Last week we looked at a selection of different values levels and how they affect our attitudes towards our business/career. This week I want to take it a step further and see how the values that we attribute to our business affects how we run them. How do the beliefs and values that we imbue our businesses and career with shift the results we get.
This has been something I’ve been looking at more and more, and I see it as a pivotal point when I discuss people’s businesses and careers with them. Take a limited company for example. Now a limited company is an entity in its own right and therefore to me it is a separate being. So it needs to have values right? A way of thinking, a code to make sure that it does the right thing for itself. Some call it a mission statement but I find these aren’t nearly as deep as a business having values.
The next obstacle a business has is what values it should have. The business can’t think for itself so it looks to who is nearest to it and will automatically take on the values of those individuals. Founders, CEOs, directors, senior teams; their own values are transferred over to the company if the development of the business remains passive.
Some call it a mission statement but I find these aren’t nearly as deep as a business having values.
The alternative is that the business is handed a set of values, which it is going to shape itself around. They are intentionally crafted by those around it and given to the business to ensure it emulates what it is there to do. This is where a mission statement can be useful in the business’ identity. Using a mission statement in conjunction with meaningful values that drives it unwaveringly towards its goal. The other perk of giving your business values is that the business values and your personal values can align to give complete synergy and congruence; which is important for a lot of us as we are the face of our business or career.
It’s not just limited companies that can have these values. I see far too many sole traders giving their businesses the same values as them and stopping themselves getting to where they want to go. Their mission statement says one thing and their actions speak another. This is also seen in employed individuals and what they want out of their career. They project their limiting beliefs across to their career and hinder their progress in getting where they want to be.
It’s about enhancing yourself and allowing your business to be viewed in the way you want it to be.
This isn’t about stripping out everything that is ‘you’ either. Don’t give your business/career values that aren’t you; it’s not about creating a façade. It’s about enhancing yourself and allowing your business/career to be viewed in the way you want it to be. Congruence is key to this process, as is allowing yourself to be transparent with your personal goals and how you want to get there.
Your business/career gives the perception that you want it to and lets the world see it that way. That image spreads as people see a successful business and tell others that. People will see a business that stands for quality and pass that onto others, people will see someone with integrity and repeat that message.
Now look at it from the other side. If people look at your business and see a business with poor customer service, inaccurately priced products or it looks like your doors are only just staying open. That sends a message. People will make that judgement and that will be the perception that is associated with you and consequently projected onto others. I can tell you right now that the most important people who see how your business/career looks is you. What you see and believe will be projected every time you talk to a colleague, business associate, friends, family, anyone! Make sure that what your business/career stands for is something that you stand for too. Otherwise you will be constantly fighting yourself over what you believe Vs what your business/career believes.
Parts of this article may seem contradictory, but I hope you can see that the key points are that congruence between you and your business/career is king. You can still emulate core values that you have personally and take values that your business/career is aspiring too. When the congruence is there the conflicts wash away, the perception to others is authentic and the flagship is ready to sail to its goal without losing its bearings.
I implore you to audit yourself and your business/career. Make sure you are getting what you want out of it, be honest with yourself about whether that congruence is there for you. My doors are always open if you want to chat about how to get your ship facing the right way. Check out how you can get 60 minutes of my time for free here by getting in touch.
Most importantly, keep going.