Money and people create opportunities for trust. But trust brings with it the possibility of betrayal. What keeps those forces in balance? How do we direct business growth so we benefit the community?
Building a business is one of the best uses of money because it brings together two of the most powerful and most productive forces we know.
On the one hand, things have a natural ability to grow. We call it natural because we see it in nature all around us. Things grow whether we want them to or not. We need to work to make the right things grow and to make them grow in the way we want. But things grow, with or without us.
On the other hand, we need to belong. We are constantly sorting ourselves around other people, wanting to understand where we fit and trying to assess who has more influence, or who needs more help than me. (Read more about belonging at RedemptiveLeader.com)
These forces are at work all the time. Things are growing whether we are tending them or not. We need to belong whether we are aware of it or not.
Business lets things grow by helping people belong.
Demand grows. Markets grow. Expectations grow. Our biggest businesses now meet demands that few could have imagined 20 years ago. We’ve moved from depending on the growth of natural things to the expectations of virtual realities. And through it all, growth goes on.
But not all growth is good. Simply because there are expectations does not mean those expectations are right. We sometimes want things that are bad for us. We can rush to provide things that will harm others. Growth does not automatically include values or morals. Those must be brought to it.
What keeps us from growing out of control? The fact that we are part of something bigger than us. We are part of a community. And we sense that if we hurt the people around us, ultimately we hurt ourselves.
We belong to a community, and we feel a responsibility to that community. That circle can be as small as our family or as large as a global industry. But something inside us says “wait” when we sense we are about to cross a line. (Read more about community at RedemptiveLeader.com)
We must find that balance point between growth and belonging. How do I harness growth while benefitting the community to which I belong? Business owners must ultimately make this decision. They will reap the rewards of getting it right or suffer the consequences of getting it wrong.
This is the burden of ownership. And it’s a burden that no one else can carry it for you. But, you can draw strength from those who carry the same burden as you. And you can find those who understand and respect that burden.
We understand that no business owner can rely on first-hand knowledge of most of their company’s systems. But this is especially true of finances. Those responsibilities must be delegated, and trust must be maintained.
Establishing that trust, and the rhythms of communication that sustain it are among the most important things a business owner can do.