27 Aug The Meaning of Tenacity
We think it’s usually a good thing when people say, “Interesting, I like the name of your company.” We get that a lot, actually.
Answering the follow up question is instructive too, “So, why’d you name it that?”
First of all, not unlike the musings of the proud father in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, so much of our culture and language comes from the ancient Greeks. Tenacity is derived from the root word ‘tenac’ which can be best translated as “to hold on to with vigor”. That’s what we’re about — helping our clients hold on to (retain and renew) the clients they’ve worked so hard to get. Our firm’s name is a good fit for that.
Successfully making breakthrough client retention happen, however, takes commitment, enthusiasm, discipline and just plain ole’ hard work. That’s the ‘vigor’ part. We like to tell our prospective clients that ‘Clients for Life® works – but only if you work at it’. It’s true – our clients have to be just as fired up and invested in keeping the clients they already have, as they are about selling new ones. Keeping them may not be quite as sexy, but it sure as shootin’ is more profitable. Better for the firm’s reputation and great for morale too.
Funny to look back on it, but years ago we considered a PR campaign that we planned to call “The Tenacity Awards”. We would present the award to people that we heard about or knew, whether famous or not, who had demonstrated remarkable ‘tenacity’ in some phase of their lives. Actually, I still kind of like the idea, for example, recipients might include:
- Louie Zamperini – probably the all time grand prize winner. Google him, or better yet, read Laura Hildebrand’s remarkable book “Unbroken”. No words.
- The minor league pitcher who, after 20 years in baseball, never made it to the big leagues, until the Florida Marlins finally called him up to the majors at the end of their season and he joyfully took the mound, in relief, at the age of 41.
- Or my (Steve’s) niece Brinkley, who worried that her dreams of becoming a surgeon might be lost when, during a hiking accident in college, lost the little finger on her left hand, broke her thumb in eleven places and underwent seven surgeries and skin grafts. Undaunted, she went on to graduate, with honors, from a top medical school, and, with the help of a great mentor, learned to speed-tie surgical knots one-handed – with her left hand as well as her right. Today, she’s a resident in hand surgery at one of the nation’s top programs – and she was their top pick. Not getting much sleep though, I’m afraid.
Certainly, there are tons of other great stories and effectively managing and retaining key clients may not be nearly as inspirational (although we do get emotional about it from time to time). The point though, is that there exists a common thread in the focus, discipline, hard work and goal directed behavior it requires to succeed. We think the word ‘tenacity’ captures the idea nicely. We hope you agree.
Steve and John