I’m starting a new company.
The name, the model and the brand are all in the works but I know it’s going to help leaders.
I love working with churches to clarify things like mission, vision, values and strategy, but it’s so much harder when you’re doing it for yourself. Isn’t that funny? It’s often much easier to help other people see clearly.
As I think through this new company’s core values, here are some things that have risen to the surface over the last several months.
- Team. Ed Catmull says if you give a great idea to a mediocre team they will screw it up. But if you give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will nail it or improve it. As I get started with this new thing, I’m really thinking WHO before WHAT. I’m excited about some partnerships that are developing and am committed to working through a team. I want to create a place where people love to work. This is not about cool offices with ping pong tables. It’s more about trust, feedback and clarity.
- Church. I’m not going to talk about pastors as a market or a niche, because the church is eternally important. We love pastors and church leaders. It’s why I want to treat pastors with respect and help them where they need it most.
- Helping people is a good business plan. I want my business to be about other people, and will fight to keep it focused on this mission. If we love other people and have great products to help them, we won’t have to hype it. Help really does beat hype.
- The 20-mile march. This metaphor is borrowed from Jim Collins, but it speaks to the long-term view. Leadership companies and people with newfound platforms are springing up all over the place, but I want to build something that lasts.
- Try things. We’re not going to be afraid to experiment, because everything doesn’t have to work. Besides, a good education always costs something.
- Constant improvement. Thomas Fuller said, “If better were within better would come out.” I want to focus on having quality, helpful and practical stuff to help leaders. If we do that and if we focus on getting better, then I believe we’ll also get bigger. Evaluation is a big deal.
- Treat people the way you want to be treated. This is probably my #1 core value, and it’s also the toughest. It really is so simple and powerful. It infiltrates everything – from how we sell to how we communicate.
I’m sure these will change and the wording will get better. But I’m working hard to define these values because they will define everything else. What do you think?