a family, we were gong through some rough terrain and I suppose I must have poured out my heart in frustration and pain. We were sitting in her big farmhouse kitchen, I remember that clearly, but I can't remember exactly what she said apart from one sentence - 'At least she is beautiful.' It startled me. Yes my daughter is beautiful and she is also incredibly gifted. But, what did my friend actually mean?
That her own daughter is less beautiful?
That being beautiful is more important than being happy? That because she is beautiful she is not gifted?
Fifteen years later and I'm still pondering on this. (no, I didn't ask her to explain)
So, here's my latest blog, and my thoughts are woven around a favourite subjects of mine, architecture.
This is St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta. A sand stone, fortress-like building commissioned by the Knights of St John in the 1570's. The building itself, with the sandstone facade, is beautiful though rather plain Looking at this picture, not knowing anything about it's significance, would you go inside? Without noticing it, I walked past it twice, wondering why so many people were cuing to go inside. Then, curiosity got the better of me. I paid the entrance fee and entered in. What a surprise!!! - This is what I saw.
It didn't use to look like this. Early on, the interior was as unassuming as it's exterior. It was built for purpose nothing else. Strong foundations and strong walls - A perfect place to feel safe and secure from the threats of the outside world.
This grandeur of gold, silver, paint, marble and semi precious stones were added 100 years after it was first opened. A way of proclaiming how grand the Knights were, to draw attention away from purpose and to focus on awe. It's rather over whelming - a little bit too much perhaps?
Many of us are similar to this building. Not much showing on the outside but the inside is just WOW!!!! However, the danger allowing this to be kept a secret, is that when all the internal beauty surfaces it can be overwhelming and scary for new 'prospects'. Rather than embracing this unexpected beauty they run away. Or close the book, so to speak. We never see them again.
Also, we may be attracted to an exterior and realise that there wasn't much inside to write home about. Same difference really.
How we present ourselves has more of an initial impact than what we say. But, how we leave someone feeling has a far greater impact in the long run. It's about building relationships and allowing our survival instinct to be heard. In business, when it comes to maintaining a strong brand, we must be congruent on three points: 1. Who we are and who we attract 2. Who our ideal client is and who and what they are attracted to 3. What our business/ product values are and whom is attracted to it
So, make sure that you deliver a little bit more than you first promised, but, not too much as to paralyses them.
What does your book cover say about you and do you deliver what's expected?