Everest Base Camp. The Inca Trail. Patagonia. Zion. Iceland. Half Dome. The Milford Trek. The Dolomites. The Sahara. We’ve had good times, my friends. But, you’re tired and worn. And despite my care and love, you are all in. It’s time to call it a day. I’ll never forget the trails we forged.
My Lowa boots have been a companion on the best days of my life. This matters to me. It’s more than function; it’s an emotional bond. And that is something more rare than not in business. Killer brands have a relationship with their clients.
In leading the organizations I have, I will never forget this. It is not just what you do, provide or sell. It is how people feel inside. And the beauty of that is that it is authentic. They know. They feel it. And they act on it. And in that relationship, you are not a commodity. You aren’t replaceable. You transcend the value-to-cost model. You earn the loyalty and commitment of 1000 hard miles given, taken, and loved.
Goodbye, my old friends. I have miles to go without you, but your raw and unprepared successors will be with me. I’ll take the blisters until we find our way.
Live up to your brand. Make them feel it.