This is the second email in a two-part series that I never intended to write… but due to popular demand, here it is. If you missed the first one, you can read it in the archives here (scroll down a bit, the subject is “The Merchant Of Death Is Dead.”)
When Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, the world media celebrated…
But Alfred Nobel rolled in his grave.
While just about everyone was drunk on Obama-aid, those close to the origins of the peace prize knew that Nobel would be fuming.
Because the decision to award Obama (who in his defence, had done nothing wrong) was not because he truly deserved it, but rather, for something else altogether:
“We want to send a signal to the world” was the official response.
This signal by the panel of judges was to assure the rest of the world that the warmongering of the previous President (Bush) was not going to go unnoticed.
At this point, you might be wondering why I’m writing about the Nobel peace prize.
Well, that’s because this lesson has a universal application:
When Nobel established the Peace Prize in his will, he wanted the recipient to have acted out three core ideas:
1. The best work for fraternity between nations;
2. For the abolition and reduction of standing armies;
3. And for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
He wanted the recipients of the peace prize to have demonstrated these values in their actions.
But at the time of Obama’s nomination, he had only been president for two weeks, hardly enough time to act out anything that Nobel held in the highest regard.
So instead, a decision was made against principle, and the Nobel Prizes have been a laughing stock ever since.
And that’s why it matters to you.
You can think of your business simply as a set of values that you act out.
Your business is the vehicle in which your values reach the market.
When those values are effectively communicated in your messaging and marketing…
When they resonate with your market’s own beliefs, values and worldview…
And when they are adhered to and held in high regard by your team…
You inevitably build a business that can endure…
Any economic situation…
Any global pandemic…
Or any AI tech invasion.
But when you don’t prioritise operating a business that accurately reflects the values of its leaders (for most of you, that will be you), you’ll build a business that leaves you with this gnawing sensation you can’t shake…
That something just ain’t right.
Continue down this path long enough, ignore the values you want to be acted out, and continue to make choices that are inconsistent with your own priorities…
And you’ll end up like the Nobel peace prize…
… Left holding the bag of a damaged reputation that not even the media takes that seriously anymore.
Now, for the part where I talk about my newsletter.
But before I do, I must warn:
This month’s Alley-Oop will not be for everyone.
Not everyone will think that defining your business philosophy, establishing your values, or declaring how you want your team to act is what is going to move the needle in your business forward.
Which I’d understand… I’ve been the first person to dismiss this stuff as corporate BS.
But before you decide that you’re in that category and dismiss it like I did, ask yourself this:
– Have you ever tried to step away from your business but got roped back in because you didn’t feel like the standard you set was being executed consistently, reliably, and repeatably?
– Have you ever listened to what your customers say about you and thought they missed the point?
– Have you ever felt like you’ve had to ride your team repeatedly for nothing much to change?
Or, has your business become something you could never have imagined it becoming if you had asked the version of you that’s a couple of years younger?
If the answer is yes to any of that (and it doesn’t have a yes to all of them), this could be one of the most important newsletters you have ever read…
And I have ever written…
Because one thing is for certain — nothing will make your business bleed more than a team that isn’t on the same page or a model that doesn’t do in practice what you want it to do in theory.
You can subscribe here:
– Karl Goodman