It’s hard to believe that the movie Jerry Maguire is now over 20 years old. If you ask what was the most memorable scene from that movie, most will probably shout “show me the money!” But for me, the most significant point in that movie was earlier than that, when Jerry has his epiphany, realises what is wrong with his current employer and writes his personal and professional mission statement. I mentioned in an earlier blog that last year I had a period of reflection considering where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. (Let’s not call it a mid-life crisis.) Out of this reflection I came up with the following 6 principles about business and leadership. These serve as reminders about what is really important to me, my personal manifesto.
- Business should be a force for good.
Business is not all about making money, it’s about creating something, watching something grow, providing benefits for a broad range of people. The money is a by-product that allows you to provide for your family and to do more good. Good business is about more than doing no harm, business should provide benefits to the local environment, community and its employees, business can make a difference in the world.
- What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul?
All the victories, all the success, all the money counts for nothing if you lose the most important things in your life. Look after those closest to you, don’t let the pressures of business be to the detriment of your family. Hold closely to your values and principles, don’t let them become eroded.
- What are you leaving behind you?
Are the people who work for you better people having worked for you? Not just better employees, but better people? When people move on, what will they say about their time working for you? What will your reputation be as an employer? A good boss can make a huge difference in a person’s life, just as a terrible boss can make someone’s life miserable.
- You reap what you sow
Treat clients, suppliers and competitors how you would like to be treated. If you want to be in it for the long haul, operate with good principles. Be fair and reasonable, don’t try to screw people down on every deal. It might cost more in the short term, but in the long term, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.
- Your people are everything
Without people, there is no business, just an idea. Your people bring it to life. Care for them as people, take a genuine interest in their lives, build trust. You can operate a business where people don’t care for each other, but what a soulless place to work. Create an environment of genuine care and trust, treat people like people, not resources.
- Be the leader you want others to be
Demonstrate the kind of person you want others to be, be real and honest about your strengths and weaknesses, be quick to admit mistakes and take responsibility for your actions. Live the kind of life that will inspire others to improve themselves. Give people belief in themselves. Build dreams and give people the freedom to create, innovate and fail.
As with Jerry Maguire’s mission statement, these principles are deeply personal to me. Simon Sinek talks about finding your personal “why”. These are also very aspirational, I’m certainly not there yet, but they are a reminder of what’s important and where I want to be.
I’d love to hear from others who have gone through a similar experience and what you have decided are going to be your guiding principles for life and work.
Jarrod Moyle – Managing Director