One of my amazing clients recently gifted me with a great book called Traction by Gino Wickman. The book goes into great detail about their proprietary method for achieving business success called “The Entrepreneurial Operating System” (EOS). None of the concepts are new to me. But the simple way they present the material and teach you to measure these concepts in your business is what captures my attention.
As I was working through The Vision/Traction Organizer for 2020, which is basically a 2-page vision and business plan, I was reminded of something my company is doing quite well. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of areas of my business to improve (according to this book and me). But I thankfully caught on, early in the game, to how easy it is to run a business if I stay focused on two things: my company values and individual strengths.
Identifying your core company values is like having a constant compass to guide you.
At Amazing OBM, we have five company values that we live by:
These company values direct my business in so many ways…
- I hire people who share these same values as me. It makes working with these individuals 10X easier.
- My company values help guide my team members because they know what I expect from them. They know I value relationships and I am going to have their back all of the time. They understand I place a lot of emphasis on producing high-quality work and providing high-touch service to our clients. My team members know to stay in constant communication with me, otherwise, I will be contacting them. None of my team members are afraid to come to me and tell me what they think, even if it differs from me because I am a collaborator and open to new ideas. Whenever we are faced with a challenge, no matter how frustrated we are, my team understands I value the learning and growth we get from the challenges. I will always encourage them to lean into the difficult tasks and thrive.
- I use these values to make decisions about whether or not a client is a good fit for us. If a client doesn’t share similar values as my company, there is inevitably going to be a problem. 90% of the clients that I have parted ways with stemmed from a conflict with one of these values.
- They were not good communicators and I felt like I was in the dark
- They didn’t place enough value on kindness in relationships
- They failed to collaborate and be partners in business
- On the contrary, when I share similar values with my clients, business together feels almost effortless. We joyfully work together. We experience success together. Our business relationship deepens as we work through business challenges together. It is truly a gift that makes growing and managing a business fun!
- My company values have given me the reputation that I have and your company values will set you apart from your competition. Everyone has different values and your values make you unique. To me, your values help create your company culture. And culture is experienced and felt throughout your organization.
- When something feels off in my business, I can always return to my company values to discover what is going on. Why am I feeling upset or stressed? Why aren’t I enjoying my business in this moment? Where is my anxiety stemming from? The answer is normally that one of my company values is being threatened or compromised.
I’m curious. What are your company values? And how do you use them on a daily basis to run your company?
Play to your strengths…
Another concept this book talks about is the importance of people working in their areas of strength. I was first introduced to the “Strengths” concept from a former client and I fell in love. She was a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and I found her work fascinating. I took my first Strengths assessment and I was addicted. Wanting everyone I know to experience my excitement, I made my spouse and my son take the strengths assessment. Soon it became a requirement for everyone I hired.
It was exciting and fun to see that by having a team, I suddenly had access to a lot more strengths than my own. If I was weak in a particular area, I could turn to a team member to compensate. Knowing my team members’ strengths also helps me understand them better. One of my tech VA’s strengths is Input, which means that she places high value on all elements of data and information. I tease her all the time because she will ask me a million questions, collecting all the information she needs to build understanding and focus. I call her “Miss Must Know ALL Things.” But I am happy to share with her because I know she will operate better if she has all the pieces of information she needs.
Not only are my team members’ strengths important to me, but so are my clients’. I want to know where they shine, but also where they struggle. Why? Because either I or someone on my team can bring strengths to their business that they don’t have. And together we make one powerful team! My tagline for my business is “You Can’t Do Success Alone.” This is why. No one person has everything they need to successfully grow and manage their business. So if a client tells me, I suck at consistency, I will tell them, no problem, I got your back. Give me the tasks that require consistency and you will be consistent.
Each of our strengths often determine what profession or tasks we thrive at. Just this week, we ran into a technical challenge trying to integrate two pieces of software for a client. Because I am the leader of my company, my team will often come to me first to talk with me about the issues they are facing. As we talked about it, I found myself getting increasingly irritated and stressed. Solving tech issues is not my jam. I don’t enjoy it one bit. So instead of trying to help them, I basically owned my weakness and told my two techies to work together to figure it out. They love the tech stuff so why should I focus my energy and time on something I would rather avoid? And guess what? They solved the problem and we all got to celebrate! If I were to ask either of these two techies to help me write marketing copy, they would secretly want to shoot me.
Now you can see why it’s so important to not only know and honor your company values, but also to make sure everyone is playing in their areas of strength. If you, your team members, and your clients are all aligned in these areas, business is so much easier. And easy = fun and successful!
What are your strengths? And what are those areas you wish you had savvy team members to compliment you? Contact Amazing OBM for a free consultation. Maybe our values and our strengths will be aligned, and we will make amazing business partners!
Why it’s Easier to Run a Values and Strengths Based Company
December 3, 2019