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Passion, People and Principles

The Power of Principles

post # 92 — May 31, 2006 — a Client Relations, Strategy post

I have just added to my audio page an interview with me on Eric Mattson’s MarketingMonger podcast series about the challenges facing businesses today and the principles that define successful business and managers.

One of the key messages I passed on was that the elements of good management often sound like “moral” points – you “should” care about clients and customers and you “should” act as if you cared about whether your employees are engaged and enthused. In the past, I used to apologize for this and say “it’s not a moral point, it just works in business!”

But then I made an interesting discovery. If you think something is a moral point, you’ll just implement and execute it better – and thereby get the business benefits faster and more extensively.

It turns out that there is nothing so powerful in business as actually having some principles that you actually hold on to passionately and require those around you to believe.

I further explore the ideas Eric and I discussed in these articles:

(You can receive all of my future articles directly by subscribing to my free article newsletter.)

Thanks to Eric for the enjoyable interview. Best wishes to him on the remaining 968 interviews in his 1000 podcast series.

By the way, folks – does your experience match mine?

Do people who actually believe things and have a personal morality about how business should be conducted actually attract like-minded people and build more successful institutions?

What about the opposite? Can you be a “pragmatic skeptic” and still build a thriving, financially successful business?


Matt Moore said:

There’s some interesting anthropological research on the persistence of ritual in the absence of belief.

Less academically, I think people will judge you by your actions. Only the people close to you will know the moral or philosophical underpinnings for those actions. But a strong belief system means that you are less willing to compromise in your choice of actions.

All organisations have values – but they are rarely the ones that appear in mission statements under the heading of “corporate values”.

posted on May 31, 2006

Eric Boehme said:

Principles based on morality make a business solid inside and out. It is building a business on a firm foundation.

Customers and employees are always looking for genuine leadership. Those leaders who passionately stick to their principles are usually the most successful.

I always examine how human nature dictates what is successful and what is not. I find people in general want something that is real. They see and crave what is real and true.

I am glad that you do not apologize any more for your principles being rooted in morality. The fact that you boldly state that makes you instantly credible in my eyes.

posted on June 1, 2006

Sonnie said:

A principled run organization vs. bottom line organization will yield better result to the bottom line organization in the short term.

However, principled organization will fare well in the long run as it will develop its credibility and respect to all his stakeholders—including the market and the customers.

I wrote a related anecdote on this sometime ago, you may check it here


posted on June 1, 2006