When seminar leaader and author Dave Anderson urges executives to run their businesses by the Book, it's with a capital B.
For Anderson, the Bible serves as the basis for running a successful, and “character driven,” business.
Anderson, who recently released How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK: A Biblical Blueprint to Bless Your Business (Wiley, 2009), says that instead of seeing how they can become more profitable in 2010, business owners should focus on their company’s character.
“It’s a great time to sit down and define your goals for the character of your company with your employees,” he says. “And character does matter in business.”
The responsibility for creating a character-based company falls on the owner. However, all employees should take part in helping shape the way the business operates, and how it is perceived by the public, Anderson says.
He spells out five rules that every employee should follow in the coming year to pave the way to what he calls a shared vision of solid values:
Tell the truth. Although it may be hard, says Anderson, avoid telling white lies. Yes, the team leader is wearing an extremely ugly tie and the marketing director’s world-famous cookies are less than tasty, but lying about it, though it may seem harmless, is a reflection of character.
“Think of all the business scandal stories from this past year and how many of them were the result of dishonesty - and how that dishonesty shattered the lives of so many people,” he says.
Be true to your word. Anderson also advises that owners and employees be true to their word.
Although it may cost more money, time or energy than originally planned, maintaining prior commitments is another way to foster a character-driven company.
Go the extra mile. “One of the most common character flaws is that people do just enough to get by; they come to work and do just enough to get paid and just enough not to get fired,” the author says.
A great asset to any company, he says, is the person who is willing to give just a little bit more.
But don't make a false impression. Be sure that the willingness to give doesn’t go too far, Anderson warns. Just as there’s never a second chance to make a first impression, it’s difficult for companies or employees to rebound once they’ve made a false impression.
Padded resumes and dubious advertising, he says, can make employees and companies lose credibility.
Let go of grudges. “Resentment builds up when employees leave organizations, mistakes are made or when co-workers feel slighted,” he advises. “This is an appropriate time of year for [people] to take an inventory of grudges they may be nursing, people they’re resenting and those with whom they must reconcile.
“If they’re carrying it around, rest assured it’s affecting their performance,” Anderson says.
Dave Anderson is the author of several books and with his wife, Rhonda, is co-founder of The Matthew 25.35 Foundation, which helps feed, educate and house destitute people around the world. For more information, visit www.learntolead.com.