by Marc Gilenson
Many companies have a vision statement. However, if you ask most of their employees, you will find that they don’t know the statement. Even worse is that if you ask them how they apply the concepts in your vision statement to their everyday business life, you will get a “deer in the headlights” look! If you put the time into developing your vision statement and truly believe in the principles behind the statement, you should expect your employees, vendors and customers to agree that you live it!
The vision must be applied to every employee through the corporate entrepreneurial principle.
This principle has its roots in ancient history and it encourages each employee to:
- Behave in a responsible way – this is being accountable or answerable for something that is within your control or that you can manage.
- Exercise self-discipline – the ability you have to control and motivate yourself to stay on track and do what’s correct
- Strive to maintain a high level of ethics – The most widely accepted definition for business ethics says that it’s a set of corporate values and codes of principles, which may be written or unwritten, by which a company evaluates its actions and business-related decisions
- Compliance with company policy – a state in which someone or something is in accordance with established guidelines, specifications, or legislation the company has established
- Obey the laws of nature – Physical Law, a scientific generalization based upon empirical observation; Natural Law, or any number of doctrines based upon a principle or body of laws considered derived from nature, right reason, or religion, and as ethically binding in human society.
- Follow laws of humanity – treat others as you would like to be treated. Balance judgement and mercy. Know that we are all created equal. We are all inter-connected. Freedom of choice is a right, not a privilege!
Once again, it’s easy to write these expectations in an employee manual or to create posters with creative sayings. The difficulty is having employees that accept and embody your vision. One way to be sure is to make sure your employees have the following five fundamental attributes that must be present in all employees:
- Self-motivation – to be proactive in everything they do
- Self-management – to conduct themselves responsibly
- Self-awareness – to understand situation they find themselves in and their role in the situation
- Mutual benefit – always be aware of how their actions will affect them, their co-workers and your customers
- Collective responsibility – take actions that will guarantee the well being of the group as well as themselves.
If you find employees that don’t embody the 5 attributes mentioned above, you need to analyze if it’s because of your policies, procedures or poor management. When you find an employee or employees that lack one or all of the 5 attributes, you need to bring them into your office and develop a plan that they agree to and will instill these attributes, or you will have to let them go.
No one ever said that being a Corporate Entrepreneurial Leader would be easy!