Those who know me know that John R. Wooden is one of the most inspirational figures in my life. Though I did not personally know John Wooden, I am fortunate to have met him on several occasions and enjoyed his company in small settings over the years. I consider John Wooden more than simply a worthy role model – I see him as a national treasure. Thankfully, technology makes his lessons and maxims easily accessible to all for generations to come.
Most people identify John Wooden as one of the most successful coaches of our time, but he was so much more. John Wooden was a teacher, and the subject he taught was Life. His philosophy on life was hugely influenced by his father, who is quoted as urging John and his siblings to “never try to be better than anyone else, but never stop trying to be the best you can be.” This lesson helped John Wooden coin his own definition of success: “[S]uccess is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” John R. Wooden.
“[S]uccess is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” John R. Wooden.
John Wooden has helped teach me the true meaning of success, how to treat myself and others, and the importance of “team;” each timeless lessons.
So what does this have to do with your business, our firm, or this blog entry? In a word, everything! Our business, like our community, is comprised of people playing various roles (e.g., owners, managers, employees, vendors, clients, competitors, etc.). At the end of the day, our businesses’ success is significantly impacted by, among other factors, how well those people on our team treat and interact with their teammates and those on other teams. I’ve found that for me, R2 Law Group, LLP, and many of our valued clients enjoying success in all types of industries, Company Values can be a critical tool to ensure you foster the desired business culture for your team.
R2 Law Group, LLP’s values are inextricably baked into our culture, vernacular, purpose, and process; essentially, they affect everything we do and who we are. Their purpose? That question is best answered by the preamble to our values, which reads “Our choices will determine our success. These Core Values act as our compass, guiding us to make consistently good choices, reminding us to walk the talk, and fairly serve both our clients and ourselves.” You can find our R2 Law Group, LLP’s Core Values prominently displayed on our web page here: http://www.r2lg.com/purpose/.
If I had to choose one word or metaphor to best describe the purpose of company values, it is “compass.” Just as our mentors’ lessons and words serve as a compass helping us navigate our way through life, company values serve as a compass for your business’s team. Each member makes dozens of autonomous small and large decisions every day. It is impossible for any one owner or group of managers to be aware of each of them, but if a company’s values are thoughtfully crafted, any undesirable decision or behavior will almost certainly run afoul of at least one value.
When it comes to formulating your company values, I have found involving others in the process – as opposed to proclaiming a set of values as though they were etched in stone – makes buy-in easier. So, if you are a business without a set of defined values, I encourage you to get started defining yours. And when you do, you can’t go too wrong to keep John Wooden’s teachings in mind throughout the process. With that, I’ll leave you with just a few of my favorite John Wooden quotes and wish you luck in this worthwhile endeavor.
- “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
- “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”
- “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
- “Ability may get you to the top, but character will keep you there.”
- “Make each day your masterpiece.”