Category Archives: Band Of Bosses Blog

band of bosses personal intro

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending Dreamforce 2014 in San Francisco and I was lucky enough to watch one of the keynote speakers of the convention, Tony Robbins. Up to this time I had only heard of him but never really heard any of his motivational speeches. I’ve never seen a room full of highly educated, influential industry leaders get up on their feet, jump like they were at a party, scream like they were watching the Super Bowl, and waive their hands like they were ready for him to crowd surf. Not to mention pointing at each others face and screaming “I own you!”

 

There was a lot to learn, but what was amazing was to see how much his love of giving is at the core of everything he does. You can literally see the excitement in his eyes from 50 rows back every time he talks about helping others out and what great goals he has in the future for his giving. Tony Robbins doesn’t give anyone an excuse to not give, and basically called out the crowd, “Don’t kid yourselves, if you won’t give 1 cent out of a dollar, you wont give a million out of 100 million .” In short, giving is a state of the heart, and if you don’t start somewhere, you will never have the right heart when you are actually in a position to make a bigger impact.

It’s interesting-I have found that many times in my life when everything seems to be falling apart and my life seems to lack meaning is when I’m the most self centered and focused on my own needs. When I get outside of myself and help another out, all of a sudden my life doesn’t seem so hard or bad.

Here are a few reasons I have found to make giving a lifelong habit:

1. Giving makes me feel happy – If someone asks me what will make me happy I start dreaming about sailboats, living on the beach and traveling the world. Would this make me happy? If I was by myself the answer would be a resounding no, but if it meant taking my friends and family out on the boat, sharing vacations with my wife and kids and having the time to do some good in the lives of others I definitely believe it would. When I’m using my wealth to encourage others is when I’m at my happiest. I may not be rich, but what I do have bring me joy when I share it with others.

2. Giving is good for my health – When I’m focused on others and helping, I spend more time focused and less time worrying. Since I’m also happy I keep my weight down, my blood pressure down and my spirits up. Overall this keeps me healthy and ready to conquer the world.

3. Giving makes me friends – Years ago I watched a movie “Pay it Forward” and was amazed at the impact one little boy can have on others. In my life I have found that when I give “whether it is time, money, or labor”, I tend to make and keep my longest lasting friends. When I’m going into any relationship thinking about what I can get out of it is when I’m the least successful. This goes for business as well as personal life.

4. Giving makes me grateful – Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a gift, that gift can illicit feelings of gratitude. When I have given to families without food or home it makes me grateful for all that has been given to me, on the other end of the spectrum the ones I gave to are grateful for what they’ve been given and this benefits both parties by providing happiness, health and friendships.

5. Giving is Contagious – When we give, we don’t only help the immediate recipient of our gift. We also spur a ripple effect of generosity through our community, friends and family.

After looking at all the great benefits of giving, it helps me to see why God was so adamant about it. It’s one of the hardest things to do, but it’s a habit we desperately need if we are to stay grounded and humble in spite of whatever future blessings may come our way. As with a man as successful as Tony Robbins, you can tell what truly makes him happy is not all his accomplishments, money and fame, it’s the power he has to make a difference in other peoples lives. Personally, I don’t have anywhere near the kind of influence or power he does to help others and change lives but one thing I remember is that the scriptures say, “Each should give in accordance with what they have been given”. Simply put, we should make as much as an impact on others as we have the ability to.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

Acing The InterviewJust getting an interview can be hard, especially in today’s economy, so when you do get one, it is important you hit a home run every time. Coming in unprepared is the best way to waste a great shot at a job. There’s a few easy things you can do every time which will ensure you make a good impression on the prospective employer.

 

Be Prepared –  What does it mean to be prepared for an interview?

  1. Look up the company website and learn everything you can about them. What year it started, what they sell, where their headquarters are, company philosophy, slogans, growth rate and future plans.
  2. If you don’t already know, find out who will be interviewing you and who their boss is.
  3. Write down a list of questions you have for the company on a notepad that you are bringing in
  4. Have an idea of the salary range you may get from them so you don’t undersell yourself or ask for a ridiculous amount of money.
  5. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, make one. If you have one, update it. Employers do look so make sure the account is professional, up to date and relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  6. Check your Facebook account and make sure you don’t have any inappropriate pictures or comments on your page. Again, employers look, and you don’t want the person interviewing you to be offended by you before you walk in the door.
  7. Make sure you’re well groomed and if you have piercings in places other than your ears or Tattoos all over your body, the interview is not the time to show them off. Unless of course you are applying at a Tattoo or piercing shop or similar industries where looking the part is aligned with the company’s mission.

 

Dress to impress – Wow them from the start

 

  1. Make it a rule of thumb to always dress at least one level up from standard company attire. If everyone wears T-shirts at work, wear a polo and slacks to the interview. If everyone wears  polo shirts to work, wear a suit and tie. When in doubt of the company dress code, wear a suit and tie. If you don’t have a suit and tie, go to goodwill and pick one up for $20.
  2. Do not wear perfume! Everyone has their own sense of what smells good and bad. If you choose a perfume or cologne the interviewer doesn’t like you will probably not get the job, so why chance it?
  3. Make sure your shoes are polished and if you wear heels, keep them under 3 inches. It’s all about being professional so you should look the part.
  4. Keep the colors neutral, the interview is not a great time to break out your new clubbing outfit. Red anything is out of the question because it portrays passion and anger. Instead, use black or grey, with blue or green accents if you’re wearing a suit. For the ladies any combination of these four colors will work.

Interview time!

  1. Show up 5-10 minutes early. Never, ever, show up late, that’s minus 100 points in the mind of the interviewer. Also, don’t show up too early as that will most likely irritate the interviewer who thought they had time to accomplish something and now suddenly they don’t.
  2. Bring an extra resume with you for the interviewer and hand it to them even if they don’t ask for it. Don’t assume they remembered to print your resume because sometimes they don’t and it creates an awkward situation if you don’t have an extra.
  3. Give a firm handshake and make eye contact when you meet the interviewer. If you’re nervous, wipe your hands off before shaking their hand because nobody likes shaking a sweaty hand.
  4. Answer their questions truthfully and tailor every answer to how it applies to the position you are interviewing for.
  5. Never disparage a former employer, even if you used to work for Mr. Evil.  It’s tasteless and makes the person interviewing you wonder if you will talk bad about them.
  6. Talk about how you believe your skills that you’ve acquired will help the business, not the other way around. Nobody cares about how the business will further your career, they care about how you will further the company.
  7. When the interviewer is done asking their questions, pull your notepad out and systematically go through the questions you wrote down that were not already answered. This shows you are organized, care about the job opportunity and put thought into the interview beforehand. All huge pluses in the mind of the employer.
  8. Always ask the employer if there are any concerns they have about you that would keep them from hiring you. If they say no then your answer. in good humor, should be “Great, when do I start?” If the answer is yes, you need to immediately address the concern and repeat the question again. If this time they answer no then say “great, when do I start?”. If they say they need to do more interviews then say “Great, when is a good time for me to come in and interview again?”. This may sound aggressive and it is, but your chances of being hired will go up three-fold this way. In fact, it works so well that I have only done a second interview before being hired once in my life.

How to Find a Job. Yellow Sticker on Bulletin.
Walk out with a plan and another firm handshake. Never leave not knowing what’s next, whether it’s coming in to fill out paperwork next week for your new job or coming back for a second interview.  In this way you will leave a positive lasting impression on the prospective employer and make it nearly impossible for them not to give you a strong consideration. Last but not least, take two minutes out in your car to write a thank you letter and drop it off in their mailbox before you leave. Your thoughtfulness will impress them and may just be what gets you the job over someone else.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan


 

I’ve been hiring people for over 10 years now and I’m still blown away about how clueless most people seem to be when it comes to job hunting. What I find is that the older generation usually have pretty good resumes but lack great cover letters while the newer generation lack pretty much everything. It’s like nobody has ever taught our youth that one day they are going to have to grow up and get a job. Our families and colleges have completely failed the past couple of generations and now 85% of graduating seniors do not have jobs coming out of college. Some people are just lazy and there’s not much you can do for them but if you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you are not one of them.  I’ve come up with a few tips to help people get back into the workplace.

Hire Me Concept

I’m going to break this up into different parts for easier reading.

Below are five tips on how you can get in the door:

 

1. When looking for a job, that is your job – Get up early, dress in a button down shirt or polo and slacks, then go to a coffee shop with wifi, sit down and get started. You need to be going to all the major job site providers such as monster.com, indeed.com, careeerbuilder.com and snagajob.com just to name a few. There are also local job fairs you can go to and places like craigslist.com. If you are a college grad, most colleges have job boards you can visit online., where employers are actually looking for recent grads. Leave no stone unturned because 99% of the companies out there will only post their job listing in one or two places max!

 

2. Set goals for yourself – It’s easy to do step one and come home feeling like you accomplished a lot when in reality you didn’t do very much. Busy work is work that takes a lot of time but accomplishes very little. A great way to make sure you don’t fall victim to this mistake is to set daily goals of no less than 20 resumes sent. This may not sound like a lot but if you do it right it will take all day; More on that to follow…

 

3. Tailor each resume for the job – In a sea of resumes one of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending a generic resume with the heading (I’d like to get a job with a company I can grow to my potential in, yadayada, whatever). First of all, it’s not about you! In a world of self indulgence and entitlement this may come as a shock but if you haven’t heard this yet it’s time you did. Write a heading that pertains to the job at hand and how you will help the company, not the other way around. Then only include jobs on the resume that will strengthen that conviction. If you are lacking in jobs in that field include internships or any other activity that pertains to that position. Whether it is a software, a gatekeeper, or the hiring manager, the first one reading your resume will be short listing for the most likely match. MATCH is the keyword, not generic.

 

4. COVER LETTER – I’m amazed at how many resumes I get without cover letters. Covers letters are your opportunity to say what a resume never could. Show your intelligence, ability to learn and adapt, and your desire for that job in just two paragraphs! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve interviewed people I normally wouldn’t have because of great cover letters. When writing a cover letter be conversational and talk about how the skills you’ve obtained translate into you doing a great job in the position and in helping the company. End it by letting the hiring manager know what days and time you are available for interviews. Also, make sure you find out what the hiring managers name is and address them in the letter, do not say “To whom it may concern”. That just says you are either too limited mentally or too lazy to figure it out; Neither of which looks good on you.

 

5. Follow up– After submitting your relevant resume with an awesome cover letter take the time to call the hiring manager and ask if they received your resume. If they actually take your call, push for a time to come in and interview. You can’t get a job without seeing them face to face so that is the whole objective when calling in. Be aggressive but not pushy, simply say “I have time on (whatever days you can come in) to meet, do one of these days work for you?” Whether or not you actually talk to the hiring manager or just leave a voice mail make sure you do a follow up email within a few days asking if there is anything else they may need from them and thank them for their consideration.

Job Hunting

If you follow these 5 steps you will get in the door for an interview, with luck you will have multiple interviews a week. Next week I’ll be writing about how to blow the hiring manager away once you get into the door, so stay tuned!

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

Will Jesus Make Me Rich?

America has long been the land of opportunity and for many years it was also considered a Christian Nation. I grew up like many believing the reason America was the richest, most powerful nation in the world was because we were a Christian Nation. Now that we are no longer a Christian Nation is it a coincidence we are also collapsing like a stack of cards? The messages in the bible can be very confusing so I’d like to break down a few misconceptions many people have in today’s day and age.

In the bible there are two covenants, the old and the new.. It doesn’t get much simpler then that but it has created a lot of confusion.  For example:

Old Testament says in Psalm 112

1Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

 

Hmm, sounds like God blesses those who please him with money to me; but wait!

 

The New Testament says in Matthew 19

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

His Disciples were astonished because the Old Testament taught that God blessed the righteous with wealth.

So which one is right?

Well, they both are right. You may be asking how two opposite ideologies could be right but it’s really quite simple. Jesus is not Santa God, running around throwing gifts on those who are nice and give coal to those who are naughty. He’s also not the “Ticket to a wealthy life” as many multi level marketing companies like to teach.

The best way to explain how they both are right is to tell you how being a Christian has affected my life and business. I am by no means close to being a rich man in American standards but I have a beautiful wife and three amazing kids along with a business and a nice place to live in. My needs are taken cared of and my relationships are fulfilling. Wealth to God is more than money, true wealth to God is a life filled with joy and a heart refined by fire. That doesn’t mean a Christian won’t get wealthy, but if he or she does it will be a byproduct of living a good life and being the best they can be at what they do. I consider myself wealthy in all the areas that matter except for monetarily.  At the same time, when a person is bankrupt in their relationships and has a heart that’s never been tested because they run from their problems, it’s nearly impossible for them to ever attain true happiness, which is true wealth. They have more money than they can handle and think they can literally buy their way out of every situation. They forget about God, grow callous in their hearts and in the end have bankrupt souls.

So, will Jesus make you rich? Yes, but not in the way most people think of it. When you live your life as a Christian business owner and not as an owner that happens to be Christian the by-product of your beliefs will produce a business that has integrity, compassion and a never ending need to be the best at what you do. Profit is the inevitable result of a healthy business, and hopefully by the time God blesses us with that, we are ready to be used as good stewards of God’s riches.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Prayer in the workplace

The name of Jesus has become taboo in the workplace because of an increasingly fearful and political climate. Many employees can be fired for so much as inviting someone to church and it’s safe to say the anti-Christ movement in the business community has won the war in resounding fashion. Unless you own or are a part of a faith based organization, your options can be very limited. For the purposes of this article I will assume you own or have a prominent position in your company. Here I will talk about a few ways in which you can run your business as a Christian without hiding your faith or offending others.

1. The first thing I would recommend doing is to pray at your meetings.

This can really be scary for many people but it’s important that people know you are accountable to a higher power and that you rely on Him. The bible says: Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

I have to admit this is a tough scripture to follow. It’s easy on Sundays to praise God with like minded people, but it’s a whole another story to sit in front of a bunch of guys and girls who don’t necessarily share your opinions and may even look down at you for praying and still pray. If you want a business that has honesty, integrity and character it starts at the top (Christ, not you).  You don’t want to just show up one morning and start praying unless you’re okay with a lot of weird looks and shock. Each employee needs to be taken aside privately and told what you will be doing from now on. Personally, I tell every new employee that “I’m a Christian so I like to pray over my business once a week; you don’t have to join along if you don’t want to but I want you to know what to expect.” If they are uncomfortable they can choose before ever working here to pursue other options but at least they won’t be blindsided at their first meeting. Below are a couple do’s and don’ts of praying:

 DO:
1. Lift up your employees individually for the good they are doing
2. Ask God to bless your employees
3. Admit your dependence on Christ in front of them (humility is a good thing)
4. Keep it short and to the point
 
 DON’T:
1. Insult others in your prayer
2. Put down other religions
3. Correct someone or the group during the prayer
4. Ridicule
5. Have a marathon prayer
 

2.  Next, it’s important to put up your company core values based on biblical principles. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Foster an atmosphere of honesty, integrity and respect; which is essential for any successful business but even more so the business owned by a Christian. At times it’s good to bring the core values up at meetings and ask people if they are sticking to them. Say what you mean and mean what you say!  

3. Last but certainly not least is your own example. I Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. Once you tell people you’re a Christian and pray in meetings, they will look at everything you do. You will no longer be afforded the same leniency that other owners and bosses are given; you will now be held accountable for all your actions and if you fall you will most certainly be called a hypocrite. This is what makes professing your faith at work so scary. We all fall short and God knows I’ve made my share of mistakes and said things I wish I could take back, but in the end you will be judged on the whole of your work more then anything else.

You may be wondering if all this is worth it and rightly so. I can tell you from my experiences that if done right it’s more than worth it. I don’t use God to promise people riches because I don’t believe he’s some kind of magical fairy that grants us wishes. The benefits that I do get from running a business like this is the ability to walk into the doors each day and find satisfaction in the work I do. Also, each time I pray I hope it plants a mustard seed of faith in the people around me and maybe one day it could change their life. My business is my ministry, it’s the road I have chosen to travel and I think it’s fitting to end this with the famous poem of Robert frost.

 

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

There are hundreds of sure fire ways to ruin your business, but there are a few things that the typical well meaning but ignorant small business owner unknowingly commit. In offices with a few employees, often times owners and employees alike start creating a family atmosphere, which is great but can also be a double edged sword because well, as we all know, families are normally dysfunctional.

Listed below are 11 great ways to wreck your business!

 1. Hire a consultant that knows nothing about your business and turn the reigns over.

 2. Hire employees that are okay with lying and cheating.

 3. Take lots of vacations and post pictures on Facebook of your amazing adventures for your employees to see.

 4. Act like you know it all and be unapproachable.. usually reminding them at least once a day how great you are helps too.

 5. Publicly criticize or put your employees down (always a crowd favorite).

 6. Delegate everything to the point you have no real function in your own company.

 7. Talk crap about ex employees that current employees actually liked. 

 8. Hire people that don’t fit in with the people you have and then keep them just long enough to ruin your company chemistry.

 9. Keep your office door closed all day while at work so people know you are more important than they are.

10. Share every confidential and proprietary information with your employees and don’t be a paranoid fool.

 11. Never, under any circumstances, listen to the advice of the people that love you (especially not your wife/husband)

 At the end of the day, your business is your livelihood. You are the owner, the CEO, the HR department,  and PR Department. Govern yourself accordingly.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Inevitably, no matter what you do, your business will go through change and turnover. Sometimes that change is the direction your company needs to take and sometimes the change is a good employee leaving at a bad time. Change in general is stressful. It can and will produce at least some anxiety and uncertainty but that does not mean that change is necessarily a bad thing, in fact, when handled right, it can be a good thing.  Whenever faced with change here are 3 tips to make it a positive for your company

 

Change just ahead

Change just ahead

1.  Step back and evaluate – Where have you come from and where are you going? Now is the time to analyze your business and look at it objectively. In the case of a good employee leaving the question you should ask is:

  • Should I keep the position they are vacating or eliminate it? Sometimes you may not ever realize it but you will find you kept a position just because you had someone good doing it. On hindsight, that position may be able to be outsourced or become part of another position which is already in place.

  • Should I hire from within or outside? You should always hire from within if at all possible because it builds team morale and rewards loyalty. If nobody is qualified then you have no choice but to go outside for help

  • Can we make the department better? Overall, look at the department and determine if there is any way to make business processes easier, more efficient and more cost effective.

2.  Take action – Don’t be indecisive, once you’ve evaluated the situation, take the necessary steps immediately and let your team know you have a plan.

  • Meet with each team member –  meeting with each team member individually lets them know all is well and gives you a chance to talk about their future with the company as well, ensuring they go away excited and inspired instead of depressed or down.

  • Promote – Now is the best time to promote a team member and or give them new responsibility. You don’t always have to give raises either, sometimes just working out a nice bonus if they do a great job is the best solution. Again, this will boost morale, and morale is always infectious in the office

  • Re-evaluate – It sounds silly to re-evaluate after you’ve made changes but it’s important to look at your body of work and make sure the pieces are all fitting together. If not, it’s better to make a change now then 6 months from now when the damage has been done.

3. Celebrate – Whatever changes you have to make, make sure the team sees it as a positive and not a negative. Celebrate the promotions and future opportunities for the whole department and as long as the employee that’s leaving is leaving on good terms you should also celebrate how much they have helped your business and let them know you appreciate them. The goodwill you create with  the rest of your crew will be immeasurable.

In the end, face every challenge and see every change as an opportunity for growth. As the leader in your organization, you are the man or woman behind the wheel, navigating each twist or turn, no matter how unexpected, to eventually lead your team to your intended destination. You set the standard so when your team sees you as a steady rock in a sea of change they will remain confident and productive.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Defiance

Defiance

If you aim at nothing you will hit it everytime- Zig ZiglarThere is probably nothing that more graphically illustrates the importance of focusing on your goals than being in combat. Yet the same principles apply in any leadership setting. Having been in the US Navy for 19 years, I have had my fair share of military leadership and learned the discipline it takes to stay focused and help others around me do the same. In those years, I have excelled (mostly) and rose pretty fast through the ranks, despite some set backs in the early years, and have landed at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

There are many factors to successfully leading in the military that also applies to leading your business, your sports team, even your family to success. But there is one lesson that is most commonly overlooked yet most critical to creating a road map to success- and that is to establish and disseminate your Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles. Before you jump into a series of tasks and tactics and find yourself wondering why you are somehow missing the mark, draw that mark!

1. Mission Statement:
Your mission statement should be clear and concise! This statement describes what your organization or department is about. Start by asking yourself these questions: “What are you aiming for?” “What is your overall objective that will guide the actions of your organization?” “What is it that you desire to achieve and how will you achieve it?” As you work on refining your answers, don’t confuse it with short-term strategies or specific goals. When writing a mission statement think broad scale- 10,000 ft view from here! Think about including these 3 key elements:
1. Key Market. Your WHO. Your target audience, primary stakeholders, or customers.
2. Contribution. Your WHAT. What product or service are you providing to those customers?
3. Distinction Your WHY or your USP. More commonly referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition, it answers the question “What makes you unique?” or “Why would a customer choose you over a competitor?”

One example of a good Mission Statement is:“To provide the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered consistently in a low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.” I stole that one from McDonald’s! Your individual Mission Statement, whether you’re writing it for your overall organization, or just for a smaller department, may or may not include all the elements above. The Mission Statement for the US Navy Chief Petty Officer is: “Provide leadership to the Enlisted Force and advice to Navy leadership to create combat-ready Naval Forces.” You’ll notice no distinction statement, primarily because there’s nobody else that does what we do – no competition!

2. Vision:
Your vision should describe who, or what, you intend to be. Again, use as few words as possible, yet succinct, broad-term, but not too generic. Although the vision statement for the US Navy Chiefs is a little longer than some, it is concise enough and careful consideration was given to use necessary language to drive the point home to its leaders:
“A senior enlisted force that serves first and foremost as Deck-plate Leaders committed to developing Sailors and enforcing standards; remains responsive, aligned and well-connected to both Leadership and Sailors; and conducts itself in a consistently professional, ethical and traditional manner.”

3. Guiding Principles:
Although some organizations may use Values over Guiding Principles, the context is basically the same. There is a little more specific direction here for how you expect those in your organization to act. They are a set of shared beliefs that drive the priorities, behaviors, and perception, thus creating the organizational culture. I’ll share a good example from the Coca-Cola company that helps drive the point:

  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
  • Integrity: Be real
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
  • Quality: What we do, we do well

Your first challenge of being a BOSS is defining what your Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles are. What are the things that have driven your success and what can you imitate from previous leaders that you have deemed successful? You can start there, but these should be extracted from deep within your soul – and they also have to align with the larger organizational statements. Whether you are a supervisor on a factory floor that makes widgets, a mid-level manager, or CEO, you need to develop these statements and values. If you can arrive to work on your first day with these statements already in place, you’ll be ahead of the power curve. If you’re already in a leadership position, it’s never too late to do a round-turn and get these on paper. Spend some time on them. And most importantly, you need to CLEARLY communicate these to your subordinates in order to provide consistent direction and expectations. It may not be a bad idea to share your MVS to the person you report to. Again, maintaining that alignment up and down the organizational chain is fundamental to your success. It will also show your BOSS that you have a true leadership prowess, and that’s NEVER a bad thing!

By: Brandon Keener is a Senior Chief Petty Officer at the United States Navy, a leadership position where he manages people, programs and policies. Brandon and his wife have also launched a couple of successful home based businesses based in San Diego, CA.