ROI. P&L. EBITA. There are a lot of acronyms business owners need to be familiar with to ensure their success. They stand for concepts and metrics that are well-known in the business world and often discussed in quarterly presentations in executive board rooms. But perhaps the most important acronym for running a business isn’t necessarily representative of profits, earnings or returns on investment.
The most important acronym for running an organization may be G3. It’s the concept of grace, giving and gratitude and the exponential impact it may have on your business if it is inculcated into your culture.
G3 is what I personally believe to be the most important concept for business and life. Yes, they are faith-based principles, but in its simplest terms isn’t faith a belief system you follow? It’s your belief in people and how you will treat them, belief in a higher power, belief there are things greater than yourself or your business, or simply your belief in yourself, your abilities and what you can do and to what standard.
After all no one starts a business without faith; that would be akin to betting against success. And no one is truly successful in business without a greater understanding of faith. Let me explain how the concept pertains to business.
Grace is the epitome of the golden rule. It’s the ethic of reciprocity, a moral maxim. It’s treating others the way we want to be treated, whether we’re in the grocery store, office or board room. Grace allows us to be forgiving, to be kind, and to be respectful and courteous.
Living and working with grace doesn’t equate to only respecting those you agree with, or only being patient with those who are the more valuable clients. To really live with grace as your moral compass you must be respectful even as you are being shown disrespect or hostility.
Living and working with grace requires us to keep our word. It requires us to be honest, to be on time, to be humble and to do the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Grace is not about justice or treating people the way you think they deserve to be treated, in fact, in many cases it’s about treating others better than they deserve.
Grace is not easy, but it will pay dividends. Think about how you felt the last time someone showed you unexpected and undeserved grace or kindness. Now extrapolate that to your business clients and customers or business associates. Isn’t that how you want them to feel about you and your business? Isn’t a key to business success return customers and clients who will refer your business?
As we practice grace, we must also practice giving. There is a reason most successful companies have generous charitable giving programs. They know it’s the right thing to do but they also know that when they give, it is almost always given back in equal or greater proportions.
Ostensibly it seems counterintuitive. To say when one person (or company) is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but another withholds and becomes poorer is not initially logical or readily accepted in today’s society. But in reality it is another moral maxim that has been proven over and over again in life and business. And the good news is adopting an attitude of giving is easy to cultivate in the business world.
Start small by simply giving credit instead of taking it and refocusing your energy on ways you can meet others needs, wants and desires instead of your own. Develop a culture that better serves your clients, your employees and your company, not you. Give without expecting a return. Focus on giving, not receiving.
Ultimate happiness and success comes from service and giving. Selflessness not selfishness is the key to success. Of course, we should always strive to learn, grow and become better (personally, professionally and organizationally) but to really be successful we must understand the importance of giving back. Businesses should have a social conscious and understand there is a purpose beyond profit. You will be amazed at the opportunities and successes that come back to you and your business if your attitude and culture is one of giving and service.
Personally and professionally we should all serve our community, our company and our family, and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. After all, you cannot truly reap (achieve success) until you have sown.
Gratitude is the final “G” in G3. If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be grateful for – you’ve had access to education many others around the world can only dream about. Be grateful! Be grateful for the gifts of your life, no matter where you are on your journey. Be thankful for your health, your family, your possessions, your home, your job, your company, your community and all the gifts we so easily take for granted.
As we live in a culture that promotes “bigger, better richer,” spending some time to practice gratitude for our immense good fortune is something we could all stand to do more frequently. Besides, no one ever complains their way to the corner office.
In summary, it has been my personal and professional experience that people and businesses that practice the principles of G3 are more successful than those who don’t. I have the privilege of meeting and talking with business leaders all the time who prove this to be true.
Perhaps James White, regional director of Safelite AutoGlass and a Hampton Roads Chamber board member, said it best. “When we realized that faith didn’t have to be separate but could be incorporated into our core business values, and our associates bought into it, our company’s business literally exploded. We’ve seen continued business growth and customer service ratings have gone up by double digits. Faith is an integral part of our success.”
This is the effect I’ve seen faith have on businesses over and over again.
There is a business case for faith. Businesses are the largest conveners of human effort. Think of the possibilities! Living and working with faith as your moral compass, showing grace, giving and gratitude in all areas of your life, will cause a chain reaction of success.
Remember, it’s not enough to be in the business of doing good business; we need to also be in the business of doing good.