How This Air Force Value Has Led My Company to $5.4 Million in Revenue

Feel empowered to help make the most suitable choice and do what’s right.

As a former officer in america Air Force, I’ll always contain the lessons and values which were instilled upon me near my heart, and keep them within how I live my entire life each day. One value I’ve always respected that was reinforced within my amount of time in the Air Force may be the idea of putting integrity first.

The Need for Integrity: Now AS PART OF YOUR

The Air Force describes this value as such: "An Airman is a person of integrity, courage and conviction. They need to be ready to control their impulses and exercise courage, honesty and accountability to carry out what is right even though no-one is looking."

The Air Force can be an incredible example of an effective value-driven organization. I took this same values-first approach when starting my company, Darn Good Yarn — specifically since it pertains to integrity. I’ve ensured that I am leading by example and instilling integrity first values into every inch of our business. For instance, in the first days, I’d order small levels of recycled silk from localized suppliers overseas. As we grew, I possibly could have switched to more traditional fulfillment channels and non-recycled products, enabling cheaper large-scale production and shipment. I knew that easily did this, it could take the work from local vendors who sourced environmentally responsible recycled product and paid employees higher wages. I made a decision to keep those localized suppliers and discover more like them, rather than shifting to large-scale methods. This is a far more expensive option, but I felt good about the decision and it was the proper move to make.

As we continued to grow, we’d constantly need to be ordering new small batches from suppliers, given that they were only in a position to make limited amounts at onetime. I initially thought this might be considered a huge problem, nonetheless it has actually ended up being a tremendous advantage for all of us. Our customers love the tiny shop feel we offer because we’re constantly developing fresh inventory. It keeps them engaged with the brand and returning for more, which includes led to increased sales.

I really believe that an focus on integrity first values and doing the proper thing has been the building blocks for our success at Darn Good Yarn — the underlying "secret sauce" which has propelled the business to over 900 percent growth during the last 3 years.

HAVE YOU GOT a ‘Never’ List? How exactly to SUSTAIN YOUR Brand Integrity by Saying No.

So, how will you become more of an integrity-first company?

If you would like your employees to apply better integrity and do the proper thing when nobody’s looking, you must have this mentality and practice start at the very top. As a CEO, the happiness of your employees, environmentally friendly footprint of your company, the standard of your service or product and the positive value you provide to the world should all be before making money on your own priority list.

Henry Ford once said, "A business which makes only money is an unhealthy business." Success and integrity first values are joined at the hip, for me. It had been true then and is particularly true now.

Success among business leaders with integrity first values is evident through companies that are thriving today. According to a recent workplace survey by People and Great Spot to Work, companies that rated highest in leadership effectiveness had revenues five times greater than those that didn’t.

Disengaged workers missed 37 percent more work days, suffered 49 percent more accidents and made 60 percent more errors, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report.

As you can plainly see, it’s clearly important that as a founder or CEO, you’re completely within your business and so are constantly leading by example for your employees, customers and partners.

Why Honesty and Integrity DO Matter

According to a recently available survey from the Society of Human Resource Management, "70 percent of employees ranked being empowered to do this at work whenever a problem or opportunity arose as a significant component of their engagement."

At Darn Good Yarn, we’ve a product return rate of around 2 percent. This accomplishment could be attributed back to our integrity first mentality.

When employees are satisfied and operating with integrity, they are in the right mindset to be sure that only perfect products venture out to our customers. Again, integrity comes back again to doing the proper thing when nobody’s looking. The ultimate way to accomplish that with employees is to provide them the energy to make their own decisions.

If problems from customers arise, we do whatever needs doing to create things right. We start using a system of checks and balances on all customer service inquiries, allowing individuals to intensify and fix a problem if indeed they feel something isn’t right at any point in the customer support process.

We also give employees the freedom to defend myself against new projects they produce (such as for example new ideas for Facebook Live content ideas), post new projects to our website, etc., all to operate a vehicle empowerment.

Transparency COULD MAKE Life and Business EASIER for Entrepreneurs

Effort, love and creativity are located atlanta divorce attorneys Darn Good Yarn product. From the artisans in India and Nepal to your order fulfillment partnership with Albany ARC (a non-profit focused on providing employment for adults with developmental disabilities), Darn Good Yarn is fueled by the integrity first mantra that switches into all elements of our business.

As a startup, it is important to build an integrity-first product from the get-go. Your supply chain, sourcing of materials and international business relationships should all be carefully curated right from the start and become what gives your product reliability and trust from an emotional and functional standpoint for consumers.

According to a 2015 Nielsen Survey of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, 66 percent of respondents stated that they might be ready to pay extra cash toward companies and products that they feel give a more sustainable offering. Among Generation Z respondents, that number jumps to 72 percent, showing that sentiment is only going to grow as we transfer to the near future.

If at any point as a founder or employee of a company you are feeling you are cutting a corner on something or service, pause. Ensure that the choice does not have any negative implications on the surroundings, colleagues or customers. Feel empowered to help make the most suitable choice and do what’s right!

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