Can You Be A Business With Heart?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Great quote. Great principle. Too bad more businesses don’t take it to heart.
One does not have to be a Christian, or even particularly religious or spiritual, to appreciate the sublime power of that statement. If only we lived our lives consistently by this rule – the Golden Rule – how much nicer life on this planet would be…
But It’s Just a Business!
As business owners we have the privilege and the opportunity to turn customer expectations on its head by implementing processes that work to guarantee that our customers are always treated as we would want to be treated.
Is this unrealistic? I think not.
Two books, three actually, quickly come to mind as I ponder this prospect: Peak, by Chip Conley,Secret Service, by John DiJulius, and Firms of Endearment, by Rajendra Sisodia, Jag Sheth, and David B. Wolfe. All of them make direct references to, or indirect inferences, to the Golden Rule. They profile dozens upon dozens of highly successful businesses that appear to have leveraged the power of “doing business with heart”.
I call it “business from the heart.”
Having a Heart Inside – and Out
There was never a person who did anything worth doing that did not receive more than he gave. – Henry Ward Beecher
It doesn’t begin and end with your customers either. No, in fact, it actually begins with your employees. Yes, them. Those people.
There is an old saying that is probably not very PC, but it fits here: “When mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” In an analogous way this holds true for our businesses – if your staff isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. And if your customers aren’t happy because the employees aren’t happy then… well, you get the idea.
There are also the vendors and suppliers to consider. And, for some, investors and shareholders. And for all of us, there is our community, whether it is the local neighborhood that has so faithfully supported our business, or the community of the Internet and the rest of Planet Earth. Having a business with heart does not stop at the cash register.
Take On the Mission
What comes from the heart goes to the heart” ― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to perform a diagnostic evaluation of your company’s heart.
First you might want to check for a pulse. It’s amazing how many businesses out there that are nothing more than a shell of a company, plodding along, going through the motions, but without any life, without a heart. (Yeah – zombie businesses…)
Then you must definitely make it a strategic endeavor to determine the extent to which you, your employees, and anyone else attached to your business, truly operate from a stance and a spirit of heartful service.
Heart will trump technical excellence every time.
Heart will outbid low prices every time.
Heart will carry your business farther than any strategic business plan ever will.
Those things matter, but without heart, they will not carry the day.
So don’t simply be a “business owner” – have a heart!