Since January of 2006, I have been involved on a volunteer basis with a loosely formed group of individuals from four different faith communities in my town to help bring relief to the victims of the Katrina Gulf Coast hurricane. We concentrated our efforts on Biloxi Mississippi. From January through October, our group, self named Bridge to Biloxi, has facilitated work teams of more than 150 youth and adults to work with the victims of the hurricane: removing debris, demolding houses, serving the hungry, and facilitating recovery wherever we can.
In October, our group committed to work directly with our Biloxi partner, Hands On Network Gulf Coast, to rebuild the home of one single family. The response has been overwhelming for everyone involved in our Bridge to Biloxi effort, as well as those individuals with whom we've worked in Biloxi. In short order, this disparate group of people has been able to communicate the compelling message about this family's need for a home, and we have received volunteers from across the country. It has been a breeze to raise the funds necessary to rebuild this modest home. Now, with a very successful effort nearly behind us, we are beginning to contemplate our next iteration. It looks like we have the makings of a brand-new nonprofit, one whose genesis spans religious faith, ages, and any other demographic category you can choose. The progress is palpable. The rewards are tremendous. The new relationships are deep and strong.
I have watched myself carve out time that I don't have to work on this rewarding project. I have watched others dig into their pockets to get themselves down to Biloxi, and return wide-eyed with stories of spiritual nourishment and new friendship.
And yet, in my dealings with my clients and business associates, I am struck by this refrain: mundane accomplishments, enacted routinely, with little or no sense of positive purpose. No, no, I'm not saying that our marketing jobs are worthless or meaningless or terrible. But in some of my posts to come in the next few days, you will hear about the lack of professional passion with which many of us go about accomplishing our marketing duties.
I would wager that many of those internal clients with whom we work -- the accountants, lawyers, architects, consultants, etc. -- probably feel a similar sense of the mundane. With such a lack of motivation, and a lack of a compelling purpose to pursue, no wonder it's a challenge for marketers and their key stakeholders to achieve significant marketplace gains.
Is there something we can do about this? As professional service marketers, I think we are in a unique position to help our colleagues remember what gets them up in the morning; to help them imagine new and more compelling ways to use their expertise to bring about positive changes.
Maybe I'm naïve, but there must be some way we can tie our work back to meaningful pursuits and accomplishments that stimulate our professional passion and bring a palpable sense of reward as we collect a paycheck or build equity in firms. And I can only imagine being the clients who might be the recipients of such professional passion!