Are Your Values in Line with Your Organization’s?
No matter your political persuasion, you have to admire the way Chick-fil-A has handled the recent controversy generated by its CEO’s public commitment to his faith. In today’s increasingly politically correct world, it’s refreshing to see leaders unashamed to take a public stand reflecting their beliefs.
This is true on either side of a sensitive subject. While I may disagree with the CEOs of Ben & Jerry’s or Starbucks, I appreciate knowing the values of their companies truly start at the top.
Similarly, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has continued to exhibit leadership that reflects a relentless commitment to Christ. Cathy’s faith-based mission is apparent in his professional role, preventing him from having to compromise his own personal core values in the workplace. Despite widespread criticism and boycotts, Cathy has stood firm. “We intend to stay the course,” Cathy said in an interview with the Biblical Recorder. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on Biblical principles.”
Years ago I was working for a very successful large executive search firm. My clientele was widely faith-based and I felt very satisfied in my career. It wasn’t until a few years had gone by that I finally took some time to reflect. I was working in an environment where “faith-based” was considered merely a way to describe a segment of the firm’s client base and not a commitment to a faith-based client’s mission, culture and values. This became more and more uncomfortable for me and, ultimately, I knew I had to make a change. The firm was not a bad firm; its people weren’t bad people. But its values were different than mine.
Although the circumstances were quite different, both stories illustrate how important it is to have a clear definition of self. For Cathy, it would be much easier to revise his public stance on traditional marriage. As for me, who knows how long I would have continued to be complacent and continue serving in a professional environment that didn’t match up with my personal values. It wasn’t until I took the time to reflect on my personal values and their lack of complete alignment with the firm’s (and subsequently spent quite a bit of time in prayer) that I reached the decision to start FaithSearch Partners.
In the end, both Chick-fil-A and FaithSearch continue to be governed by Biblical principles. Cathy has set a great example of the power of Godly leadership. At FaithSearch, we’ve been blessed to create a professional environment that allows our team to “practice what we preach.” We pray over every search, we discuss matters of faith openly with our clients, we work with organizations committed to a mission of ministry and we are able to serve the Lord each day by making every effort to glorify Him in all that we do.
So ask yourself, “Who am I and what do I stand for?” For some of you this may be easy. Others may be surprised by your own answers. Many of you may realize you’re already in the right position and if you do, I challenge you to continue leading with integrity and be mindful that you don’t become complacent in your role. However, if you find yourself in a position where your personal values are compromised, I challenge you to make a change. Place your faith in the Lord and let Him lead the way.Blessings, Ed Fry, President