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29 April 2007

Are You Mis-leading?

I have heard about, and read a lot on the topic of leadership since joining the granger team. Its part of the DNA of the church and you won't hear me complain. I've seen these principles lived out in our team and in the lives of volunteers that offer their time and talents to the church. And it has created an environment of trust and growth that I love being part of.

But allow me to talk for a minute about mis-leadership.

Long story short...

We recently decided to upgrade our camera (Canon Powershot A85). It was a gift, and it not only served us well for years, but was also the perfect introduction to the age of digital photography.

So I did my research and asked questions in order to make a well informed purchase. A friend at the church suggested I stay away from online stores that claimed to have low prices. He even gave me a online site that offered everything your heart could want - but at prices that were similar to your local camera store.

In my search I found this to be true. One site offered the camera body with two lenses for the same price as the body alone at most stores. After calling and inquiring about the Nikon lenses in the ad - I learned that they weren't really Nikon lenses at all. They were Sigma lenses made for Nikon cameras...

But then came my big break! I found an online store that offered the Nikon D40x with a genuine Nikon 18-55mm AF-S Nikkor lens for $175.00 less than everywhere else. What I bargain I thought - so I pulled the trigger.

A few days went by and I got a phone call from this online retailer (I'll graciously allow them to remain nameless...). The guy on the phone started by verifying my order and making sure my address and billing information were correct. Good so far.

But then he said, "So I see you chose not to get the accessories that come with most cameras - you must have a Nikon camera already."

Come to find out, the "package deal" I purchased included the body of the camera, the genuine Nikon lens, a myriad of trinkets (cheap flash, full size tripod, camera bag, display covers, cleaning kit, etc.) just not the "unimportant accessories" like the battery, charging cord, data cable for transferring images to the computer, software, etc.

[Note to self] There may be photography professionals reading this right now - laughing hysterically...

I don't know if this is typical of camera sales, but it felt a lot like ordering a car online and having the sales guy say, "I see you ordered the vehicle without seats, seat belts and a gas tank - would you like me to add those for a small price?"


The good thing is that I wasn't taken for more than the camera was worth. In fact I even saved a few dollars - just not the $175.00 I was expecting...

Turns out I basically paid the same amount I would have paid at the store my friend suggested and just a bit less than walking down the street and buying it at a retail store.

Life Lesson

Are you leading well? As a web professional, am I leading the audience or mis-leading them? And then comes the big question. If you are mis-leading people - is it by accident or on purpose?

Do we promote our "product" with integrity? Or do we "forget" to give people all the details? Do we exaggerate things or shade the truth to make it more palatable?

These are questions I'm wrestling with this week...

(I'll let you know how things turn out with the camera later this year...)