There are a lot of corporate mission statements that mention things like, “honesty”, “social responsibility”, and “quality”. Using the word “Quality” is like saying “Character”. It’s just an empty word without an adjective. Maybe your quality sucks. Maybe you’re an asshole. Why are you being so vague?
And … do you really need to have “honesty” in there? I mean, let’s hope you’re honest, right? There are also many statements that finish like this example from GM: “… and our stockholders will receive a sustained superior return on their investment.” Okay … sure, but who’s this statement for, again?
Our personal culture should be just as … wait, actually more important than corporate culture. But, we must be honest with ourselves and live true to our nature. This is authenticity. In Yoga, we know it as “Satya”.
Corporate, as well as personal culture comes from the top and from within. Things work well when there’s truth and authenticity. It will speak for itself and if you do it right, you don’t need a mission statement. It will be apparent. It’ll also be apparent if you do it wrong. In the 21st century, things are more transparent than we’d like them to be. We won’t fool anyone by saying one thing and living another, especially ourselves.
Pretentiousness is an ugly thing. But, authenticity is beautiful. It’s a way of being, not of merely knowing. It is the Tao of our culture.
If the corporate culture is one of growth, authenticity, positivity, human engagement, care, support, and providing value, then profitability happens as a byproduct. It must be real and it must be throughout. No bullshit, backhanded compliments, or caveats. This is true of our personal culture as well.
Besides, it’s much better than being driven through fear tactics, micromanagement, undermining, drama, volatility, and negativity. That’s just not good for the soul.
Spoiler alert: Companies are in business to make money. Yep; thanks. But, it’s much better when the dog wags the tail; not the other way around. More natural that way.
Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash.