“Everybody arrives somewhere. Very few people arrive somewhere on purpose.”
The kind of intentional leaders who hire people like us typically have done many of the right things. They have worked hard to hire well, attempt to take care of their employees, and some have even crafted centering values and purpose for their organizations. These are all good things.
In fact, crafting core values and purpose is pretty essential. It is even better when a leader integrates their life-defining personal beliefs into those things. When they prayerfully approach big decisions and make sure things like values, purpose, and vision are sourced and consistent with the faith system they value most. This is a far better way.
What we feel like is best, however, requires another step in the process:
The best result for creating powerful core values and purpose (from our growing sample size) requires the senior leader to integrate both their deepest personal beliefs with the thoughts and desires of their leadership team.
Good - Create core values and a purpose statement
Better - Make sure they are real and consistent with your deepest held personal beliefs and convictions
Best - Craft them with the team of people you expect to carry them out
The team will more fully own values and purpose that they help create and will also provide a great level of accountability for making sure those things aren’t merely aspirational. Values and purpose need to be real, felt, and obvious to everyone.
There is another benefit of having a leadership team more involved in significant decision-making for your company:
They will make better decisions than you can.
I often get a “how dare you” kind of look when I suggest that to a leader. But it is true. Senior leaders or owners got to those lofty positions because they were able to make quick, courageous and often better decisions than other people. But we would argue that a leadership team comprised of leaders from every crucial part of your business process will make better decisions than any individual.
The people on your team need to be consistent with your company's values and purpose or they shouldn’t be in key leadership positions. But if they are, the decisions that key representation from sales, production, administration, and marketing can collectively make will almost always be better than any single executive can make on their own.
- What marketing develops should be something that can be converted or sold.
- What sales converts should be able to be produced well and profitable.
- What production creates should be easy to document, administer, and collect.
Making sure all those voices are represented in decision making will always yield a better result and a better level of ownership commitment by those involved. Valuing other people’s opinions and involving them in decision making is messy and requires tension management, but don’t we all want a better level of ownership mindset among our key leaders? This is one of the necessary steps.
- Do you have stated core values and purpose?
- Do you know what they are? Does anyone else in your company know?
- Did you create them on your own or did any other team members participate in their creation?
- Do you have an established leadership team and meeting rhythm? That’s a good place to start.