Why I didn’t want to write this blog; but think you should read it
As I set out to start my own business, I realized that I had to become comfortable with putting myself out there in a new way. I have always been what people might describe as an extrovert – happy to talk to people and even connect deeply on many different levels. There was something, though, about sharing my ideas in this format with the world that felt slightly inauthentic to me. Maybe that’s because of what 822 Group stands for: value. Adding value, being real and connected and making real change that moves things forward – getting rid of noise in favor of clarity and purpose.
To be honest, I found myself reading through blog posts and LinkedIn articles, thinking, ‘There are a lot of opinions out here…do I really want to add to the cacophony?’ Yet as I did everything I could to distract myself from sitting down and writing this blog post, I found that in the doing of my work there were things I’ve read online that had stayed with me. In fact, they impact the way I think, and sometimes help me to make clearer decisions. Which made me rethink this idea I had (or let’s call it what it really is: judgement) about the thoughts and points of view that are being published online at an impressive rate. The truth is that when those ideas land with the right person, at the right time, they really are impactful, which is the opposite of noise. They provide real value. Which is my focus.
So I am taking the leap and doing something that makes me very uncomfortable – sharing myself and my thoughts in this blog. I’ll aim to be concise, clear and honest in this effort and I hope that anyone who chooses to follow me on this journey will find real value.
It’s fitting, then, to start by examining the idea of value. Value, no doubt, is subjective. As leaders, when we think about value, the goal should be that our own personal values coincide with the those of the organization we represent. That sort of alignment may not be something we think about regularly. How do I, as one individual, align with the broader organization I play a role in? My guess is that too often we don’t see those organizational values as characteristics to live by but rather words written in some employee manual long ago. If that’s the case, there may be a longer way to go toward alignment. So how do we get there? We must take the time, in the daily race toward financial success, to ask if we truly understand the organizations we work in and lead. What is the origin story? What need was it created to fill? How does that translate to the current values -- or does it? Do our people understand all of this? Do our customers connect to it? Finally, do I connect to it? Do my own personal values align to this organization I represent? There are a lot of questions to answer but they are important. If we don’t understand the value of the work we do how can we expect our customers to continue to understand our value, especially when times are tough? How can we encourage our employees to show up each day and give us their all? This examination may feel like a ‘nice to have’ but it is the very crux of building lasting success. Products and prices can be replicated but values are uniquely yours and, when lived both personally and professionally, set you apart every time.
My ask this week is that as we go about our day to day, we think of some of these questions. If we hit a wall, that we keep asking. That we re-focus on values so that we can build better connections.