As I approached the New Year, I was thinking about what type of organization we should build at Ambassador Solutions (AS). As fate would have it, I was on the treadmill watching TED videos when I ran across Simon Sinek speaking about how great leaders inspire action. His examples included Apple, Martin Luther King, and TiVo among others. His basic concept was great leaders know “why” they are in business, and then can translate the “how” into the “what.” Leaders inspire clients/consumers to believe in the “why” and buy again and again. As I reviewed my previous post, “Why are we mesmerized by Apple”, I came to the realization that “why” I buy Apple products is the ease of setup and use.
So, what is the “why” for software companies? We have tried to define the “why” as:
- We are a Microsoft Gold partner.
- We are a Java shop.
- We are IBM.
- We are Microsoft.
- Our sales team regularly uses bait and switch tactics.
- We charge more than any one else.
- We use Agile.
- We don’t use Agile.
- We have built (name your software product) in the past.
At Ambassador Solutions, we have taken our core values seriously by having them chiseled in Indiana limestone posted in our lobby. The prominence of these values is why I joined Ambassador.
The “why” for AS is “* pursue uncompromised integrity”. If you live your personal life following these core values, you’ll live a life you can be proud of. Can a business live a good life by following these? Can a business be profitable while living by these core values? A lot of businesses have some sort of core values or a mission statement of some sort. After making decisions, do businesses go back and ask the question “How does this apply to our core values? Does this fit with them?”
In the three and a half months I have been at Ambassador, we have done this a number of times. Decisions regarding our interactions with clients, employees and partners: It doesn’t matter. I also felt like this was the atmosphere when I worked for Mark Hill at Baker Hill. A lot of companies pursue not just profit, but more profit to appease shareholders. Managers pursue their own career advancement or huge bonuses. Many believe that the greed of corporations and the pursuit of unthinkable bonuses caused our current recession.
There is an old saying that “Every dog has it’s day.” I believe working for an Integrity-based company is what we should all strive for, and I am glad I work for one of the few.
Thanks for coming in today.