Grateful vs. 'berateful'
I have lived and worked on “islands” such as Sullivan’s Island, Manhattan, Palm Beach, Daniel Island and many others throughout New England all my life.
For those who “get it,” islands are extremely unique microcosms made up of close-knit personalities, businesses, and cultures than can be both durable and fragile. Everyone knows everyone and everything, which can be both comfortable and uncomfortable.
What’s more, the winds of island relationships, preferences, and tastes often change, quickly, no matter how much we may hope or pray that they remain the same. The good news is that Daniel Island is growing, attracting more new businesses, different restaurants, and better employee attitudes.
For Daniel Island to be prosperous and sustainable, three things must happen next:
• Residents, both stalwarts and newbies, must learn to get along, go along, and work well together on island.
• Local businesses, employees, and their offerings must be supported, protected, and loved more proactively than mainland establishments.
• For the island to survive and improve economically, twice as much care, concern, and consideration is required from each island resident, 24/7/365.
Obviously bad service, bad food, bad people, and unsightly or dilapidating vistas must be communicated to managers or owners –– politely and privately, of course. Bad eggs do need to be shown the 526 exit ramp.
Conversely, lovely and wonderful people who make Daniel Island so delightful and amazing must be uplifted, treated extra well, and at times more graciously compensated or recognized.
Occasionally, overwhelmed staff or an underwhelming dining experience –– during concerts, tennis tournaments, or nasty weather –– should be chances to encourage and uplift, not chastise.
Getting nasty in-person or going online to blast, berate, and beat up Daniel Island restaurants, clubs, businesses, or offices in writing (for the whole world to read forever) is wildly counterproductive and 100 percent uncivil for the island, our community, and its collective economy.
Going berserk in-person or over the Internet harms Daniel Island permanently and weakens the island’s brand everywhere. Fiscally, “online revenge” sets back the island’s ability to afford to serve you or hire better employees tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that.
Make no mistake: Love is a far better form of revenge - and love always has more positive ripple effects than hate.
In fact, if you are interested in helping, promoting, and turning around any aspect of Daniel Island, let The Daniel Island News editors know about it. Make a list of the 10 stand-out establishments or “rock star” employees you’d like to recognize, or thank, or uplift for always doing such a great job day in and day out.
Send these 10 people (or businesses) a hand-written note, perhaps an email, or even stop by in-person to express your gratitude. When suggesting changes or new menu items or better hours of service, sugar goes much farther than salt.
While you’re at it, try asking DI employees and business owners how they are doing, how their family is doing, or what’s new and exciting in their world. On islands, it’s not “always about you.” Point being, it’s important to treat island service providers and managers as human beings and friends, always.
It’s time to go back and delete each one of those nasty online DI reviews you may have written in fleeting anger, and to refrain from beating up local businesses and owners and employees who are simply trying so hard to make a living on this still young and growing island community and economy.
It’s also always a good time to tell more friends and family on the mainland just how amazing, safe, pristine, and pleasant life, times, shopping, and meals really are here on Daniel Island. If you get the chance, take them a few recent copies of The Daniel Island News, to help spread the good word, gratefully.
Harvard graduate Baron Christopher Hanson is the principal and lead strategist at RedBaron Consulting and Baron Christopher Creative, in Charleston, S.C., Washington, D.C, and Palm Beach, Fla. A former rugby player and workplace and small-business turnaround expert, Hanson has written for Harvard Business Review, SmartBrief, and many news publications.