Principles win over technique – every time!
It would be wise to revisit living out your values this new year. I took a moment to reflect on my values and those of the organizations I’ve served. One fond memory leaped to the forefront of my thoughts, an experience that impacted me.
How many organizations have you worked for that have displayed their core values on the office wall yet act as if they never existed?
In my line of work, I’ve seen many.
So I was refreshingly caught off guard when asked some years ago to keynote a leadership conference in New Orleans for the law firm of Maynard Cooper & Gale out of Alabama. They invited me to join their team of 200+ for dinner the evening before my talk to listen in on a presentation of their founding principles delivered by one of the senior partners. They hoped I would get a “glimpse” of their DNA – “what they’re all about.”
Have you ever done something, gone somewhere, or experienced someplace that ended up being 10-Xs better than your best expectations? Attending the evening dinner and hearing the founding principles of Maynard Cooper & Gale was one of those events.
I was captivated.
They esteemed and honored time-cherished values, recognizing the many blessings from their 26-year existence. Their thriving practice was a testament to their belief in the power and safety of their importance. It was clear – with them, they thrived – without them – failure loomed. In their world, principles win over technique.
You may think, “Geez, Tom, it was only a meal and a 40-minute talk!” Of course, in this values-starved world, it was a feast! But unfortunately, most people and organizations still don’t get it. Your core values – what you deeply believe – are the windows by which we view the world and form our decisions. If the lens is faulty, we live inconsistent lives. We end up failing to reach our ultimate potential and fail to impact people placed in our path. We fall short of being a living example of honorable distinction. And in the end, we end up running companies like Enron.
Maynard Cooper’s adherence to their founding principles was not a practice of redundancy but rather a clear awareness that without strict loyalty to their core values, they risked walking into the future forgetting – “what they’re all about.”
Tom Flick Communications exists to inspire organizations and their people to live bigger stories. To engage their minds and hearts to reach their full potential and relentlessly aim at winning in a fast-changing and highly competitive world. If you would like to know more, please contact us today.