Earlier this year, I spent some time really working on the business plan for Leverage. Well, not really a business plan. It’s more of a Business Manifesto. Merriam-Webster defines a manifesto as, “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” I am the issuer, and here are my intentions!
I’m big on intentions. I meditate pretty regularly and I believe that if you set your intentions on something, it will come to you. Maybe a little “woo-woo” for some people, but I’ve experienced the power of intention personally and seen things come into my life on a personal and professional level because of specific intentions I’ve set. #believer
What you think about you bring about. If you’re in a bad mood, it’s likely because you are thinking about negative things. Your feelings are following your thoughts around all day. If people with bad vibes keep showing up in your life, take an inventory of your vibe. Like attracts like when it comes to intentions, so be sure you set your intentions and thoughts on the right things.
So, back to the Business Manifesto. I worked on it for several weeks off and on. I did a lot of research, pulled out some of my favorite business books, and did a lot of thinking, processing, and meditating. I thought a lot about where I wanted to see Leverage in the next year, but I also thought about what the next five or ten years would hold for us, too. Some of the questions I asked were:
- What kind of team do I envision?
- Who are the people that needed to be on our bus? Were they in the right seats? (You need to read Good To Great.)
- Who is missing?
- What kinds of clients do we want to work for moving forward?
- What are my core values? And, are those the same values I want my business to have
These words were written in shouty capitals in my journal, too.
AUTHENTICITY – ALIGNMENT – CLARITY – GRATITUDE – DETERMINATION
I landed in a good place with the Team Leverage Business Manifesto. It’s not perfect, but that wasn’t the point of the exercise.
I created a (mostly internal) document that stated our Purpose, identified our Tribe (read Seth Godin’s classic), figured out our Hedgehog concept, set Goals for the future, and came up with a list of Core Values. If you follow Leverage on Instagram, you may have come across a few of our core value posts.
While I won’t share the full document here, I DO want to share the list of core values. Most pro coaches and consultants recommend you have no more than FIVE core values for your business, but I rarely follow the rules – so we have 11.
They are values AND they are also intentions. We intentionally want to attract team members, clients, and other pros in the industry that align with MOST of these statements. We measure each relationship against them, we’re clear about who we want to work with, how we work, and we’re grateful when those clients and team members come through the door. Do we have a values match?
- Relationship – We exist to be in relationship with others. We seek out relationships with people based on shared values and likenesses. We value the spirit of relationship above monetary transactions.
- Intuition – We are soulful and spiritual. We use our intuition as a way to quickly assess and understand situations, business cultures, and pain points within organizations, and then leverage that intuition into organic, natural, long-term change.
- Responsibility – We take responsibility for our actions, our work, and our words. We accept this as our duty to behave correctly in any given situation. We have self-control and respect for others’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings.
- Creativity – Creativity is Queen. We create. We are makers, doers, movers, and shakers. We have a need to be expressive creatively through art, design, compelling copy, marketing, and commerce. We birth new ideas.
- Curiosity – We are led by a strong desire to learn new things and initiate. We allow that curiosity to drive our creative endeavors.
- Anticipate Needs – We are forward thinkers and always wondering what will come next. We anticipate the needs of our co-workers and clients because we truly know them and understand them.
- Assertiveness – We speak the truth with grace. We perform the surgery with anesthesia. We’re kind but firm…gritty but gracious. Heart first, then hustle.
- Flexibility – We are the flex role for our clients. We move fluidly throughout an organization as consultants, coaches, sounding boards, and ass-kickers. We engage in both internal culture and external reach and then craft strategies to move forward towards growth on both planes.
- Loyalty – Allegiance to our clients, their businesses and our company is non-negotiable. We hold fast to our non-compete policies and create only unique, one-of-a-kind art for each client.
- Excellence – Everything we do will be done with excellence. While not always perfect, we are always striving for outstanding work that surprises and delights our clients. We always endeavor to do The Right Thing even though we won’t always get it right.
- Fun – Life is short. We want to have fun and enjoy the work we do. When it stops being fun, we stop doing that kind of work.