One of the most important parts of having your own business is understanding your core values. When I started Legion 11 years ago, I refused to do it unless the company I created reflected my values of respecting diversity and creating a place where everyone felt comfortable and accepted. Too many other logistics brokerages in town were simply glorified, stereotypical frat houses, full of white, male, recent college grads who thought getting to sexually harass the few women brave enough to work there was a perk of the job. I wanted no part of that, and holding firm to that value helped us create the company that exists today, with a majority-female management team and a workforce that's equally split between men and women.
In your business, clearly stating your values and making sure your employees know, understand and buy into them will help you not only create a culture that's authentic, but it will guide all your decisions. You won't do business with someone who violates your values. You won't make business decisions that don't align with who you are. And you'll strive, every day, to make your values more true in your actions and policies.
As I've launched Starling Consulting, it was really important to me to clarify our values from the start. I wanted to be able to use them as guideposts for the decisions that I'm making early on, and also to use them as I add team members down the road.
I also wanted to be able to share these values with clients, colleagues, and you, dear readers. I'll write more in-depth about them in later blog posts, but for now, here are Starling Consulting's Core Values:
Intentionality - Everything we do, we do on purpose, with an eye toward accomplishing our goals.
Excellence - We strive to do our best work, every day, and help our clients to do the same.
Communication - Internally and externally, we listen to understand, and we speak with clarity.
Humanity - We recognize the value of our fellow humans and seek to give more than we take.
I look at that list and know that this is why I get out of bed every day - to build an Intentional Business on this foundation. The more successful I am, the more true I'm being to myself and to the values that drive me.