Should I Separate My Business Values From My Personal Values?
Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose. I am a speaker, an author, and an expert in time and project management. I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable, and have time to enjoy life. At the end of the day, I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.
Today’s question comes from a busy professional:
Should I separate my business values from my personal values? Should I work with an organization, even if I don’t personally agree with what they do? For example, what if a company asks me for help managing their Web reputation and I don’t believe in their practices or their product?
Whether self-employed or working for a company, most people feel it is imperative to stay aligned with their principles. But what does it really mean to never stray from one’s values during the course of a career?
For example, a criminal defense lawyer may assist criminals and get them back on the street. That’s their job — but they themselves are not criminals. They believe in the law.
Are they working against their principles? Not necessarily. They believe that every person has the right to a fair trial. They believe that people need to be prosecuted under the law and with proper evidence that is collected in the proper manner. They themselves are law-abiding citizens, even if their clients are not always.
It’s Rarely That Black and White
If you believe that a business or organization is the only show in town, then I can see your dilemma. But we both know that’s not really the issue here.
If you’re worried about working with or for a particular company, you need to make sure you are discounting them for the right reasons and in the right way. One way to do this is to clearly articulate your vision and mission statement. Let potential clients or employers know what kind of company you want to work with. Clearly itemize the attributes of your target client/employer.
For example: I work with high-quality, high-integrity corporations that focus on customer satisfaction. My clients succeed because they are ready for success. My clients deliver what and when they promise. My clients and I not only follow the wording of our contracts, but also the spirit of our agreements — and I make sure they know that.
Live Your Mission Statement
If you clearly articulate your mission statement, then you will attract clients and employers of the caliber and type you desire, as well as ward off those who do not meet your standards.
Once you make your goals and expectations known, you have a foundation to work from. For example, say the company you are worried about working with still wants to work with you, even after you have shared your vision. The company has told you that tits mission is the same as yours — but you don’t see it that way.
You can now comfortably and diplomatically point out any discrepancies between what the company is currently doing and what the company claims its mission is. The company, after all, has been doing the same things the same way for a long time. The company may not see the discrepancies. You can help the company achieve its goals and transform it into a company you respect.
On the other hand, if this same company doesn’t want to work with you because of your mission statement and goals, then you no longer have to worry about compromising your values. Either way, you have eliminated your dilemma.
For more information on everything discussed here, feel free to reach out to me. We can schedule an appointment, and I can get to know more about your unique situation. I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward. Contact [email protected].