MICHAEL HYATT Michael Hyattis a powerful speaker and leader in the area of values-based companies.  I was listening to a recent podcast on this topic this week where he reinforced one of my key messages:

Stated values are fine, but they don’t make a difference until you take action.

It’s a simple concept, really, and should be blindingly obvious.  After all, when your favorite cable company states that they’re “customer oriented,” do you believe it when they’re also not showing up for appointments?  When they don’t answer your questions over the phone?

It’s one thing to have stated values which are disingenuous or being ignored.  But Michael’s key observation is that when you don’t behave according to the stated values, people become cynical.

That’s INCREDIBLY damaging to your business, because cynicism spreads like wildfire.  Cynicism destroys productivity.  Cynicism kills reputation.

It’ll wreck your company.

Here’s the interesting thing, though:  Values that matter are HARD.  Sure, you can say that your company values serving customers in some vague way.  That doesn’t matter, because EVERYBODY says that.  Yeah, satisfied customers will give you money and that runs the company.  Blah blah blah.

The businesses which are spectacular at customer service aren’t vague about it.  They get specific.  There’s specific actions they take.  They sweat about it when they make a mistake.  They measure the progress.  They recognize employees, publicly and privately, for acting that way.

That’s hard work, don’t kid yourself.  It takes time and money and dedication.  And because you will fall short of your goal at times, there’s going to be some pain involved.

But you started your values-based business because you wanted to do something important, right?  And important things aren’t easy, right?

Better, then, that you spend your time and attention on the important things rather than the day-to-day issues.