Coach John Wooden said “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” I cannot think of a better barometer than this. Can you? But how do we apply this to a company because remember, a company is a person under the law.
We are much more likely to contemplate the characteristics of a company like its legal entity or its ownership structure. But, that’s so technical and sterile. It teaches us about what the company looks like, not what it acts like.
Imagine what this would do to John Wooden’s quote . . . “the true test of a man is his citizenship status and family structure.” Awful.
So how can we measure the character of a company? Easy – look at the company’s values. If character is the soup, values are the ingredients.
It is easy to list values. It is hard to live by them. People and companies are very similar in this way. However, when the choices match the action, life becomes very predictable for everyone. Employees know how to manage through problems. Customers know how situations will be resolved. And, like with people, we can choose which companies are good to hang out with.
If we can live in a world where companies are deemed to have rights in life and liberty, we can certainly expect them to have a solid character.
Want to learn more about corporate values and character, message me.