Peter Hamilton once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Mr. Hamilton’s words ring true on many levels but they are especially relevant when trying to build a business. Without a strong belief in a Value structure, any organization could falter. This resonates with me during the holiday season as a particular story comes to mind about three wise men who set out on a journey with no specific destination. They were driven by faith and the guidance of a star which was their centerline of truth.
The centerline of truth is that which we as business leaders hold ourselves accountable to on a daily basis. It is the path from which we refuse to stray and it also serves as our check and balance system when making decisions. Much like the wise men’s journey, we need that path of navigation and belief to hold our resolve through the difficult stretches. Without this centerline of truth, we lose our conviction and our way as an organization.
This belief starts from the top with you, the leader. You must establish values that become your centerline of truth 100% of the time to ensure those below will hold your course. The wise men were an intimate group of equals but we can follow this analogy by examining sailors, another group that used the stars to guide them.
A captain of a ship on the high seas can use the North Star as his centerline of truth but he is only one man among a crew of men that look to him to set the safest course to their destination. So as in business, the Captain must have his first mates (or management as you will) that too must believe in his path of choice. For it is their responsibility to bring assurance and vanquish any fears or doubt among the crew. If the entire ship is not in alignment with the captain’s truth, he could lose control and quickly find himself with a mutiny.
Values are the centerline of truth for any organization. They need to be established at the top level and be embraced by management in order to be promoted throughout the entire organization. Managers need to become the mentors with a strong belief in the values you have constructed. Without this structure in place, you may not have an absolute mutiny on hand but you will find growth in your organization to be your biggest opponent.