If you have been around a while, I’m guessing maybe the late 70’s or early 80’s, you probably remember that very popular television commercial from a competitor of McDonald’s which asked that very simple question. Along with that one there was another competitor telling folks that square fish don’t swim. These were very much directed at the world’s largest fast food chain and the company that was putting bread on my table at that time in my life. As crazy as it may sound, to me they were very personal.

The message of bashing my employer really irritated me at the time. I wondered why we did not go out and pick on them the way they were picking on us. Luckily I had some wise bosses (Dave, Pat, Mel, Tom, Ray, Linda, and Terry to name a few) that taught me a lifelong message that to this day I try to use in everything I do. What they taught me was that all of our efforts were purposely and consistently being used to tell our customers about the good things we were doing, not the bad things that our competitors were doing.

If you remember the commercials I am referring to, then you probably also remember the steady stream of award winning commercials that McDonald’s used to touch our emotions in a positive way; some even had nothing to do with our menu items. I find this to be a tried and true way to do business and in the treatment of those around me. As a community I happen to feel like this lesson is also applicable. Many of us absolutely love our community and most hope we never have to leave. We have planted our stake here and to use a little poker term “we are all in”. I find it very refreshing when folks talk about why they love our community, rather than what they don’t like about some of those around us.

We can certainly learn from some of the neighboring communities (or even some very far away) about how to avoid making short term decisions that might have a negative impact in the long term and such. But to me there is a difference between that and just taking a broad swipe at entire communities and using words like them and they. If I had to guess, I would imagine that “those” communities are also full of honest, hardworking, and nice people too. It’s fair to say that they love their community as much as we love ours. Perhaps those that came before them made some unwise decisions that now make it look as though they are playing with a 7-2 off-suit and we feel like we are holding pocket aces. My thought is simply that we stay on point and proudly promote our community.

We have a wonderful message to share and if we do that I am positive that we will make those that follow us very proud. I will see you right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at www.mtjulietchamber.com.