Family Values Could Be the Missing Piece to Total Success in Business Today
When the value of family is at the foundation of everything you do, the business feeds its own growth. If you don't have family, what else is there really? We don't work our business for the sake of working. There must be a bigger reason.
As I continue my search for the values that exude success, I want to tell you a story that illustrates love for family and why it's so important to business success.
When the value of family is at the foundation of everything you do, the business feeds its own growth. If you don’t have family, what else is there really? We don’t work our business for the sake of working. There must be a bigger reason. I’m pretty sure I won’t be sitting in my rocking chair when I am 80 with my glass of lemonade talking about long days at the office, the thousands of miles I had to commute and the clients with whom I had to part ways. No, I will be talking about my family, the lives I touched, even the James Bond lookalike walking down the street (I will leave it to your guess as to which actor.)
This story starts with one of my desires: the desire to strengthen my own resolve to not make assumptions. I will admit I fell back into my bad habit of making assumptions back in December when I was invited to a Christmas party for a business that provides roofing services. I’d never been there before, and I had it in my head that I would walk in and see men in Carhartts with a smell of metal, asphalt shingles and truck oil in the air. But the image I created in my head couldn’t have been any further from the truth.
As I walked up to the main entrance of Universal Roofing in Indianapolis, I was greeted by a lovely lady. We didn’t know each other, but she was so welcoming and led me straight to the Grilliant Foods barbeque buffet.
I soon filled my plate and headed for a table populated with people I didn’t know. I politely asked if I could sit with them, plopped down and dug into the most amazing pulled pork and mac-n-cheese. After a few bites to curb my hunger, I then prioritized meeting my fellow table mates: a mix of a retired employee, a customer, a partner and a vendor, all of whom were raving on about how long they had known the owners and had the opportunity to work with them. It was almost like they were wearing a badge of honor to have been associated with them for so long. I personally was most impressed with the retired employee at the table. He was back and enjoying himself simply because he missed the people.
After lunch I started to walk through the hall and just check out the vibe. I was impressed with how nicely decorated everything was. From the choice of colors on the walls, the furniture, flooring and of course the Christmas tree. There was love put into the décor.
On my walk, I was soon stopped, hugged and thanked for coming by the owner, Rob, and his son, Sam. In reality, they haven’t known me all that long, but that was not how they treated me. There was this unspoken feeling I had that if I ever needed their help, they would be there for me. I felt at home.
While on my journey to visit Universal, I really had only intended to pop in and say “Hi,” wish them a Merry Christmas and then be on my way. Just a 10-minute stop in. However, I ended up spending 90 minutes there. I left feeling great and wishing I had needed a roof or some interior work done on my house; I wanted to give them business so I could experience what they do.
Later, I did a little research on the company to see what values came through on their website. I knew what I personally had experienced, but I wanted to see how they portrayed it. That’s where it hit me on their website, with what I would say would be one modification. “Rob treats everyone who works for him like family.” No, it’s so much more than that. He treats everyone like family, and because of that, everyone around him treats the people they encounter like family. It’s just a way of being for them. It’s who they are, how they treat people and how they do business as a whole. It’s their culture and what has made them so very successful in business and in life.
I have no idea if family was the explicitly intended culture when Universal started out in business, but that is what they have built. It’s how they do work, it’s how they are organized, and it has been the foundation for the results they get every year.
Whether you have the most amazing culture or not, I urge you to take a hard look at your results, the experiences people have with your company and the culture that lies underneath.
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