As a parent, I am besieged by school letters. Well, to be honest, only when the children remember and that’s normally because they want to join the cricket club / gardening club / French club / go on the school trip / start swimming lessons and then I get half a dozen in one go!
One thing remains consistent though: on the bottom of all of them are three words: “Friendship; Respect; Thankfulness”.
These are the school values and I know the school works hard to adhere to these. That means the staff, the pupils, the school governors, and the Head in his daily tweets. In everything they do, they live their values; these three words have become part of their culture and their very ethos.
Have you ever sat down and thought about the values for your business?
If that’s a bit of a struggle, what about your personal values? – what’s important to you personally?
When I’m coaching clients, I also ask them, sooner rather than later, what their personal values are. The reason I ask this is because the business emanates from the business owner. The business would not exist without the business owner. So it makes sense to look within the business owner to find out their values.
If your business is not reflecting who you are, deep inside; if it’s not reflecting what’s important to you, then you will feel a disconnect. It’ll feel a bit stress-y (if that’s not a word, I’ve just made it one!) and that you’re out of alignment somehow.
OK, so your business values may differ a little from your personal ones, but they have to start with you and from within you. Your business lives or dies by you, and if the energy that flows out of you and into your business is not flowing smoothly, that energy will eventually wither away.
Imagine, if you like, a flame that is at the centre of your business. It has to keep warm everyone around it – your staff, clients, business and trading partners, and anyone who comes into contact with your business. Those staff, clients, partners et al need to feel that they belong in their place by this flame.
If this flame is not fed, it will die. If it is fed the wrong fuel, it won’t give out much heat.
Give it the right fuel and the right environment though, and before you know it, you’ll have a roaring, glorious fire, warming everyone around it.
That fire – that energy – at the heart of your business is fuelled by many things, but one of the most important fuels for this fire is your personal values, and then ensuring those are congruent with the values of the business.
So this week, take a few moments to think about your values: what’s important to you…and what is important to your business? If you need a starting point, there are plenty of free resources on the web, including this one.
Which values are you happy to live by, to stand by and to grow your business by?
Which values do your staff identify with and feel they belong with?
Which values do you share with your clients and partners?
Which values would you be happy to print on the bottom of your letters and emails and broadcast to the world?
I’d love to know what they are!
And mine, by the way, are Integrity, Fairness and Excellence in all that I do.
Dedicated to your success as always.
See you next week!