All through my growing up years as I would run out the door of our home, my mother would yell the phrase “Remember who you are and what you stand for”. I would guess I have heard that phrase literally thousands of times as a child. Most days she said it I would roll my eyes like a typical teenager, but now that I am an adult I have truly come to appreciate the import of that one little phrase, “Remember who you are and what you stand for.”…
Those words were the beginning of a blog I wrote to my employees on my final day as their CEO (as we had sold the company to be merged into a large publicly traded corporation). I wanted to leave them with the message I felt would matter most:
“Remember the values that made us the amazing company that we have become today:
*Integrity (honesty at all times and in all places- do what is right, let the consequence follow, no exceptions)
*Respect (to everyone, everywhere, without exception)
*Positive and Optimistic Attitude (be happy, be nice, and for heaven’s sake SMILE!)
*Dependable / Trustworthy (do what you say, live what you believe)
*Flexible / Adaptable to Change (embrace the challenges, overcome your fears)
*Open to & Implements Feedback
*Going the Extra Mile (for coworkers, for clients, for shareholders)
*High Performance / High Production (give 100% everyday)
*Knowledgeable (know the company, know the industry, know the client, know your importance to the success of the organization)
…Don’t ever forget that those values are what make you so successful. Those values are what make you better people, both in your careers, in your family lives, and in society as a whole…. Don’t ever let yourself get sucked down into things that aren’t right or would cause you to go against your values, instead, you be the force that lifts all others up to where you stand today.”
Looking back I am so proud of what was accomplished as a team and as a company, by living by those values. Living them brought not only professional success, but personal success as well.
We live in a world that appears to oftentimes reward dishonesty, unfair practices, cutting corners, lying, cheating, stealing, frivolous lawsuits, and all manner of dirty tactics. It is discouraging to witness people using these tactics in their attempts to get ahead. It is even more discouraging to see those same people succeed in their quests. As disheartening as it may be, one must stop and ask the question, “What have they really gained?” If a person had to sell their soul in order to win, have they really won? My answer to that question is a resounding, “No”.
A few years ago I published an article in Forbes titled, “Success Will Come And Go, But Integrity Is Forever.” I remember the day I published the article, I actually questioned whether anyone would stop to read an article about integrity. To date, that article is my most read article on Forbes. Seeing the reaction of the readers renewed my faith that there are a tremendous number of people who do care about integrity and who want to see more of it in the world. The more people require integrity from their employers, their employees, their coworkers, their business associates, and the friends they surround themselves with, the less we allow for a world where those with a lack of integrity will have the ability to get ahead.
I believe our greatest success in life is having the peace that comes when you “remember who you are and what you stand for” and live by it every day. (this was an article I wrote for Forbes back in 2015)
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )