If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. ~Alan Simpson
I have been thinking a lot about the word “integrity” lately, and what it means to me as a business owner. I recently saw “The Social Network,” and I walked away feeling kind of yuck about the entire thing. I mean, really, it’s the story of one crappy guy stealing a few other crappy guy’s idea, screwing over his friends, and in the process making a few billion. Isn’t there a way to be incredibly successful and not hurt people in the process?
I have mentioned before how fond I am of companies like Zappos and Zingerman’s. Both of these companies have amazing devotion to their customers, and their employees. The culture of both of these companies is based on being kind, and present, and doing your best at all times. I feel very strongly about these principles. Zappos references their 10 “Core Values” in every action that they take. The little video below talks about their Core Values. Zappos is a very cool company to be a part of. It’s clear from everything that they do that they are a highly successful billion dollar company that has…here’s that word again…integrity.
As a business owner, I have evolved so much over the last 4 years. Many of the things that I have learned have come from trial and error. I think the biggest lesson that I have learned, and I am still learning every single day, is to not take it personally. That can be easier said than done when it comes to dealing with people every day, but in business, it’s essential. When something happens that makes me question what I am doing, or my vision of the business, or myself, I try to take a breath and remember: This is a business. Every day presents new challenges, and with it, chances to succeed and fail greatly. That can be very exciting, but also terrifying. Owning a business can be very humbling, which is why my favorite Core Value is #10: Be Humble. Zappos explains that value as:
While We Have Grown Quickly In The Past, We Recognize That There Are Always Challenges Ahead To Tackle.
We believe that no matter what happens we should always be respectful of everyone.
While we celebrate our individual and team successes, we are not arrogant nor do we treat others differently from how we would want to be treated. Instead, we carry ourselves with a quiet confidence because we believe that, in the long run, our character will speak for itself.
I LOVE that! I love it. I have read those sentences so many times that I have them memorized.
One of my goals for 2011 is to create a set of Core Values for Urban Waxx. One of the Core Values will be Always Act With Integrity. That may seem kind of over the top for a wax salon, but I feel like how you act in your job should be a direct reflection of who you are. There shouldn’t be a huge disconnect. Of course, like I have mentioned before, I may not be as chipper at home as I am with my clients every day (sorry, fam), but I truly believe in treating people the way I want to be treated. And, I want to be treated with respect, kindness and honesty.
The Core Values of any business begins with the owner. I always have to remember that no matter what the situation, I will act with integrity, and behave in a way that I want my team to behave. I love Urban Waxx, and I believe in the business with all of my heart, just as I believe that our character will speak for itself. xo
I have read the Zappo's book Delivering Happiness. It would be awesome if you gifted that book to your staff! I learned so much about customer service and doing the right thing.
Yes I read it as well (a few times), and I love it! I want to have an Urban Waxx library with books about customer service, and that will definitely be in there! Do you have any other book recommendations?