Unfortunately, many large corporations have a history of placing higher profits above contributing to the greater good, often giving back minimally, if at all. Luckily, a more conscientious and ethical way of doing things is becoming the norm, and I believe it has the power to create waves of resounding change. What does it mean to apply a “give them your shirt” mentality to your business?
Is it at your core?
“Give them your shirt” is one of the core values of my company, The Vested Group . This phrase has been around for many years and can be applied to almost every aspect of life, particularly business. This mindset is essential to how our firm operates. Side note: if you are an entrepreneur and your business doesn’t have a clear-cut set of core values, it’s time to define those! If you have a set of established core values, ask yourself if there is one that highlights giving, both internally and externally. Forward-thinking leaders understand that business has purpose beyond profitability.
Are you giving back to your community?
Your community supports and fuels your business, so it’s only natural to make it a symbiotic relationship. At The Vested Group, we give back to our community in many ways, including volunteering with area charitable organizations, contributing to fundraisers, and participating in charity races, as well as through conscientious investing. We also just kicked off a new program called tvgYOU, which stands for The Vested Group University. This is a consultant training program for young people in our community who show potential in technology or business consulting but did not follow a typical college to career path. There are so many ways that companies can give back to the community and the world at large. From partnering with charities to setting aside billable hours for volunteering as a team, it’s just a matter of finding a way to help others that aligns with your core beliefs and values.
Do you hire others in alignment?
Alignment is one of the key factors to building a successful and compatible team. One of the “tests” that potential employees must pass during our hiring process is the Sunday Test. If a potential team member were to ask for your help with a tight deadline or an unforeseen problem on a Sunday, would you be willing to go out of your way for them? More importantly, would you feel good about giving them your time? If the answer is yes, they are much more likely to fit into our “give your shirt” culture. Great teams rely on mutual respect and alignment of values to operate seamlessly.
How well do you serve?
Lastly, let’s look at how you can “give your shirt” to your customers or clients. I want to be clear; this does not mean that you prioritize the client’s needs over everything else. Doing so will result in a burnt-out team, higher turnover, and eventually a lower quality of work. The key is to create a relationship of mutual understanding and respect with clients in the same way you’ve done with your team. When every person, clients and team members alike, share a “give them your shirt” mentality, projects have a far greater likelihood of success and continued solid relationships down the road.
This blog was originally published by The Vested Group Founder, Joel Patterson, on the Forbes Blog.