It’s rare when an article moves you to a thorough understanding of any issue but Adam Hartung’s article on “Why the Postal Service is Going Out of Business” in Forbes is one of them. Lessons learned apply to anyone seeking relevance.
Hartung writes that, “There are few organizations as efficient as the U.S. Postal Service. But operational efficiency is insufficient for survival in today’s competitive marketplace.”
But we are all aware that the Post Office has fallen on extremely hard times and is in the process of laying off thousands of workers and closing a multitude of Post Offices.
The Post Office didn’t really do anything wrong. With electronic mail the market shifted. The Post Office simply isn’t as valuable as it once was. Its current business model lacks relevancy.
Are you relevant?
You tell your story or family history to gain relevancy with your friends, family, cause, business associates or clients. People have always sought authenticity and transparency in the people they associate with.
It always amazes me when people have truly meaningful life stories to tell but do not. Life is filled with adversity and how we overcome difficult moments or celebrate victories brings a deeper understanding as to who we are and provides value to others.
You are either a cranky senior or a war veteran who survived great encounters. Some within my parent’s generation spoke of feeding the homeless during the Great Depression. These events provide life lessons that prompt a deeper understanding as to who you are.
Getting medical care when young, injured and without insurance prompted one person I know to make affordable health care a cause. Her personal story provides passion, authenticity and relevancy.
Business people create jobs and build communities but telling the story of 100 hour work weeks and minimum pay for themselves when starting the business provides perspective that all can relate to.
The bottom-line is that telling your story provides fresh insights into your character and leads others to care more about what you represent.
The observations that people buy from people, not businesses “and” that people give to people, not charities “and” that family members love you the more they know you all become basic tenants that provide you with greater influence and relevance.
To do all that, you need to tell your story and family history.