11/25/2014 11:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Values in Business -- What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

Far too many people have a negative opinion of business. They view business as "The Man" holding down the "little guy" to achieve success at all costs, and that success is often thought of as piling up mounds of cash for their personal benefit at the expense of others.

But is business really and truly that way, or is that simply an 'Old Wives' Tale' with a perspective of days gone by? Today I want to suggest it is a view of the negative aspects of business that are slowly taking a back seat to the successful, modern business that is blossoming.
I recently interviewed David Williams, CEO of Fishbowl Inventory on my podcast Manager Mojo with Steve Caldwell. His perspectives were relatively new and refreshing and the beginning of what I hope will become a common trend.

At Fishbowl, Williams has led the company in developing their "7NN's," which is short for their 7 Non-Negotiables, and he's maintained a focus on people and values while watching profitability increase year after year. Early in his career, when Williams observed his employer at that time (a well-known organization) preaching one mantra of their wonderful business while actually living a very different existence behind closed business doors, he knew he had to do better. Thus, Fishbowl's 7NN's.

I totally believe in his approach, and invite you to listen to the insightful discussion I had with David --

And it got me to thinking. What would be the 7NN's (or 5 or 10) that I would create for my business, Manager Mojo? What do I believe in that will create a company I can be proud of, the people who work with and engage with us can be proud of, and who our customers can respect and want to return to again and again?

Well, here is what I have come up with. I invite you to read the10 Non-Negotiables of Manager Mojo and create a few of your own.

We all know (at least intellectually) that it helps no one to keep pointing fingers at bad behavior. It's up to each one of us to step up and create the good behavior that will drive business and the world.

Here are ours --

1. Value People -- Respect and encourage others, watch them grow and give of themselves
2. Respect Time -- Mine and Others -- Time is a limited resource and a valuable currency in business. Put each minute to good use, and value the time of others. Be on time (preferrably a few minutes early), communicate when you are more than 5 minutes late, and never inconvenience the other person with your tardiness.
3. Excellence -- Always do your best -- Prepare and produce quality work and go the extra mile -- If you see something that needs to be done, do it or ensure it gets done. Follow up --
4. Integrity & Honesty -- Do what you say you're going to do. Always honor commitments made to others and ensure the product and service we provide is what the customer needs and desires.
5. Communication -- It is the responsibility of the communicator (not the listener) to be sure the message is received as intended. Always speak honorably to others.
6. Support Success -- Look up, look down, look right, look left -- always help those around you to be successful
7. Win-Win -- Structure every interaction as win-win
8. Take Responsibility -- It's always the responsibility of the person in the mirror, and that means you/me. If you see something that needs to be done, do it or ensure it gets done. Follow up -- (see Excellence above)
9. Be Accountable -- When you say you will do something, do it.
10. Be a Leader -- It is up to everyone in the business to be a leader. Practice these 10NN's, and you will be leading with honor, integrity and Mojo.

Now go write yours.