Values matter. Values should be the first language taught at your company. Your values should be as common as any other phrase that you use in your business, not just words on a wall. Hire for values, fire for values, drive accountability to values, have fun with values.
At Happy Egg, our entire purpose is to Advance Happiness. Yes, we are an egg company that sells beautiful and great tasting brown and blue eggs in bright yellow and blue cartons. But we are so much more. We have big ambition and what some might say are overly idealistic goals. But that is because we believe that more is possible than what you may currently be able to imagine.
To accomplish our purpose, big goals, and vision, we must live by our values. One of the four values we live by is “Raise the Standard”. That might seem a bit odd compared to more traditional values such as integrity, teamwork, excellence, and on and on. So, what does it mean?
Let me share two examples:
Example One: This post is for Stout Executive Search. Let’s say one of their recruiters was working a placement for your company. You send over the job requirements and details. Within about 2 hours you get a call back from the recruiter and they say they’ve found your candidate. The search is over. At first you would be amazed and then skeptical. When pushed they say, “Well, this person met every one of your standard requirements so you need to hire them.” Crazy, right? Never would the recruiter do that. Never should we do that. Does the NFL draft focus on the minimum standard? No – they want the best. So does any competition including the search for jobs. So why would we expect anything less in our world. We don’t, just to meet the standard – we want to be the very best.
Example Two: We sell eggs from birds that spend most of their days outside. One of the most common questions we get is “what are your standards?” It’s a fair question – that’s how we’ve been trained. But it’s also not a great question. Why? Because that question drives us to the minimums. To just good enough to be clearing the bar. The much better question is “what are you doing to raise the standard on your farms?”
Those of you that work with me know that the author James Clear is one of my favorites. If you are looking to build more discipline, commit to habits, or just generally grow as a person, check out his stuff. This quote by James perfectly sums up our value of “Raise the Standard”.
“Improvement is a battle that must be fought anew each day. Your next workout doesn’t care how strong your last one was. Your next essay doesn’t care how popular your last one was. Your next investment doesn’t care how smart your last one was. Your best effort, again.”
This is exactly what raising the standard is all about. At Happy Egg, we celebrate the great work our team has accomplished. We celebrate the victories and affirmations from our customers. We recognize great accomplishment. Then just like any great teammate, you must wake up the next day and get better. Have you ever been part of a great sports team? I recently interviewed someone that was on a championship college team. They were relentless. Every single time they had a big victory they celebrated, but the next day’s practice was just a bit harder. And guess what . . . they won!
*Chief Executive Officer – Happy Egg
*Title and company of the author reflect their position at the time article was written
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