Traits and virtues are not only important in our own and our children's lives, they are equally important to the life of our businesses. The character strengths and virtues displayed by your business and personnel are in many ways your most visible business marketing and promotion.
Courtesy, promptness, good service, friendliness, high quality delivery, etc are all traits and virtues of a successful business. In life, if one wants to do well and achieve happiness, one must also be courteous, prompt, friendly, moral, etc.
The book, The Best of Me from a-z! Traits and Virtues for Kids can just as well be applied to everyone's life and business, not just a child's education. Written by Mary Rensberry and illustrated by Sara Murtas, The Best of Me is a collection of virtues to help everyone rise above our human failings and prosper at the things we do. Businesses fail for lack of application of this little blue book. When one goes looking for gold, one has to recognize what one is looking for, and Traits and Virtues for Kids is pure 24 karat gold.
Included in the book are some games and lesson plans for practical application.
One must have integrity in the business community in order to simply survive let alone do well.
I don't usually focus on the negative, but for the sake of an example, I'd like to tell a little story about a fellow by the name of B.S.. B.S. portrayed himself as a lawn mower mechanic with the knowledge and skill to rebuild engines and lawn mowers from salvaged parts. He was comparatively young and I am always eager to encourage and help younger people on their way to business success.
Not ever having done business with B.S. previously, I purchased a lawn mower he assured me worked well. While in his presence we started the mower right up and it appeared to be as he had said, in good running order, so I purchased it. When I returned home to use it, I found the gas tank was empty, so I filled it with gas. I then went into the house to tell Mary I was going to cut the grass. When I returned to start the mower for the job, all of the gas had drained from the tank. It was puddled on the mower's casing and dripping onto the concrete. It was apparent that the mower had not been properly rebuilt and was actually a danger to anyone that would attempt to start it with a flagrant gas leak.
I phoned B.S. and explained the problem. His response was that the mower worked fine when I had left with it. He refused to take even an inkling of responsibility for the leaking gas and the dangers the lawn mower presented. B.S. was not even remotely concerned that the mower he had supposedly rebuilt could kill someone. Rather than courtesy, concern and a desire to quickly correct his mistake, he informed me that if I brought the mower back, I would have to pay him to do the repairs.
By now I understood that B.S. was incapable not only in business but also in life. His understanding of positive traits and virtues was out the bottom. He had actually been taught the opposite, bad virtues. By applying these bad virtues, his business had no where to go except further into failure. His lack of character strengths and virtues was doing him in. Fortunately for his and my sake, I was aware enough not to pull the cord on his custom made molotov cocktail.
Traits and Virtues from a-z are beyond compare when it comes to success and/or failure in life and in business. To shortchange them is to shortchange oneself or one's business.
A recent example of correctly applying traits and virtues in one's business occurred when our freezer stopped freezing. The culprit was a defective control panel. Unfortunately the warranty had expired even though the freezer was just two years old. When I called the company for a parts replacement, the part was no longer being manufactured for reasons unknown two me or the parts department at the company. At first, I was told I was out of luck, but when I contacted the corporate office, things rapidly changed. Being the part was not available, they were apologetic and exchanged the freezer for a brand new freezer. That is the correct application of traits and virtues in business. Rather than a very unhappy and disgruntled customer, they have a happy and loyal customer who will stand by their company and their products for a lifetime.
A major part of building a successful small business can be considered an art. A valuable part of that art is applying personal character strengths and virtues to create and build that business brand. Success can depend on many things, but I believe the make or break point of almost all start-up businesses rests on the application of basic virtues: such as manners, truth in advertising, true help, keeping one’s word, reliability and so forth. The Best of Me from a to z is a list of virtues for life and business that when correctly applied, can elevate that art. It is beautifully illustrated for children and adults. This book was winner of the 2018 TCK Readers Choice Awards and is applicable to our everyday walk through life and business.