“I know when to give away a few daisies to sell a dozen roses.”

This was the title of a Twitter update I posted earlier this morning. And I included the fact that there was a story behind this tweet.

And here is the rest of the story…

I sent an email to our Chairman tonight – Graham Weston, who I respect a great deal.

Here is part of what I told him:

What I just really, honestly love about this company – I
feel completely comfortable putting my personal “brand” on the line.
I am completely comfortable telling companies that if we screw up, I
will make it right for them. I do NOT promise what Rackspace will do.
I promise them what *I* will do – and I know Rackspace will have my
back.

I am not sure many companies get how empowering that is – that I trust
my employer enough to give my customers my personal guarantee –
because I know my company has my back.

I’ve spent two + years talking to some of the best customer support
companies on the planet – some of the largest high profile social
media adopters – and none of my peers feel that absolute sense of “my
back is covered”. It is extremely empowering and adds a level of
authenticity to what we do that we could not have planned for – or built a
program around. It is what I know of us as a company (much because I was a customer for so long) – the trust I have earned, and my knowledge of the business. I am not going to give away the farm. I am running a for-profit business. But I know when to give away a few daisies to sell a dozen roses.

This is NOT normal with the other companies I am dealing with. I think we are doing something pretty unique here – and I really appreciate it. Mostly I appreciate not having to get permission to do what is right. I am trusted to do what is right.

And empowered.

And that is very unusual. More unusual than we think, I think.

So I want to dig deeper into that, and find out how what we are doing works, and how we can extend it, and how we can even teach it to others – because we are fundamentally based on giving knowledge back. Be that OpenStack, or what we are learning in Social Media.

Knowledge is more fun when it is shared.