There is a saying: It’s just business.
Yet most people do not see their own values as separate from their business. It’s even more ridiculous among the millennial managed organizations who start with the social contract first (“Part of profits goes to X”) and put a business plan last. Do no evil. Connect the world. Nice catchphrases but for every multibillion there are millions of failed enterprises who failed to focus on the only important thing in business:
In business, it’s about the value you deliver – not about who you are.
Even more importantly, it’s illegal to discriminate based on your convictions. That doesn’t mean you don’t have them – it just means they aren’t a part of what you do.
So how do you reconcile that with an invoice that has a bible quote on the bottom? And have you ever noticed how it’s never Timothy 6:10? What about the jews, muslims or atheists that were a part of that service or that got that receipt? Do they share those beliefs?
It gets even more touchy when you run a global business. We make a lot of $ in Australia – what is our social responsibility to the people of Australia? How much should we be spending there? Or as someone misunderstood on Facebook recently:
Vlad, if you feel so strongly about Christians, how could you possibly work with them?
Substitute anything you want for religion – vegetarians, foreigners, immigrants, competitors – you can make anything seem to be at odds with something else. And in business, it’s not about creating conflict or likeability, it’s about delivering value.
People are smart enough to know that when they do business with you it’s not how much fun it would be to go drinking with you. I know this because I’m not a billionaire yet.
When people consider working with you, employing you, outsourcing to you they consider two things and two things only:
1. How likely is it that you’ll do the job well?
2. How many issues/problems am I going to have?
When you go out and market yourself or promote your business values or try to get that next job… focus less on your personal values and focus more on your professional ones. Because those are the only ones people actually care about.
Oh, and one more bit of mindcrack: Some of your best friends don’t see eye to eye with you.
P.S. We’re currently on a hiring binge which is what compelled this post – folks always seem to focus on saying the right thing, having the right answer and projecting the right “personal brand” – and this is going to be hard for some of you to swallow and accept – the only person any of that stuff matters to is you.