“Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.”
I had a hearty laugh the first time I read that. And to date, I can’t help but smile whenever I recall this simple yet powerful quote.
Back in high school and even at the University, not to mention in everyday life, I have heard and continue to hear stories of “successful” exploits by my friends, colleagues and acquaintances with regard to women, business ventures, office shenanigans etc. The interesting thing in all these stories is that those telling it are always the victors and if not, some wrong had been committed against them to rob them of their victory. If it’s with regard to women, my friends who got dumped claim that they are the ones who did the dumping. When it comes to business deals, they always claim that it is as a result of their genius that a big deal was sealed, that a major problem was solved etc. The people telling the story will always skew it to cast themselves in positive light.
And it is just human nature. I always take these stories with a pinch of salt. And since I am quite perceptive, I notice the small things. Those little nuggets of information that suggest that there is more than meets the eye. Hence the reason I go looking for the other side of the story. But not everybody does that. Many people take the story that is put out as the only truth and take sides based on the story that has been told. Time and time again, I have seen faulty stories take a life of their own and it is usually because “Lions don’t have their own historians”.
Whenever my friends/colleagues would sit down and tell me of their successes business or otherwise, it was just us having a drink in private where there was no chance for anyone who might/could refute these claims would be present. And this for a long time ensured that the tales of the hunt continued to glorify the hunters. But then comes social media and privacy takes a whole new meaning. Whatever people say in corners is now tweeted and blogged for the world to see which has meant that people who previously could refute many of these claims but did not have access now have access to these stories and can come in and set the record straight. What does this have to do with social media and your business?
Many truths, half-truths, and falsehoods are said about businesses every day. Most of these are now being said online and smart businesses are out there listening to mentions of them online. From disgruntled customers, pissed-off former employees, envious competitors, happy clients, former and current suppliers etc, they are telling their stories in their dealings with you online with different motivations behind then. And as a business, it is important to listen to these sentiments being expressed because at the end of the day, they do affect your bottom-line. If the sentiments are negative, they influence people away from your business. If they are positive, they bring people to your door. But whether positive or negative, you as a business should not be on standby – voiceless and detached in the conversation. Come in to affirm, refute, best of all, tell your own stories.
As a business, don’t be voiceless. Others are speaking out and social media has also given your business the platforms to lend your voice to the conversation not just in response to what is being said about you but to write your own stories. Social Media has given lions the voice that enables them to go toe-to-toe with the hunters in telling the story that is truly representative of their business – its culture, its history, and its successes. Be it for online reputation management, customer care, marketing, public relations etc, as long as you understand that your uncontrived voice is your selling point in telling your stories, your tales will captivate and win you customers and loyalties.
But always remember, “Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.” Be a smart lion, tell your own stories. Social Media is your friend.