Loren Shook: Why a Little Compassion Can Go a Long Way in Business
Smart Business (www.sbnonline.com) - The word “love” is not often used in business, but at Silverado, it’s a word we use every day. In fact, it’s a central part of our core operating philosophy.
It’s fitting that a company dedicated to enriching the human spirit would echo a loving and caring outlook, but we take that even one step further. For us, love is an actionable idea — one that we characterize with the phrase, “Love is greater than fear.” And we’ve found that this mantra has made a positive impact across the business.
It’s such a powerful concept that I get mixed reactions when I share it with people, but it has truly enhanced what was already a strong Silverado culture. We adopted the philosophy in 2005, based on principles that struck me during a retreat. What I learned from that trip was so profound that I knew it could be used as a guide to further both personal and professional success.
I realized during the trip that there is only one way to know the right thing to do — it’s by making choices and acting on the greatest positive emotion: love. There’s something silly about asking our staff to “do the right thing.”
What criterion is being used to determine it? If we ask our associates to serve residents, clients, patients, families and co-workers from the standpoint of love, the reason becomes very clear.
Change is not easy
Our associates greeted the rollout of this concept with a combination of skepticism and excitement. Associates who worked most directly with residents, patients and clients immediately understood it, expressing that they live it every day.
It inspired associates to strengthen relationships inside and outside the workplace. It created fresh energy and momentum as a point of organizational pride. It also helped us build trust.
I’ve always believed that solid business ethics are critical to building trust. Our associates have been more successful by acting from love rather than fear. No one is perfect in this endeavor and it is important for our associates to see top management — beginning with me — strive to achieve this goal. When you fall short on a goal, you have to have the courage to admit that you were wrong.
Build a foundation
That strength in our culture is what ultimately enables us to attract and retain high-level talent that provides world-class service and life-changing care. It all leads to economic success — rewards that stem from the service that a dedicated and committed team provides.
When people see Silverado’s tagline, “Lives Enriched,” we want them to know that it’s more than just a tagline to us. It’s a phrase we developed as a result of a love-centric culture. By improving the lives of everyone that your organization touches, you should be able to say the same thing no matter what business you’re in.
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