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Your guiding principles

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

We’ve talked about vision. We know that strong business leaders determine their vision, make the vision clear to the team, and make good decisions that will ultimately pave the pathway to success. Confident leaders, who value their teams and foster a positive and encouraging culture in their organizations, will see better results and have happier employees.

So, how do you make business decisions with confidence? Or any important decision for that matter. How do you know that your choices are in line with your vision? Can you be sure that you’re considering your priorities?

It comes down to understanding your guiding principles for yourself and for your organization.

Your personal guiding principles are important because they help guide you in making decisions. It’s about understanding what factors are most important and prioritizing them. For me, my vision is to live to be 110. I know what my guiding principles are and that they have to be in this order. If making a certain decision does not fall in line with my guiding principles, it is not the right choice. This method has been tried and true in my life and in my career, and for me, it’s not up for debate.

For your life, you may have different considerations in a different order of priority. The bottom line, know what they are and in what order they rank.

  • Internal Vision I’m talking about your personal vision for your life. Knowing your true north, where you are going in life, and what is important to you individually. When things are at their worst and you’re being pulled in multiple directions, you better have a good handle on what your true north is and what your personal vision is.

  • Self You need to really understand yourself and your own individual needs. There’s no way you can be your best for others, or be a good leader if you aren’t being the best for yourself. If you don’t truly know who you are and what you’re good at, you won’t have an understanding of what you need to maintain and grow your strengths.

  • Spouse/Partner You’ve taken care of yourself so you can be the best you possible, and now your partner needs to rank. You’re in it together, right? This makes us take a good look at who are we are truly sharing our lives and our visions with. You shouldn’t compromise your true north for your spouse. If they are the right partner, you won’t have to.

  • Family and close friends you consider your family. Your network of love and support, and those whom you give your love and support.

  • Career For me, all of the other guiding principles are first. I know what my vision is for my career. And I know what my vision is for my life. I know my guiding principles and what is truly important. Yes, my career is important. But myself, my spouse, and my family come first. Non-negotiable. NEXT MONTH'S blog touches upon our "Happiness Meter". Here's a little sneak peek: by not having your Guiding Principles in this order you may notice your "happiness" is off. Understanding the correlation between your happiness and your guiding principals is key in knowing where to focus. We will talk more about that in March.

In my experience, structuring your business’s guiding principles in this order has been key.

  • People - Your #1 Asset The people in your organization should be number one. Your employees are assets, not an expense. In times of crisis, growth, or change, the people standing behind you matter most. Now more than ever company culture is shaping the workforce. People have choices and are more likely to jump ship when they don’t feel appreciated. When your people are happy and feel valued, there is positive energy being created and they are going to give great customer service.

  • Customer Satisfaction Business owners, leaders, managers, and teams understand the value of customer satisfaction. No matter what industry you are in or the size of your team, you need to keep your customers happy. It’s a no-brainer. And, like I just mentioned, happy employees deliver better customer service.

  • Operational Excellence What is OE anyway? Situational analysis (problem-solving) is a tool we will talk about later. In a nutshell, this is the master tool in understanding what works or what doesn’t, learning from it, and moving on. If something is working and delivering awesome results, understand what caused those results and apply them to other areas of your organization. Every organization has some sort of muck at some point. You will be able to get through it. It’s about dissecting the muck, dealing with it, and moving on. Give equal attention to the things that went right. Don’t just say congrats or good job, think about why the job went so well and what are you going to repeat? It's so simple! We have overcomplicated it with our metrics and overthinking. Teach this to your org and you will have a better problem-solving team.

  • Results If you focus on these other 3, the results WILL happen! If you are diligent

  • day in and day out, every day, you treat your people well and foster a positive culture, you all see results.

By making business decisions based on organizational guiding principles in this order, I have found true engagement and happier employees, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and budgets and deadlines being met consistently. If you go by these guidelines in your business you will see results.

How do you really do this? How do you put it into play to have all levels in your organization be aware?

You build these quadrants into every meeting and every 1-on-1.

For example, my meeting agendas for my business are broken down into 4 sections. I keep the leadership team engaged and get them involved. We discuss where we are at with

  • People

  • Customer Satisfaction

  • Operational Excellence

  • Results

These sections are always front and center. Our vision and guiding principles are always top of mind. My employees know that I value them and that they are part of what makes us successful, they feel a certain pride and ownership and deliver outstanding customer service. We talk about our wins and our challenges and learn from both. And of course, we celebrate our results.

Please continue to "Follow the Turtle" and share where you are and if you have purchased our book we can update our tracking on the website map.

We look forward in diving a little deeper to our tool tools by discussing them in this blog which is published on the10th of every month at 1:10 PM (110 Philosophy Moment).

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