Success in business: stand for something
John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa stood for human rights and better life and living. So too have Padraig Pearse, Michael Collins, John Redmond, as well as thousands of other people who will never be acknowledged or achieve fame.
It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, what religion you are or if you are of no religion, what political party you support, what football club you follow, what pop star you worship, what music you like, what clothes you wear or what beer you drink. However, it does matter that, as an adult, you stand for something.
When you become an adult, you acquire extra legal responsibilities and social responsibilities. Everybody has moral responsibility. Governments and society also impose legal responsibilities on you. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
What would you do if you had no worries?
Any fool can complain or condemn, and most fools do.
Blame looks back, responsibility looks forward.
How does this apply to an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs perform in a very fluid but competitive trading environment. If they don’t have some critical anchors, then they are vulnerable to those who have. From my experiences out there in the business world, I believe that ‘clarity of purpose’ is the critical anchor one has to have in order to be commercially successful.
Form your own moral and social responsibilities from your values and your moral code derived from your family background, culture, philosophy, religion or school.
I assume that, imperfect though they may be, you respect the laws of the land and that you try to live by the cultural and ethical codes and practices that control civilised society. I assume that you would behave peacefully in the company of others. I assume that you stand for, and will campaign for, improvement in the quality of life and living for your family members, your friends and for members of the community around you. I assume that you will help someone who needs help and that you will defend someone who is being attacked. I assume you stand for something.
Think about how you can embed this in the team culture you are. You’ll need to to ‘win the debate in your own head’ first, and only then can you start to communicate and over time influence these critical values within the team. Culture is a difficult concept to understand, but it manifests itself in what the business consistently celebrates and reprimands.
What are you going to do differently? How are you going to do it? When will you have it completed? What evidence can you give to show that you have made the sustainable change?
“We would be happier with what we have if we weren’t so unhappy about what we don’t have.”
Frank A Clark
If you think you are average, you will achieve average results. Stretch yourself, but for the sake of your health and happiness, not beyond breaking point.
I work with a number of CEOs who really understand this critical anchorage. They keep telling stories to emphasise the point, and they use it as the backdrop when they are making difficult decisions. Having declared transparent VALUES facilitates the team to better understand and appreciate ‘how things are done around here’. This facilitates them to optimise their contribution, since they don’t have to waste energy second guessing.