The Moral Compass of Business: Embodying Values
Values are such an important part of running a successful business. However, for many business owners, we don't often reflect on the values of our business until we’re looking at our overall brand strategy. Today I’m sharing my musings on the importance of values, not just from a branding perspective but from the view that our values underpin everything we do, down to the everyday micro decisions.
I speak a lot about the bedrock of your business, which is your vision, mission, and values. And while I often emphasise vision and mission, the significance of values can sometimes be overlooked. But until you define your values with clarity and align your actions with them, the foundation of your business won’t be solid.
Every decision, challenge, and interaction in our businesses presents an opportunity to uphold our values. The smaller, seemingly insignificant moments can shape our reputation and impact those around us. And in an era where profit sometimes supersedes people, it’s crucial to remain mindful of the values we embody. Whether it's how we treat clients, communicate in our marketing efforts, or engage with our team, consciously aligning our actions with our values is key.
Throughout history, we’ve seen examples of larger corporations operating out of greed and corruption, but the importance of operating out of integrity doesn’t just apply to big business. The principle of values applies to businesses of all sizes. Each of us has the power to build a business that we are proud of, one that positively impacts others. Ethical conduct and considering the consequences of our actions on clients, team members, and anyone who interacts with our brand is essential.
After listening to this episode I encourage you to reflect on your values. Are your values clear and front and centre in your mind? Or perhaps you’re so busy working in your business that you haven’t given much thought to the values of your business. Take this moment as an opportunity for you to reflect on what is important to you and how your values show up in your daily interactions. Because when you embody your values, your business will have a rock-solid foundation to withstand anything that comes your way.
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134 - The Moral Compass of Business: Embodying Values
[00:00:00] Kristy: Values are such an important part of running a successful business. However, for many business owners, we don't reflect on the values of our business until we're looking at our brand. So if we're working with a brand strategist or a marketing team to support us with our business, then we begin to think of some words to encapsulate the values of our brand.
[00:00:28] But how often are we reflecting back to ourselves what those values are and ensuring that our actions are congruent and in alignment with the values that we want to intentionally set for our business? In today's conversation I want to talk about the importance of values in your business, what happens when it goes wrong and why it's so important to not only consider your values, but also to live out those values within your actions and your decision making inside your business.
[00:01:02] Are you ready? Let's go! Hello boss and welcome back to the Run Your Business Like a Boss podcast. You may hear that I still sound a little bit nasally. I have had this head cold, I don't know, maybe a couple of weeks now. It has been a very sick few months here in our household. And it feels like we're catching up on all of those lurgies that we missed out on in the last couple of years.
[00:02:01] So hopefully we can get it all out of our system and get back to good health. in this conversation, as I said in the intro, I'm talking about values. This is not going to be a how to episode or do these five things, or this is how you develop your values and live by them.
[00:02:20] But instead I wanted to share with you my own musings when it comes to values. this has actually come from a couple of different avenues. The first one obviously was my conversation with John Gordon last week. It really reaffirmed to me the importance of values in the business. And if you've listened to me for any length of time, you will have heard me refer to the bedrock of your business, which is your vision, your mission, and your values, and starting there as that being the foundational piece to build your business from.
[00:02:57] And very often I'm talking about vision and mission and little less so on the value side. The other inspiration for this conversation is actually Netflix. This is where I wanted to talk to you about where values can go wrong, and when we don't stay true to those values, the real impact that that will have on others.
[00:03:19] So, there is a show on Netflix, you may have seen it, and it's called Painkillers, and there's a similar sort of show. It's a movie though, and it might be on Disney or maybe it's on the Netflix. I'm not sure. But anyway, these movies and shows are based on the real life events.
[00:03:40] They might be fictionized a little bit, somewhat. However, based on the real life events of The opioid epidemic in the USA and the stories go back and share how it all went wrong and that the big pharma who had created these painkillers knew that what they had created was highly addictive and was really designed for, you know, terminal cancer patients. However, they became aware that if we treated pain as pain and not discriminated against the kind of pain that they could sell more drugs basically.
[00:04:25] Here's the thing. There were sales reps for the big pharma that they knew how they were behaving was unethical in the sense that people were getting addicted to these drugs and they were somewhat coercing medical professionals to prescribe the drugs.
[00:04:44] Even more so prescribed high dosages of these drugs. It got me thinking about how important it is to do the right thing. Conducting yourself from a place of strong ethics and real values. And this is what was lacking at that time and had the organizations acted from a strong moral compass, would this have played out in the same way?
[00:05:12] There was also the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who is the founder and CEO of Farinos. And you may have heard of her story. Again, that has been, put into a show. It basically shares her story of how she went from having this vision of creating essentially a blood testing unit that's small and accurate that they could put into pharmacies and into supermarkets so that people could test for illness in a really accessible way with the view that this would pick up diseases and things quite early.
[00:05:52] And there's this moment where she's trying really hard and she's moving forward and progressing. And then there's this moment in her story where she had this decision to make of, do you be honest and share where things are at and that they're not where they thought they were going to be.
[00:06:15] Or do you bend the truth and allude to the technology being where it needs to be? And it was so funny when I watched the show, I was getting really anxious watching this because even though I knew the story and I knew what she was going to do. I was literally sitting there watching this show and thinking, don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. And that moment of stepping outside of the values was the opening of Pandora's box because that one lie led to everything thereafter.
[00:06:57] You might think that what I'm sharing, this is like big corporate, or this is, you know, big startups, or Not small business, but I argue it's one in the same and being really clear, first and foremost, on the values of your business, not just from a brand DNA perspective, but actually from a conduct perspective, how do you react? What do you do? What do you say? How do you behave in times of making decisions, in times of challenge, in times of abundance, in times of questioning, there's so many moments and they really do come down to micro moments where you need to lean back into your values and that can be that pivotal moment where you are blurring the lines or whether you're firmly inside of your own moral compass and value system.
[00:07:56] there's a great article. I feel like I might've mentioned this on the podcast in a previous episode, maybe a while ago. It's a HBR, Harvard Business Review, paper on goals gone wild. And essentially it talks about how we let goals or profit supersede people and that we make unethical decisions or we blur the lines to achieve our targets. and as I said, this is not just on a corporate scale. This is something that can happen in small business as well. It can happen in the way that a client is treated or what you say in your marketing collateral by bending the truth or exaggerating the outcomes that you can provide, or it could be not being honest with your team or the treatment of your team.
[00:08:53] Just coming back to that importance of building a business that you're proud of, building a business that has impact, that is ethical and that you're thinking about the impact your brand has on others. So I encourage you just from this conversation to walk away and think about Firstly, what are my values? Are my values clear? And are they something that I embody and I action and that I stay clearly In the center of, or do I not have values for my business? or do I not even think about how those values show up in my daily interactions in my daily tasks that I do.
[00:09:44] So this conversation, as I said, was not designed to be a how to, or a do this to develop your values, or this is what you do to live by your values. I think that you know what to do to live by your values and I just wanted to reaffirm the importance of where knowing your values firstly and then embodying your values through your decision making, through your daily actions is for your business as well as for the others impacted.
[00:10:18] And if decision makers of the organizations that are depicted in these TV shows, had they have made different decisions, had they approach their business from a strong moral compass. What would have been the difference? What would have been the impact? Would Elizabeth Holmes have dug deeper and actually discovered what that technology is and got that technology out there and been able to realize her vision instead of imploding her business and acting in a deceitful way and taking money from investors and so forth.
[00:10:55] And equally so, would many, many lives have been saved had the big pharma approached the way that they were selling their medicine back in the nineties and the noughties. And you might not be saving lives, but the impact of what you do for your clients and the people that work with you and anyone that has interaction with your brand, even if it's as simple as consuming your content will be impacted by your own actions on a small level.
[00:11:25] And so this is something we can all listen to connect with and to be more intentional about in our businesses. I hope you enjoyed this very informal conversation. I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this. Have you watched those shows?
[00:11:42] Tell me, uh, what were your thoughts when you read it? Did you have that visceral reaction that I had when you realize what they were doing or Is this something that you want to get better at in your business? I'd love to hear from you head over to Instagram, comment on the sizzler video that I put out for this episode and let me know your thoughts. As always, I appreciate you tuning into this podcast. I know without a doubt you are not without plenty of choice of how to spend your time. So I appreciate you choosing to be here with me today. Have a wonderful week. And as always, I look forward to chatting with you next week. This episode was recorded on the land of Killin Darbin.
I pay my respects and tribute to the traditional custodians of this land.
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About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!