The closer you get to the front, the more power you have over the brand.


Krulak’s law is simple: Soldiers in the field interacting with local people are the most important element of nation building and counter insurgency. It has wide applicability to any organization that interacts with the public.

One errant minimum-wage cog in the machine can cripple an entire brand, or at the very least, wreck the lifetime value of a customer. The two kids at Domino’s who made a YouTube sensation out of cruelty to pizza did more damage to the Domino’s brand than any vice president ever could.

The instinct, then, is to tightly control that last step, to be sure no one has any leeway or can take initiative when dealing with customers, because, after all, you can’t trust them.

This is a self-defeating precaution. As soon as you elminate humanity from the interactions you have with customers, you’ve guaranteed that your (now sterile) brand will mean less than it could.

Hire better people. Trust them more. And be prepared to make it right when they don’t.

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