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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

The Message

A burglar broke into a home. He heard a soft voice say, “Jesus is watching you.” Thinking it was just his imagination, he continued on his search. Again, he hears: “Jesus is watching you.”

He turned his flashlight toward the voice and saw a parrot in a cage. He asked the parrot if he was the one talking. The parrot said, “Yes.” So he asked the parrot his name, and the parrot replied, “Moses.” The burglar then asked, “What kind of people would name a parrot Moses?”

The parrot replied, “The same kind of people who would name their pit bull, Jesus.

What we name things is important — because words have power. They have power to inspire, and unfortunately to tear down too. This mastery of selecting the correct words to clearly communicate in business is especially critical our current business world. Today we have this “immediate information”, instant response and connection with customers. We are conditioned into believing that everything is “instant”. In business you often have only a few seconds to get your words across to potential clients. With this very limited window of opportunity the words we choose need to be handpicked very carefully.

Once you select your messaging it is tempting to change the message, or freshen it up. Sometimes people get bored repeating the same thing time after time and they attempt to make changes to the messaging. This often confuses what your company does (a very common problem in many businesses). And it is very detrimental to employees that need to carry the torch.

Warren Buffett once wrote to his shareholders, “The pace of the earth’s movement around the sun is not synchronized with the time required for operating decisions to bear fruit”. His company GEICO is a great example of staying on message—they spent $900 million one year on advertising to obtain policyholders (I’m sure you have heard it—“15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance”).

Parrots are known for constantly repeating over and over what they hear people say. As we build our economy here in Tama County we should choose our messaging words carefully and like the parrot consistently deliver that message on to our clients.


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