We have a sense – maybe it’s just a sense – that a lot of people in the business community find themselves conflicted over certain things. This conflict exists between the steps you know you need to take to achieve your business goals, and the nagging narrative that sometimes makes you feel guilty for doing them.
It’s kind of like self-care. Most people would tell you it’s important to take care of yourself, but if you’re a selfless person you sometimes have a hard time feeling OK about doing that. The result can be that you don’t take care of yourself, and before long you’re no good to yourself or anyone else.
So yes, companies also have to take care of themselves. For that reason, we want to offer kudos for some things that often don’t earn you recognition on social media – not even business-focused LinkedIn:
- Kudos to your company for earning a healthy profit margin and rewarding your shareholders for putting their faith in you.
- Kudos to your company for producing a product, or providing a service, that’s of such value to people they’ll gladly pay a premium price for it. You deserve credit for delivering that kind of value.
- Kudos to your company for being so faithful to its mission that, when you need to ask your people to go above and beyond, they’re happy to do it. They know their efforts will be put to good use.
- Kudos to your company for investing serious money in attracting and retaining the best leadership. Those well-compensated people in the C-suite are the leaders your people count on to keep the company strong and provide them with good opportunities going forward.
- Kudos to your company for gaining market share by delivering better customer value than the company from which you took it. That will make customers the winners. And if you put a competitor out of business, that competitor has a chance to work for someone else (maybe you), or to improve and give it another shot.
- Kudos to your company for re-investing profits in your own facilities, your own production capacity and your own people, because you recognize that providing products and services people need – at prices they are willing to pay – is the definition of doing good. And if you also decide to give some of the money away, kudos for that too.
- Kudos to you for not sugarcoating what you expect of your employees. If you need an exceptional effort and hard-to-achieve results, they appreciate you being upfront about it, and letting them know how you’re going to put them in a position to succeed.
Kudos to all the companies who do these things. We also respect companies who are flexible about time off, and who give to charity, and who pay their people well, and who volunteer, and who prioritize work/family balance.
But we think businesses don’t get enough credit for doing well at business, as if that in and of itself isn’t doing good for an awful lot of people.
When we talk to clients about telling their stories, we think it’s most important to tell the stories of their business achievements. Because that’s where customer value comes from. We’re more than happy to talk about the other things too. But we don’t want our clients to feel like they have to apologize for working hard and succeeding.
Because when you really think about how economies and communities work, that is the best any business can do.
You can find out how we chase our own success at www.northstarwriters.com.