Webster defines “adaptable” as capable of becoming adapted. It goes on to give an example “an activities director who’s adaptable to any kind of situation.”
As small business owners we must be adaptable to any kind of situation. Stick it out in business long enough and you will come across many situations in which you must adapt. Being able to adapt can help keep you sane at times.
For me, being adaptable does not mean compromising my core values as a company or as an individual. Is there a difference for you? I’d love to hear about it.
Did I Say That?
I read several articles and blog posts today about the marketing firm employee who Tweeted on behalf of Chrysler. I won’t rehash the entire story (you can read it here).
He meant to send a Tweet through his personal account and accidentally sent it through the Chrysler account. His Tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” A horrible mistake that cost him his job and his employer the Chrysler business.
@pwilson wrote a great blog post today talking about the power of our words. Whether you are Tweeting, talking, writing or any other form of communication your words hold power. They have the power to harm or to help.
– Reality check –
How are you using your words when communicating with…
- Your staff?
- Your clients?
- You vendors?
- Your family?
Something to think about…
P.S. As a marketing professional who manages several social media accounts this affects me on many levels. I will save that post for another day.
Knowing your limits is a key element in maintaining integrity.
One of my most favorite quotes: “you can do anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price”. I was having a discussion today with some of my peers about this issue as it relates to business. A particular action may be legal but is it ethical and/or moral.
The price I am willing to pay for “doing anything I want” is not very high. As I gain more experience in business and in life my road gets narrower. As I see it the prices we pay fall into seven categories.
How do you see it?
V Veracity – Be consistently truthful in what you say.
People really are paying attention.
A Adjust – Continually assess and adjust your approach to
L Listen – Really listen to what your customers are telling
you. You may learn something.
U Understand – Identify with your customer’s position. It
will strengthen your relationship.
E Effort – When you make the effort to be truthful, listen,
understand and adjust you bring immeasurable value.
There are many things I am NOT good at.
Imagine our world if everyone were completely up front about what they do well and what they do not do well. Then, imagine what the world would be like if we lined up our passions with the gifts and talents God gave us. We could change the world!
I wrote my first guest blog post today and talked about this very thing. It is amazing to me how many people pretend to be good at something when they know they are not. It takes more confidence to say “I do not do that well” then it does to say “yes, I can do that,” when you know you really can’t.
There are a couple of things in which I am really gifted. There are a few more things I am “ok” at doing and there are thousands of things I am not good at – period. I am very grateful to be at the place in my life and career where I can recognize this – at least most of the time. [No matter seasoned we are I think we all have moments where we experience delusions of grandeur.]
So, I will continue to serve my clients by doing the things I do well and leave the rest to other experienced professionals.
I would love to hear about what you do well (and what you don’t do well too)…
Passion is important. It is important in all areas of our lives – even in business. I have not yet met a small business owner who was not passionate about he or she is doing. If they did not have some level of passion they would not be doing it.
We all have our moments where our passion falters (some moment last longer than others). If you get bogged down in the daily grind of doing business and lose your passion it will be obvious to your clients. Passion is contagious. If you have passion and enthusiasm it will catch on and it will come through in your marketing strategy.
One key element for me to remain passionate is to remind myself why I am doing what I am doing. You might say that sounds too simple. The fact is, it is simple. Ask yourself these questions.
- Why did I start doing this in the first place?
- What do I have to offer?
- What about my work drives me?
Passionately Working and Serving,
P.S. Yesterday I talked about Integrity. Today’s blog post is going up late because I had some deliverables I needed to take care of for a client. If I am unwilling to put my feet into action on what I say then who will listen to me? I said I would send an email blast out this morning so I did what I said I would do.
There have been many lessons learned throughout each season of my career. While each season has taught me different things some have been universal. One of the most important values I learned is that integrity matters. You can be successful in business and maintain your integrity.
Merriam-Webster defines integrity as:
- firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
- an unimpaired condition : soundness
- the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
This definition provides the key elements needed to maintain integrity in business:
Incorruptibility – don’t sell out. Stay true to your company’s values. If you are an employee and your values do not line up with your employer’s then find a new employer. I once quit a job without having another one because I could not support the unethical actions of my employer for even one more day. If you are a business owner make sure your company is conducting business in a way that you could tell your mother or your pastor about.
Soundness – make sure you think through the plans for your organization. Buildings must be sound for the structure to maintain integrity. So it goes with your business. If your planning (and execution) is not sound your company could crumble when trouble hits. I would rather build my foundation on the rock instead of the sand.
Completeness – follow through. If you make a commitment: follow through. If you are working on a project: see it through to completion. If you accept an order for a client: fulfill the order. Sometimes plans, processes, etc. can go awry: adjust your plan, communicate with your customers and stakeholders and see it through to completion.
My personal definition of integrity is doing what you say you are going to do. What’s your definition of integrity?
Driven to stay in integrity,