There are many businesses with a good business plan and a sound marketing plan but if they don’t know why they are in business of what business they are in the are missing a key ingredient. Surprisingly, many businesses cannot say why they are in business, nor can they articulate their basic business foundation and founding principles. Why you are running the business is more important than how you run it.
Any successful business needs to have vision—that is what the business will look like when it is successful. Your vision is your dream and as the song goes, you have to have a dream if you want to have a dream to come true. Your values are even more important. These are your ideals you live by. These are your non negotiables. If you know why you are in business, if you have a vision, and you have values you may then build your marketing plan and you will know how to make the right decisions. If your vision and values are clear to your staff, then then they too will make the right decisions.
A good leader leads by making the organization’s vision known to the entire team. But it is the leader’s commitment to values and living the values that makes the greatest impact.
I am reminded of a news story several years ago. The State Liquor Authority in New Jersey received a complaint. They charged a number of restaurants and a large restaurant company in the state for substituting cheap liquor in to top brand bottles. An official from the restaurant company reacted with shock that this had happened in his company. I happened to know this official.
If you do not make crystal clear your values and ethics to your team but only hold them accountable for results some may feel justified in taking short cuts.
Your vision and especially your values should be out front and everywhere. I know a bank that has a great reputation with the community and its customers. I went into their offices, and do you know what I saw? Everywhere I looked I saw their core beliefs in their documents, their posters and even engraved on the glass separating the offices. It is no surprise that they are highly profitable they hold their customers and employees in the highest regard. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s had core beliefs that could be recited by every executive down to every crew member in each restaurant. “Do the Right Thing” was just one of Dave’s sayings.
Here is where leadership comes in. A great leader shares the vision and the values along with the goals and objectives. The leader holds the team accountable for results. But the team knows that in deciding on the right action they must always “Do the Right Thing.”
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