When I wrote our last blog, “Delight the Customer”, I typed the words “never lie” and it jogged my memory; I remembered similar words on a document we used to include in our sales folders when we opened our doors as Premier Staffing in 1994.
The lessons are as relatable today as they were 28 year ago.
1. A business is alive and always changing – a process, not a static institution, requiring continual and spontaneous awareness to be managed effectively.
2. Practice compassion and empathy. The basic truth that we are not separate from one another is as central to business as it is to the rest of life. Competition is healthy only when we remember that it is also true that we all are cooperating in a much larger task.
3. Keep close to the ground. Use common sense and simple solutions. Be wary of acting out of a concept of how things should be.
4. Work on creating a happy workplace. Benefits, like appropriate salary, vacation, etc., do not make people happy; they keep people from being unhappy. Happiness in the workplace comes from a challenging and satisfying relationship with one’s work.
5. Care about your product. Make sure your work is in harmony with your values.
6. Continually rearticulate the values of the business. The daily demands of every work situation tend to eclipse the deeper motivations.
7. Create effective strategies – it helps you remember that business is a game. It also gives flexibility and strength. The wider your choice of possible responses to a situation, the greater your chance of success.
8. Always tell the truth.
9. Don’t get into it for the money. Recognize that a healthy, growing business needs to be profitable, but if your central intention is to become rich, it’s not worth doing.
10. Keep the rest of your life alive and diverse. Remember your other priorities. Don’t get confused about whether to attend a cash-flow seminar or your child’s Christmas play. Take lots of vacations. Do whatever it takes to remind you that you are not only the person behind the desk.
11. Encourage personal growth. It increases productivity.
12. Hire people you trust, people who share your values. It’s almost always more important than skills.
13. Know that the end never justifies the means. The process is it. The end is conditioned by the means.
14. Be playful. The world doesn’t always make sense – don’t forget!
Adapted from “Fourteen Lessons I’ve Learned Trying to Manage a ‘Conscious Business'”.