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Friday, July 14, 2006

Putting Values To Work

Fortune Magazine/CNN/Money features an article about business executives putting their values to work building their businesses.

The premise?

  • Some companies become more socially responsible to protect their brands, to engage their people or to appeal to a certain set of customers who care about reputation.
  • But business is personal, too.
  • More than the bottom line is driving all these efforts. They are all personal.
  • Each of these leaders care passionately about the causes their companies are engaged in.

In a new book called "True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business."author Mark Albion argues that the personal side of business must come first. Only then will profits follow.

"Values-based leaders focus on their impact on people and the planet," he says. "And when they do it well - building a company or division that reflects their values - it results in more meaningful lives and financial health."

Particularly in a startup, Albion writes, the leader's values are crucial. "The day you launch your company, you are its first product," he notes. "You must sell your values, your mission, your uniqueness to others."

BOTTOMLINE: "The way you really make change is by capturing the hearts and minds of your people," says Albion, paraphrasing Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric.

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