Trick or Treat? Does your team know your True North?

A world renowned woman’s clothing designer, Oscar de la Renta, died last week. He was best known for his evening wear. His gowns were frequently seen on red carpets in Hollywood. Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton wore his gowns at their inaugural balls.  Most recently Amal Alamuddin wore one of his gowns when she married George Clooney.

While reading an article about de la Renta by Shelley Acoca (The Associated Press) I was struck by the language used in the official announcement of his death.

Company executives stated:

 “All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed  (italics mine) by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar’s example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much.”

This use of the word informed  was new to me when I entered the world of coaching and entrepreneurs.  I had always used the word as the past tense of to inform – “He was well-informed about …”  meaning he knew a lot about a specific topic.

The use of informed  in the announcement about de la Renta’s company is defined as to give evident substance, character, or distinction to; pervade or permeate with manifest effect.

In recent years I have heard people speak fairly freely about how different experiences in their lives have informed  the choices they have made in terms of the type of business they have created and their goals for their business. These informative  experiences are frequently the core of the Big Why behind their business.

Have you given thought to how you have informed your business? Have you identified the values that are core to your business? Those elements that you want to be remembered for? Have you shared them with the members of your team?

It is easy to get so caught up in the day to day of our businesses that we lose sight of the underlying, core values that we wanted to include in the culture of our own business.

Think back to when you were working for someone else. Did you notice how things were done? Did you make note of the things you would to do differently if you were in charge? Do you still have those notes?

If you needed to step away from your business for a period of time due to a family emergency does your team know the way forward, the way Oscar’s team does, to keep things moving toward your True North? Have you shared your values with them?

Don’t trick them by leaving them in the dark. Treat them with the knowledge that will inform them in the way to go in your absence.

The more familiar your team is with your values, with your True North, the more successfully they can support you while you are there and when you have to be away.

If you haven’t identified your True North yet, the time is at hand to give it some serious thought.  Not sure how to get started with this, schedule a call with me. As a supportive partner I can help you find the words that inspire you and your team.

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