Recently I was talking to a longtime friend who asked me if the work we do at FarVision Consulting can be applied outside of a business setting. I answered that it can. With tears in my eyes, I told her that my life’s work is to discover the best way to solve both the everyday mundane and once in a lifetime kind of problems, in a way that shows mutual trust and respect, is transparent, honest, fair, firm, effective, kind and provides eye-opening opportunities to improve leadership and organizational health. Additionally, I want to disrupt bureaucracies that act to preserve their own status quo. I was really on a roll! And being the person, she is, she said: “write about that because you are speaking with deep conviction and a high level of consciousness.” She was right, this is who I am and what I stand for. We can’t live unconsciously any longer.
I believe that one way to achieve greater consciousness will be accomplished through helping business come to the forefront of creativity, prosperity and community leadership and be instrumental in removing barriers of complacency and unconscious behavior.
One example of an unconscious behavior is the recent deplorable actions of John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza, where his words devasted his corporate image and caused a well-deserved outrage from the public, as well as his removal from leadership. This would never happen in an organization with a values-based foundation that demands accountability on all levels and from all members, regardless of position or title. In short, the leader respects the value of personal and corporate character and the organization’s culture demands it as Standard Operating Procedure. NO EXCEPTIONS. One of the reasons is, to quote Thomas Paine, “character is easier kept than recovered.” Companies must develop their character, the same as people, to be conscious.
Why are the role of businesses and their leaders especially crucial today? They are in prominent positions to be noticed and to actively set the tone for the health and wellbeing of our society. Examining the historic view of where women and men looked for leadership, the path has been from religion to science, to government, now to business. Like it or not, leaders in the industry had and will have a profound influence on how people behave.
There is less and less acceptance of individuals being one person from 9-5, and another person after that, in their “real” life. This disconnect from personal values and inability to connect to professional values is cause for many of the persistent challenges experienced in both business and community environments today. The authentic person, not the “act as if” person, is the real leader. The business, like the person, that can write and share its unique reason for being, sets a high bar by going deeper than a standard explanation of what it does. An expression of values (this is who we are) describes value-based guardrails so there is no last-minute decision making about “this is how people like us behave” when the going gets tough. This statement of purpose creates a cornerstone of beliefs that translates into how clients are served, people are supported, work gets done and profits made and sustained. Without this written foundation, the company members will eventually lose commitment to the original excitement for coming together to work.
One of my family’s neighbors ran a very successful manufacturing company based on an innovative type of plastic he invented in his garage. The applications seemed limitless and there were few competitors, at that time. People loved to work for him because of who he was and the innovative work environment. The business grew, adding locations and personnel. Eventually, fewer and fewer people knew the founder personally and the work environment became less dynamic. There was change due to growth, but the real culprit was the lack of connection to the founder which caused a disconnect with the purpose and vision. There was a vacuum of values and creativity. Without a connection to the purpose and vision, the corporate enthusiasm waned, and people showed up to do just do their jobs and go home. The owner eventually passed the company to his next gen, who then sold the company for a significant profit. A conscious commitment to the founder’s purpose, vision, and mission, throughout the organization, so that it outlasts the founder is the key to sustaining longevity and prosperity. It prevents premature aging and perhaps a needless sale.
Today, more women and men need support for their personal wear with all and moral courage to create organic businesses, consciously united by the values in the Purpose, pulled forward by the Vision and achieving Mission goals with teams. We are here to help realize this goal. It is our life’s work.