Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
The scramble for survival continues.
Even businesses that appear to be doing well -- grocery chains, for example -- are still battling with offering both staff and customers safety, never mind a remotely pleasant shopping experience.
Some still find the time to show generosity toward their wider ecosystem. Recently, I wrote about how the San Antonio-based H-E-B grocery chain was trying to help the local restaurant industry by ordering takeout for its staff -- a lot of takeout -- and even featuring some of the restaurants' signature dishes in its stores, for free.
I'm not sure, however, I've heard the following words come out of any executive's soul.
JJ Williams, director of operations at Kiona Winery, in Benton City, Washington offered this thought for customers. His customers:
If you are considering buying direct from a winery, I would recommend making selections from your favorite boutique/micro/family-run operations instead of Kiona.
He's telling his customers to go and buy wine from someone else? That seems the apex of generosity.
Is there a point, though, where magnanimity becomes self-sabotage? Or might there be more here than mere magnanimity?
In the vast world of wineries, Kiona isn't huge. Producing 20,000 cases doesn't exactly make it a global threat.
Yet Williams looks at what is happening to truly small wineries and believes Kiona should direct business their way.
He told Oregon Live:
Our income has not dropped anywhere near zero, which is not the case for lots of these tiny wineries.
Some small wineries rely mostly -- or even entirely -- on their wine clubs and tasting rooms. You won't see their brands in stores, as you will with Kiona's.
A few try to sell to restaurants or even stores by themselves, without using a distributor. I have several friends from small wineries who do that and describe an extremely tiring experience.
Yet here is a winery executive actually acting as a salesman for his competitors.
There's a kink, of course.
Some of those smaller wineries buy their grapes from Kiona. They're customers as well as competitors. Williams not only wants them to survive but would prefer them to survive in order to further his own business.
Still, I can think of quite a few business owners who would -- and are -- taking advantage of this crisis in order to crush competitors who aren't so well placed. And they do it with a smile.
Just as H-E-B, Kiona appears to understand that your business isn't often an isolated entity and there's an advantage -- both financial and emotional -- in supporting a wider cause.
You're part of a larger ecosystem, one that has to thrive if you are to fully succeed.
Who wants to be the only winery in town? How dull that would be.
On its website Kiona explains what sort of business it is:
No investors. No banks. Only a family, some vineyards, and a reputation to uphold.