Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Authentic Niche: Team Motivator

Tomorrow, I will attend the my second Energy Star Partner of the Year awards ceremony in 3 years. This time with Sears as the 2010 Retail Partner of the Year - a few years back in 2007 - it was with my former employer, Pella Corporation when they were first named Window and Door Manufacturer of the Year.

I could spend the entire post going on and on about Energy Star, the collaboration between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) designed to help us save money while protecting the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Over the last four years - I've spent countless hours learning and advocating for the same goals and practices that Energy Star promotes. No loss for words on that.

Essentially over the last four years - I have "fallen" in love with the environmental movement. The idea of helping companies that are over a century (Sears) and practically a century (Pella) old look at their business and truly look for ways to be Eco-conscience and bring our customers on the journey with us - just fits me. But that's not the niche....

I am not going to claim that I did most of the work on securing either of these awards - but the common thing I did do was look everyone in the eye - on both occasions - in two different companies and tell them that this award was achievable and proceeded to champion it from my marketing chair. In both cases - I "cheer leaded" and kept the can do attitude alive through out the process. I also kept each team "real" reminding them of the importance of authenticity in the green space over anything else. Of course, I had other accountability in the process but I am certain that because of my niche role in both these instances, we (our green teams) were propelled to victory.

Seth Godin wrote a blog post called We Can Do It - last week - you can read it here. I really loved this post because it really brought to life my experiences on both these teams over the last four years.

So that is my niche - I add value by not only my vast marketing knowledge and know-how but by that intangible confidence that I bring to teams at crucial intersections in their existence.

That was a cool discovery for me this past month. My brand statement just got expanded.

I want to challenge all who are reading this to take notice to your niche. This one almost slipped by me. I literally stopped in my tracks and looked at both these situations and found the common theme and now I know.
What are your niches? If you don't know - start paying attention. They are there! Stop and look at the times you have been victorious in your life - chances are you will find your niche there!

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