Vows

We attended and took part in a beautiful wedding this weekend (Congratulations, Chris and Cathryn). Marci was the Matron of Honor, Annabelle was the flower girl, and Henry the ring bearer (we all shuddered a bit as we handed Henry the ring, and told him it was important he not throw it, etc. To his credit, he rose to the challenge, and the bride’s finger is be-ringed). I sang a song, and was the curmudgeon of honor (I’m reminded of the oft-repeated comments on my elementary report cards: “Does not play well with others.”).

Given these nuptials, vows have been on my mind.

I certainly never gave much truck to marriage vows before I got married. I do now. They guide and help me. They tell me what to do, and – equally importantly – what not to do.

I also have internal vows that I keep top-of-mind with respect to being a father.

To my delight, Marci even created a family mission statement.

I love our family mission statement, and it works like a vow. Too often, however, corporate mission statements turn into committee-speak/pr jargon, and have little meaning for a company, its customers, or any other stakeholders.

I think it might make more sense for companies to create vows. These vows could be between management and employees, and/or between company and customer. Perhaps the same vows could work for both.

Don’t worry about the vows being reciprocal (as they are at weddings). What’s important is that you – in whatever role you find yourself – have vows that guide and inform your actions with respect to your constituents. If you stay true to these vows the vow will indeed become reciprocal.

The first step is determining whom your constituents are. The next is to determine what principles will guide your relationships with these constituents.

These are your vows; stay true to them.

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