The Reality of Business

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”  Max DePree

Last week we talked a little about holidays and business.  Today on a related topic I wanted to talk about the challenge and privilege of defining reality in a business.  See, Halloween is mostly about things that go bump in the night, things that are deceptive and things that aren’t real.  Yes, there are lots of scary things in the world, and things that we can’t explain.  But as a business leader it’s your job to let your employees and customers know what’s up as clearly as possible.  You can tell how reality is defined through a company’s culture, how employees treat customers, how products or services are delivered, and the mission and vision statements, just to name a few things.  When a leader doesn’t take the time to develop, flesh out, implement and communicate the standards and commitments of the business it leaves lots of room for deceptive practices and happenings.

When people who have no previous experiences look at your business, what do they find? Is it easy to contact you, to get answers to questions they may have, to make changes, get personalized attention or custom orders, or are they confused by what you offer, if you can help them and how to even buy from you?  What do they discover when they come into contact with you?

The rest of today’s inspirational quote is equally important and fits into the reality of what you present as a business too.  Is the heart of your business to truly help others or are you selfishly out there to screw as many people over for as much money as possible?  Do you actually appreciate having customers?  People know when the vibe isn’t right, they know when you’re taking advantage of them, and they know when you’re not truly acting in service to their best interests and fulfilling the needs that they came to you specifically for.  And when there’s a disconnect you lose sales and miss out on great opportunities to help others.

It’s a big responsibility to be in business.  You’re trusted with the lives, hearts, homes, businesses, and finances of others.  What does your business present and communicate as your reality?

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