It took us eight years, but our core values are written, posted, and followed by all. Eight years? It sounds terrible. How could a company be in business for eight years and not have core values?
We had them. We had our Manifesto, which served as our core, our rules. Our Manifesto also aligns well with our core values. So they were there, and everyone that came on board with us, I spent time with on their first day talking about the origin of the Manifesto and how we believe a True Michigan Creative should be. But, our Manifesto is long. It is fluffy, and not all of it was ours originally. I tell the story of talking to a successful business owner in Chicago, (see Centro here). He used the manifesto to guide everything they did. He allowed us to use it and wanted everyone to do the same.
With the help of our EOS implementor Tania, (see her company here https://achievebigresults.com/) our entire team was able to come up with our core values. What I found was inspiring and reassuring that our people believed in MC and, in me. (crazy right?) The manifesto did its job. Now we had it in four simple core values that the team came up with.
Core Values Of A True MC:
1) Leadership – A great leader makes everyone around them better than they are.
I want everyone at MC to be a leader. Leadership is everything in any organization, and it is a skill that is not taught. After reading one of the best books on leadership I have ever read, Extreme Ownership, I confirmed my belief that while I think I do a good job as a leader, I need to always improve. I make leadership mistakes every day. More importantly, it is vital to our success to build leaders in everyone at MC.
2) Live to create – As creatives, it is what we do. We wake up creative. We all have something amazing to offer to others.
Professor Gude taught me this. We are born creative, curious, interested. My beautifully silly five-year-old Kora will play with a rock and a barbie all day and have all kinds of amazing conversations. Slowly, over time, this is unlearned. We have to go to school, work, and we forget how to think creatively.
I have to remind our staff that we live this way all the time. We wake up creative. It is our passion and livelihood. We have a gift that most don’t, and it is valuable. We are not just a marketing company. We are a creative team that can think in different ways to solve all kinds of problems.
This is Kora on the day I let her pick her outfit.
3) Everyone you come in contact with should have a better day. Look up, smile, help, open a door, be there.
Out of all of the core values, this is the one that I want everyone to do. Anyone that comes in contact with a True MC, should have a better day because of it. This is also as much for you, as it is for those who come in contact with you. Just thinking this way once in a while can have a huge impact on how you feel, and how others feel about you.
4) Every problem has a solution. We don’t complain, we don’t stress, we are not afraid of taking risks, we get help and we solve problems.
This is why I left education. Everyone always complained about things that they didn’t like, but never wanted to be the one to lead the charge to change them. They just wanted to complain. I see this in higher ed, business, politics, and community. It is all over. We believe that every problem can be solved. Sometimes the solution could be that we messed something up. We work to figure out why and how it happened, where the gaps in leadership and communication were, and how not to do it again. If you complain about something here, be ready to be asked, “How are you going to fix it?”
I am proud of my team for developing these, and for carrying them with them in everything they do. We are by no means perfect. Some days, I don’t want anyone to be glad they met me. Kidding, sorta. Some days you just are there. However, now that they are posted, printed, followed by all, we can measure them, we can adjust them, and we can share them.
Get in touch with me if you want to talk about how we did this, how we work them, and I will try to make your day better.