Have you ever been around a business leader who exhibits an air of indecisiveness? Does that same leader appear conflicted in his goals or priorities? Do the values he promotes in his organization seem at odds with his own personal values?
As an entrepreneur, have you ever found yourself in such a position? If so, what are some of the repercussions of double-mindedness?
Double-mindedness produces Instability
There is a verse that says “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Do you want stability in your life? Reject double-mindedness.
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For purposes of this discussion I am defining double-mindedness as a leader who pursues decisions or goals that violate his core values. For instance, if you personally value honesty and integrity, yet you encourage deception or “half-truths” in your business, then you will find your spirit in regular conflict. That conflict will produce instability. As a leader, if you are unstable when it comes to your own values, it will wreak havoc in your company. And this will lead to confusion.
Double-mindedness creates Confusion
When a leader is in conflict within his own values, he creates confusion for those he seeks to lead. Your team will look to you as an example of the values you affirm by both your words and actions. But if your core values do not align with these two, then your team will grow confused. That confusion will affect their productivity.
Those who know you personally as well as professionally will wonder who is the real you. As mentioned earlier, if you affirm the value of honesty and integrity in your personal life but violate those values in your business, you will confuse your team. They’ll wonder whether those values truly reflect you or are they simply attributes you deploy when convenient? This uncertainty and confusion will diminish your team’s productivity. And as their productivity declines, so will your company’s profitability.
Double-mindedness reduces Profit
If you are in business, the primary goal of your business is to create a profit. While you may desire to achieve certain goals with the surplus your business creates, without a profit a business has no mission. No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “no money, no mission.”
But what if you are double minded? Will that affect your goal of creating a profit? Absolutely!
When a business leader sows confusion amongst his team and their productivity diminishes, the outcome will most certainly impact the company’s profitability. Unfortunately that reduction in productivity will also quickly spread to other team members like a snowball gaining momentum as it rolls down a hill.
So how does one combat double-mindedness?
Define and live your core values holistically
What are those values that are dearest and closest to you? Can you identify them? Take some time to write them down. If they are true core values you will embrace them completely, not merely when it’s convenient.
Leaders are men and women with deep convictions. They lead from their core values and those values will permeate all they do. Your commitment to your core values at home and at work will send a sign of stability and clarity to your team. Doing so will also serve to instill those same values in them as well. As referenced earlier, if honesty and integrity are core values for you, as you uncompromisingly communicate those values in word and deed, those you lead will rise to embrace and exemplify honesty and integrity in your business.
Chick-Fil-A is one such company whose corporate purpose reflects the core values of its founder, Truett Cathy. The company’s purpose is:
“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.”
If you’ve ever been in a Chick-Fil-A restaurant you have undoubtedly had a positive experience from coming in contact with some of the company’s tens of thousands of employees. “It’s my pleasure” is the spirited response you will receive from every encounter with a Chick-Fil-A associate and it can’t help but leave you impressed. That positivity occurs because Truett Cathy was singularly minded. There was not even a hint of double-mindedness in Mr. Cathy and as a result he built the largest quick-serve chicken restaurant chain in America.
There is no doubt that Mr. Cathy’s company exemplifies stability, clarity and profitability. But this reality did not happen on it own. Rather, Chick-Fil-A’s success flows from its founder’s core values which served to established a corporate culture that permeates tens of thousands of associates to this day.
As an entrepreneur you have the opportunity to live out your core values in a manner that millions of Americans only dream of… as a business owner. Do so with great passion, commitment and in a spirit of great responsibility, knowing that “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Reject double-mindedness, live your core values and you will bring stability, clarity and profitability to your company.