One of the values that we hold dear at Astonish is “loving and serving our client and each other”. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into that value.
People use the word “love” all the time. I LOVE this pizza. I LOVE my Ipad. I LOVE going to the movies. The true meaning of the word “love” can get diluted and lose its meaning if we’re not careful. So what does it mean to “love and serve each other” when it comes to business? I think that this is an extremely important and powerful value if it is lived out in our lives.
I “love” the Wikipedia definition of the word: “The unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”
It’s interesting that Wikipedia uses the term “unselfish”. In order for an enterprise to truly be successful, the participants must be unselfish. Under a high pressure environment, selfishness can easily creep in. Employees (and owners for that matter) can begin to overvalue their contribution and undervalue the contribution from other members of the company. It’s amazing how we can judge what other people do, when we’ve never actually held that position. There is a natural human tendency to look at someone else’s job and compare it to our own. We know all the details and nuances which make our job difficult and only see what’s happening on the outside for one of our colleagues. Take sales for example. Before I started my first company, I was an analytical chemist. I NEVER sold anything. My only exposure to sales was the annoying guy at Best Buy. Sales “looked” easy – until I tried it myself. Until I actually tried to cold call someone, set up an appointment, create a presentation, drive to their office, give the presentation, convince them to buy and collect their check – I had NO IDEA how hard it was (by the way what an incredible feeling when someone says, “yes”!). As they say, don’t criticize someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
This type of selfish attitude can be a killer in a company. If it gets too embedded you can have departmental wars. You see this sometimes between sales and production. It happened all the time when I ran a laboratory. The folks doing the testing often got frustrated with sales because of out of the box requests which the testing team had to perform. The sales team didn’t really care because they made a sale and were on to the next thing.
If the entire company has “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of” each other, what an amazing environment. How can that go wrong? This will be infectious to the customer and create a place where people “love” to work. So the next time you think your job’s much harder than anyone else’s, think again and try to love your coworker.