When I read Joy Tanksley’s post about “The King’s Speech” on Copyblogger, I had to laugh. The reason being that, when I watched the movie, I thought a lot of the same ideas she exposes. According to Joy, especially small entrepreneurs, have 4 important lessons to learn from Lionel Logue, the speech therapist portrayed in the movie.
During the course of the movie Lionel always remains true to his principles and methods, even though they are being questioned time and time again, because he is convinced that he is offering a worthwhile and above all functioning service. As an entrepreneur one is often tempted to stray from the original business model in order to achieve short-term benefits and satisfy the wishes of a particular client. Or one might grant a significant discount, selling oneself at less than fair value. Such behavior, however, tends to backfire. By compromising one’s principles, one loses one’s USP and sooner or later business. Additionally, in the age of social media it has become ever more important to consider the ramification each action might have on one’s reputation.
The King reacts aggressively towards the new treatment method and ends up leaving infuriated. And what is Lionel’s reaction? Does he ask His Highness to stay? Does he send him a promotional flyer? No. He doesn’t do anything. Our instinct commands us to fight for each client, but if this occurs at the expense of the first lesson learned, one should have faith in one’s abilities and concentrate on the acquisition of more suitable clients. In the movie, the King realizes soon enough that Lionel’s unique method is his only hope and returns to resume treatment.
A large part of Lionel’s method is based on psychology. His goal is to create an environment, in which the patient and therapist are equals so that the former feels secure to open up emotionally and share the incidents in the past that led to the speech impediment. It is similarly important to establish a personal relationship with a client in order to find out what moves him and what is important to him. Concurrently, an entrepreneur or company should also strive to develop a personal, human profile. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Co. allow everyone to create such a profile and, thus, lay the groundwork for a relationship based on mutual trust with one’s clientele.
Caution!: Spoiler Alert.
One of the movie’s key moments occurs, when the King realizes that Lionel is not a certified, licensed therapist. Instead Lionel distinguishes himself through his years of experience, his passion and most importantly his proven results. Although the King doubts for a moment, urged on by the pressure of his counselors, he soon comprehends that Lionel’s qualifications are more valuable than any medical license. Of course, this does not mean that academic titles or certificates are bad or unnecessary. However, and this is also my personal experience, they are not a substitute for always striving to offer the best possible quality and for the knowledge one acquires ”on the job”. These are the main ingredients that contribute to successful results and in turn to satisfied customers.
Who would have thought that this year’s Oscar winner would possess so many interesting insights for entrepreneurs…
This post is also available in: German