“Guest post from Nick Kingsley, ends department in Bellingham. Nick is serving in the National Guard and has previously posted on leadership, a topic he seems to know very well.”
As many of you reading this already know and to anyone reading this that does not know, I am a forward observer in the U.S. Army National Guard, and have worked at Market Basket for 4 years. I received a lot of positive feedback on my last little article about leadership, and decided to write another. This time I will be talking about professionalism, more specifically silent professionalism. In the military the right thing to do is to be proud of your achievements, but not to run around town in your uniform just to pick up girls, or to gain attention. We call those who wear the uniform for attention “glory hounds”, and I will tell you, they are some of the most fake, disgraceful individuals you will meet, and break almost every moral code in the military (selfless service, discipline, etc.). I have learned what it means to be a silent professional from the military and personal experience. I came across an article today about ATD donating to charities, without blasting it all over the media. The first thing that came to my mind while reading the article was that ATD is a silent professional (by military standards).
Now let me tell you what silent professionalism is, silent professionalism is exactly what it means, you are quiet about your achievements. By being a silent professional, you already know you have achieved greatness, and earned respect; and do not need anyone’s’ commendation. It is ok to have pride in your achievements, but do NOT build an ego. In the military a big ego WILL get you killed in combat. In the private sector, it will get you on the board of Market Basket. Egotism (over confidence) is the feeling that you are better than everyone else and has no purpose but to make the conceited feel better than everyone else. While having confidence is a good thing, part of being a silent professional is being humble, and that humbleness keeps confidence from turning into egotism. The best lesson to learn from this is that while you may be the best merchandiser or receiver, than other people working it does not make you a better person (take note of that board members, who think because they have college degrees that they are “above” the associates at Market Basket). Based on the brief description of silent professionalism I have given you above, ATD displays this philosophy. Unlike companies like Hannafords, that blast how much they have donated to each different charity, on social media websites, ATD does not. He keeps it all private, does not let everyone know that he donated a million dollars to this or that, proving his is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. With that being said, that is enough evidence to support the assertion that ATD is a man of great character. If he had a damaged reputation, or was an egomaniac he would be letting the whole world know, he donated millions of dollars to charities, but he keeps it all private. In sum good things do not need to be marketed.
With that being said, I can say with 4 years of grocery/merchandising experience (and anyone who works at Market basket will agree), water sells because people need it. It is always selling quickly and I do not need to cut the price down of a 35 pack of water to $.10 to sell it, because people do not need persuasion to buy it. I say again, good things do not need to be marketed, the only reason the board has hired a marketing firm is an attempt to increase their reputations. We all know they are bad, and they even know they are bad, and that is why they hired a marketing firm, because they are so bad they have to be marketed. Look at ATD as another example, he did not even need to hire anyone, his character spoke for itself when the social media took up arms and created pages like “Save Market Basket”. All in all, ATD is a silent professional and is more respected as an individual than any one of the COWARDLY board members’.