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How to Truly Surprise and Delight
There's wonder in common courtesies.
Disillusionment by Edouard Hamman, 1851 (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)
It's kind of sad when we celebrate what should be accepted as normal, isn't it?
Like when people get excited about receiving praise or a handwritten note.
Or talk wistfully about a leader who treated people with kindness and compassion.
Why aren't we simply doing things that were once expected? That were once the price of existence? And doing them because they're the right thing to do – not because we want something.
"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
– Mark Twain
Early in my career at Ford, I was at a conference in Paris, and I remember meeting someone for the first time with whom I had corresponded with online for a few years.
We chatted for about 10 minutes or so, and when we were done, I remember her remarking at how blown away she was that I put my phone away, gave her my undivided attention, and just listened to and talked with her.
While I was glad that we met and spoke, I was left with this feeling of melancholy: wistful that attention, consideration, and kindness were now considered exceptional rather than the norm.
The simple act of doing what's right is a powerful strategy.
What's within your power to change such that your customers, employees, colleagues and friends see you as a kind and decent person or brand, leaving them more gratified than astonished?