In building our business, we thought a lot about what we stand for and what we believe. Our thoughts kept coming back to simple things like The Golden Rule and the Robert Fulghum book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
Talk about restoring common sense to communications!
But some things really are that simple. As the saying goes, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything*. For us, it's not difficult to articulate what we stand for: our values are rooted in our beliefs and shaped by our experiences (both successes and lessons learned).
At a time when cynicism about politics and public policy is at an all time high, voter participation is at an all time low and even our most hallowed institutions are losing our trust, communications can be a confusing and challenging discipline. At times like these, it’s even more important for communicators to have a core set of beliefs – and to follow them. Here are ten values that drive our business:
We believe focus is just as important as firepower.
We believe attention to detail is a virtue.
We believe you can only be a good talker if you’re a good listener.
We believe good ideas can come from anywhere.
We believe in giving credit where credit is due.
We believe that sometimes you have to take the long way.
We believe honesty and transparency always win out.
We believe candor and clarity trump artifice and ambiguity.
We believe acknowledging and addressing weakness is a strength.
We believe AND is more powerful than either/or.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. And if you like this list, you’re welcome to adapt it for your own use (as long as you give us credit for the inspiration).
*This quote has been attributed to a variety of people, including the actress Irene Dunne, who used it in a radio broadcast in 1945. The first time I remember hearing it was in Gil Scott-Heron’s spoken word portion of “Let Me See Your ID” on the Artists Against Apartheid “Sun City” album in 1985 (and his version was “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll go for anything,” which he attributed to his grandmother).