Transform Your Business Starting With Personal Alignment

balanceYOU have been a person a lot longer than you’ve been a business leader and as a result, you have beliefs (some of which could be self-limiting) and you have dreams, whether you’ve explored them or not.  The reason why we start business transformation with an internal focus is because your decisions as a business leader are a direct result of what you belief, what your core values are and the vision you have for your life.

While it’s not necessary to do inner work to know what makes you tick to be a successful entrepreneur, it sure is a whole lot easier to make appropriate decisions when you have a sense of you. It is also a lot easier to see when you are falling into a trap set by your subconscious.

Core Values

When your core values are in alignment with the values of the business then the first hurdle has been crossed.  However, if your core values differ from the core values of the business, an internal conflict arises.  The same holds true with your employees — if the core values of the business are not in alignment with the core values of the employees there will be a disconnect, an imbalance and ultimately conflict.  Therefore, start your business transformation by listing your core values.  Click here to download a PDF with a list of Core Values, if you need help coming up with adjectives that describe them.  If you have a huge list, cut the list down to your top 10 values. Then to take those top 10 and decide either / or to get them down to 5. For example Freedom is one of my values as is Dependability … but if push came to shove, I’d take Freedom over being Dependable (fair warning!), which means that if something came up where I had to decide between being dependable and being free I would choose freedom.

Your core values will not change – from the time you first identified with them until the day you die and it’s the same with your business.  Strategies, tactics and plans change but the core values never change.

I want to drive home the point that these values are something you live each day – they aren’t a convenience item to create the illusion of being something you are not. For example, if one of your core values is integrity – you’d better do every single thing you say you are going to do. If honesty is a core value – you are honest always – always! If you say that family time is a core value – nothing stops you from having that family time – nothing.

Business Core Values

After you’ve done this exercise for yourself, do it again for your business. This time though, ask your employees, your customers and your vendors what they believe the values of your company are because they are the people who experience the decisions you make and it’s those decisions which reflect the core values of the company.

How are your business practices and the experiences you have with your people being translated into values? What are the common denominators for values, as seen through the eyes of those you serve? Are the results consistent with your own perception of what the core values are? Are there disconnects? How do you close the gap?

Is there a disconnect between what your core values are personally and the core values of the company? If so, you will experience some internal conflict at some point.

A prime example that happened not too long ago in the corporate world is Brendan Eich.  Mr. Eich, the creator of JavaScript, was appointed CEO of Mozilla only to be forced to resign few days later after an outcry from employees over a $1,000 donation he made to California’s Proposition 8 campaign in 2008 — a ballot that defined marriage between a man and a woman.  He argued that he leaves his personal beliefs, values and views at home. However, it didn’t matter to those who felt his beliefs were out of alignment with the company beliefs of inclusion and acceptance and they refused to accept him as their leader.

After you have completed this exercise you’ll be ready to move on to the next step in ensuring you are in alignment with your business — understanding what you what and do not want for your life.

If you’d like to know more about how to reinvent your business, contact Carol or check out how to work with Carol

What do you think of this exercise?

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About the Author

Carol Wain is the founder and leader of many brands which help leaders to create more profitable businesses that transform lives and positively impact our planet. She is an author, speaker, trusted advisor and mentor who won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

Carol is passionate about reinventing business to become a force for good — positive businesses which respect, appreciate, encourage and support the right employees who voluntarily use their discretionary effort to bring the vision, purpose, platform, personality, passion and core values to life; businesses which create useful, meaningful and valuable products, services and experiences which improve the lives of people; and businesses which support communities, take a stand and have a higher purpose.

For more information visit CarolWain.com, EnlightenedCapitalist.org, and WorldIncentiveNetwork.com