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Pen Power

PenPower“The pen is mightier than the sword,” was penned back in 1839 in the historical play, Cardinal Richelieu. But it still rings true today. In the play, the Cardinal also states, “Take the sword; States can be saved without it!”

I am a firm believer in putting down our swords and picking up our pens in order to affect positive change in the universe. Through books, sharing ideas, stories and journeys through the written word, we can make our world a better place. But, we don’t even need to go to the book stage in order to make positive pen power. In fact, I recently had two real-life, different situations where a written letter or email put some positive power back into the universe.

Story 1: I had a slight altercation with unprofessional conduct on a recent flight. (I won’t say which airline, but those who follow me at social already know.) When I arrived home, I wrote a letter to the CEO of said airline and voiced my concerns about their rampant unprofessional conduct with their customers during one leg of my flight. I also sent a copy of said letter to CEO of another company that both I and they do business with them (as advertised on one of their joint services) and asked that CEO if he should be conducting business with the airline. If I can’t trust the airline, should I be trusting this other company?

This letter triggered 2 phone calls from the ‘another company’ above, and a $350 travel voucher from airline this week. That one letter resulted in a lot of follow up, $350 for me, but most important, attention from both companies on how they disrespectfully treat their customers. Maybe not a perfect fix, but at least some attention on the matter.

Story 2: Being an avid reader, I subscribe to several print magazines (I know, I’m old school). Anyway, one of them is Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Recently, I have been researching whether or not to switch banks. They had an article recently that focused on the best banks for different types of people. So, I went back to that article shopping for a new bank, only to find I really wasn’t characterized there. They focused on retirees, millennials, families–but nothing really for entrepreneurs or single women–and we have radically different needs in a bank than these other categories of people.

I voiced my concern via email to the Editor in Chief of the magazine, and stated the facts (that single women are outnumbering married women in this country, and starting more businesses, etc.) Not only did I hear back from the magazine, but I also heard back from the writer of that particular article, along with their correction for future articles on this topic. And, this month’s Kiplinger’s had a one pager in it for single women. While I can’t take credit for sparking the article on single women–I was impressed that Kiplinger’s was actually paying attention and cared what their readers have to say.

Here’s my point: yes, you can rant over at social media and complain. David vs. Goliath stories on social media are always ephemerally charming–and I usually root for the Davids. But sometimes, it’s even better to just go over to MS Word or grab a piece of paper, thoughtfully pen your issues, and then print, sign and mail your comments via old fashioned snail mail. Even send an email.

As I was reminded yesterday when discussing negotiation at #HealthCarDev – a wise recruiter said, “I can’t help you if you don’t communicate to me what you need.” She was absolutely right. We have to clearly articulate what we need. NO ONE is part of the psychic friends’ network–so if you tell the universe and others what you need, you just might get it.

Be careful what you wish for….lol!

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