My holiday gift…for you.
We arrived at our office on Wednesday morning, only to be greeted with a gift planted in front of our door. The gift was a small holiday card and a small box – about the size of a small bar of soap that you typically would find next to the mini shampoo and conditioner at a three-star hotel.
On the front of the box was the image of a decorated Christmas tree, and inside the box was a mini Christmas ornament. The attached letter was from a candidate running for office. In her note, she talked about health care and returning jobs back to the USA. Here’s the kicker: On the back of the box, in bright red, were the following three words: Made In China. How ironic that someone who makes a point about returning jobs back to the USA, would distribute a Christmas ornament that was…made in China.
Now I realize that many of you who celebrate Christmas find nothing really WRONG with this politician’s little gift. I get it. That’s because most folks are caught up in a “Santa Rally” mindset that I discussed in our most recent Mind Virus E-Zine (the holiday spirit and all of that rubbish).
This politician made three major mistakes:
(1). She assumed that we celebrate Christmas
(2). She assumed that we were in the same political family
(3). She didn’t link her message with her “gift”
I do not celebrate Christmas. Having said that, I should say that I am fairly non-religious, and will often be found celebrating any holiday that offers food, drinks, and good times. I am all about the party. If I was easily offended, I might not care for the fact that this candidate ASSumed that I celebrate Christmas. That sends a message of ignorance. She would have lost my vote.
I am politically independent. I don’t really care for any political party, and if I had my way, would vote myself as Dictator of The United States of America. That would mean that I would get to make all the decisions without having to deal with Congress and/or compromise. If I was considering a switch to a certain party, then receiving this “gift” would certainly make me think twice. Even though this little promotional item was from an individual candidate, the fact is that it could be perceived as making a statement about the party. In other words, if I were a sensitive person (and I am NOT), I might read into her gift as saying, “We assume that you are of a certain faith.” I might also determine that her political party is all about appearances, especially since the Made In China contradicts the comments in her holiday card about bringing jobs back to America (LOL).
And the Made In China thing, well, that speaks for itself. If you are a candidate running for political office in the United States, then I don’t care HOW HARD you have to search, you had better make sure that NOTHING that comes out of your campaign is stamped with anything other than Made In The USA!
What I want you to focus on is not necessarily the mistakes that this political candidate made, rather – the mistakes that YOU might make in your personal life and/or in business.
YOU do not get excused from making stupid mistakes – even around the holidays. For example, I don’t like being wished a Merry Christmas – even if the well-wishes weren’t meant to be religious. A “Happy Holidays!” is nice and covers all the bases. But to ASSume that I celebrate YOUR holiday, just wreaks of pure ignorance.
There are other lessons to be learned from this politician’s mistake…
Make sure you know your audience.
Hey, don’t get me wrong – I like receiving gifts as much as the next guy, but a gift without thought is called an INSULT. Tisk, tisk, tisk. Now look what that politician has done – she has insulted the Dark Lord. Bad move. The natural response is for me to tell EVERYONE what a ___ she is. Oh sure, she might have a solid political message, but NOW, that’s like putting perfume on a giant turd.
When you give a gift, make sure
it’s congruent with your message.
If you are talking about jobs here in the USA, NEVER give anything other than a product made here in…the USA. Simple concept. If you are a health care practitioner, never give a gift that contains bad ingredients. You get the idea. Like it or not, people DO NOT (and should not) overlook that sort of thing. It’s natural for folks to look for a lack of congruency and consistency, so don’t blame people for being…people.
When you give a gift,
make sure it’s A GIFT.
I understand that the politician had intended her Christmas ornament to be perceived as a nice gesture, but let me tell you something, this ornament wouldn’t be big enough for a Smurf’s Christmas tree. Small? Oh yeah – REAL small. So rather than give something, do nothing. In other words, something isn’t always better than nothing – especially when what you are giving is a piece of imported junk. If she really felt the need to do something, then a nice holiday card would have done the trick.
I apologize for making sense.
From all of us here, we would like
to wish you a VERY Happy Holiday!
…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team