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Archive for the “Colleagues” Category

Never lie down with dogs. You may get fleas.

There is a crucial differentiation to be made for any entrepreneur in the company he keeps. It defines a businessman and his firm every bit as much as his business plan and marketing. I say that not as some sort of clinch-jawed, nose-in-the-air snob, but as a practical man of business. From the inception of any enterprise it is important to conceptualize the long-term defining nature and implications of commercial partnerships and associations. Those companies and people you service and associate with will have implications for your own and your company’s reputation.

Both in terms of process and execution, it is a time saver and efficiency producer to assume that the ur-values of your company and those you serve are the same. It is always an anxious thing to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. That creates a strain. Even if it is a subconscious tension, a simple adumbration of uneasiness, conflicting or incongruent corporate value systems will impinge on the focused energy needed for collegial business success.

The corollary to this, obviously, is, as an entrepreneur, it is important to know who you are personally and what your company’s core value is. Without self-knowledge how is one to even know what constitutes a congruent client? A corporate culture is influenced by the cultures of those whom you choose to serve, as well as by your internal dynamics.

Ray L. Hunt, Dallas oil billionaire, former head of the Dallas Fed, and philanthropist, gave a very fine speech to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce a couple of weeks ago. In his speech he outlines 5 Principals of Business Excellence, which are well worth reporting on another time. But he concludes with this observation–“Quality attracts quality.

Clients and employee associates are drawn to a tone, an ethos, an aura. For long-term success you need to define, establish, and hold dear a set of core beliefs that permeate your organization. “If you build it, he will come.” to quote Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. If you build it right and present it effectively you will create long-term clients among kindred spirits. And you will not attract those you should not align with. Which is appropriate, apt, and an important business value.

Thank you, Ray L. Hunt.

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