I just read an article in Entrepreneur mag online.
Richard Branson was talking about thinking big.
What he was actually talking about was thinking small.
As in interacting on the level of where he first started.
What made his business good at the start?
Were he and his friends having fun while doing it?
Anyone with a good idea – was their voice heard?
I spoke at a Rotary club last week and every time I hear it, I am moved by the four-way test that they apply to anything they think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Those four simple questions are hugely inspiring to me.
In grammar school, one nickname I acquired was “mom” because I acted in defense of those that got bullied. I think that came from a deeply rooted value that if someone loses when someone else wins inside of a common project, nobody won.
In his interview, Branson talks about the dangers when a small company achieves a little success. How the people who were there at the start don’t get consulted anymore. How executives move into corner offices.
So if you want to expand your project, company, business, family – take help from those that have gone before you. The Buffetts and the Bransons, your grandma and grandpa, tenets of established goodwill companies – to ensure that you in the end can sleep at night. Knowing that you did right by people. And if you did wrong by them, that you went back and took care of them. Life is long, remember…? There is plenty of time to make mistakes but also plenty of time to clean them up.
That said – go play, be good to everyone involved, and come back and share your findings!