Last post we introduced the concept of “borrowing success” and the idea of building your business with the help other people’s accomplishments. This is exactly the exercise we have gone through here at PowerSlice Software and it has been incredibly helpful in getting established. Identifying examples of success has allowed us to base our business philosophy around proven, illustrated principles that are easy to digest and apply. Borrowing from others continually inspires us toward success. There is an important distinction that must be understood– this exercise helped us articulate values, not create them. If you do not possess these convictions you are attempting to borrow, they will be of no benefit to you. Chances are that you already have a definition of success and a set of values that has been leading you. Now it’s time to give them more clarity and influence.
Borrowing success begins with asking yourself two questions. First, “What person or organization is a picture of the success I desire?” Most people already have people or companies that they admire, so hopefully, this step should not be too difficult. If you are struggling to identify any admirable examples, I would suggest spending some time reading your Bible, a biography, or even doing a google search for people who were successful in a meaningful way. If you are on the other side of the spectrum and seem to have a surplus of examples proving difficult to narrow down, begin leaning toward examples with which you share the most similarities and relate to your own circumstances. Identifying why you see them as successful can be a key to helping you understand yourself.
The second question to ask is, “What commitments or characteristics are displayed by this example, that undeniably contributed to their accomplishments?” As you think on the stories and scenes of their experience, focus on the convictions they held, or the unique characteristics they possessed. Most of the time, these elements can be boiled down to timeless principles such as passion, excellence, or integrity. While these are typically familiar words, as you identify them, replace them with synonyms that are most impacting and inspiring to you. This will help you communicate the values that are at the core of your business approach.
As mentioned before, this has been the process through which we have journeyed to define success and to identify our core values. The example that we admired and to which we most related was the historical example of Joseph found in the book of Genesis. As we read the account of his life and the destiny that was given to him by God, we stand in admiration of what he was able to accomplish. As a result of God’s faithfulness, Joseph consistently operated his life and work around his core values and beliefs, regardless of the work environment or the numerous obstacles he encountered. His example climaxes at his appointment as the second most powerful ruler in Egypt, in order to save the lives of thousands of people from an incredibly devastating famine. As our team prayerfully evaluated Joseph’s life, we walked away with a success statement by which to live:
“Just as Joseph was used by God to bless and prosper those with whom he served, we exist to be a true blessing to the customers and clients with whom we come in contact. It is our prayer that through our work, people will see that our God loves them.”
This is why we get up and do what we do each day. When a new employee joins the team, or when the temptation to become self-serving sneaks up, this statement helps remind us of what is most important. When the routine seems to steal the excitement from our hearts, this example helps us to keep perspective and renew passion.
We have also found some deep-rooted values in Joseph’s example that we have borrowed:
- People-Focused Perspective – We listen to the real needs of people and provide real solutions that truly benefit them.
- Servant-Mindedness – We evaluate our success based on the success of our clients.
- Diligence – We are committed to working hard to provide the best solutions available.
- Integrity – We will remain true to what is honorable regardless of the consequences.
- Faith – We recognize that the ability to serve others is from God and we trust him for the wisdom and results.
- Stewardship – We believe we are responsible for managing our resources and the resources of our clients in the very best way.
In later posts, we will share the reasoning behind choosing this set of values. For now, we wanted to illustrate what this process has provided us. Surprisingly, this exercise did not take long, but it has helped us gain clarity, unity, and direction, as we approach the daily decisions that influence the future of our impact on the world. We want to encourage you to set a few hours aside from the grind and to borrow success from those who have “been there and done that.” As the wise King Solomon said, “There is no new thing under the sun.”