As I look back on the last few months, I have reflected on many lessons of life. I am so glad that I had a solid foundation of understanding and appreciating the critically important aspects of respect.
In early March when COVID-19 began to present itself here in the US in a big way, I paused and reflected on what this might mean for my family, my business, my clients, my community etc. What did I need to do in order to make the best of an unknown situation. The first thing I did was turn to my core values. In my case, personal values and business values are virtually one in the same as is the case in many small businesses. Core values are the guidance system for evaluating and making key decisions. Effectively, it is the compass that always points to true north. If you follow the direction of your core values then you cannot get lost even when the path is cloudy and full of unknown obstacles.
My compass has Giving Respect – fairness in valuing all parties in all situations as one of the true north pointers. In taking this direction, I reached out to each of those groups of people that touch my life and made sure they knew I was there for them. Each in their own unique needed way. For example, we provided deferment payments on some business contracts. We provided discounts to tenants for rent on our properties. We offered technology tools to colleagues and family so they could interact and continue to conduct relationships. These were not done with any expectation of return, but more so, to give respect to each of them during a time of need. Respecting them where they are at rather than ignoring them and hoping for the best for them. Yes, I hoped all would be well for them, but hope with out action is just well wishing. Nothing wrong with wishing them well, but with out taking some action I might just as well have ignored them.
This same level of using my True North pointer of RESPECT on my compass has also been brought into play with the social unrest of the past few weeks. It is in my opinion a growing ignorance of respecting all of humanity for self gratification is at the longterm root of this and other social dynamics. It has been amplified by the horrific injustice of specific events. Wrong doings took place and need to be addressed on many fronts – death of human life, violence, destruction of property and the list goes on. Unfortunately, we become ignorant to respect for all of these things justifying actions based on other wrong actions.
This week as you continue to operate your business in the new reality of a changed world, keep your core values at the fore front of each and every decision you make. As in our case – Does the decision respect all who will be touched by the direction being taken? In your case, do you have and intentionally use your core values for each and every decision? If I were to come to your place of work and ask your team what are your core values, would they even know?
I’ll be the first to tell you that living to your core values with out reservation or adjustment based on the situation is not easy. Neither is making a profit or having to hire or terminate an employee. Actually, the employee management and profit making are likely easier than having and running your business by purpose and core values. They are easily spoken but difficult to keep top of mind as a critical contribution element of a successful business. There are no fireworks typically associated with a tough decision made using your core values. Yet the solid foundation on which the decision is placed will stand the test of time and dynamic situations into the future.
Struggling to get your arms around your Purpose and Core values? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and speak to our Lead Promise Guide.