Lead a Value-Driven Business

Let Your Business Shine

The core values of a business will determine the ways in which it operates. Every organization needs them, but is it possible to present faith-based values as the guiding influence for a growing company? How can leaders establish these kinds of principles without alienating employees that do not share their faith? In this post taken from the course, "A Light in the Business World," Anne Beiler responds to each of these questions by reflecting on her experiences of founding and leading a fast-growing business. She offers a practical grid of values for creating a shared culture of accountability.

Anne founded Auntie Anne's in 1987 to support her husband's vision to offer free counseling services in their community. Today, Auntie Anne's Inc. is the world's largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise with over 1200 locations worldwide. Anne is among an elite group of women who have founded national companies in America, and is one of an even smaller number who have owned an international franchise company. In 2005, she sold Auntie Anne's and authored her book, Twist of Faith

As a way of epitomizing the values of her company, Anne developed the L.I.G.H.T. system as a guiding influence for her business:
- Lead by example
- Invest in others
- Give freely
- Honor God
- Treat all business contacts with respect 
These created accountability throughout the culture of her company to work in a positive way, even among those who were outside of the Christian faith. 

What are the core values of your company? In what ways do you see them guiding your work as well as those who look up to you?
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When she first developed L.I.G.H.T., Anne received pushback from her management because they felt it was setting the bar too high. Do any of them seem too lofty to you? If so, why? What would have to change for your business to begin living them out?
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Being a light means to "speak" with your work. Anne said, "My life had to reflect something more than I was." What does your leadership reflect? What are some of the values you communicate to others with your work? Are there any areas you would like to change? If so, what are they?
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Do you see any potential for conflict between a faith-based values system and those who do not share the faith? If so, how? What do you think could be done differently to avoid this kind of conflict?
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Strong values create a culture of accountability within a business that incorporates all people into the same cause. Faith-based values do not have to serve as barriers. Rather, they serve to motivate your people in their mission. As a leader in the business world, strive for clear values that invite everyone involved into God-glorifying work.

To purchase a copy of Anne's book, Twist of Faith, click here

For more insights and teaching from Anne Beiler, check out the full course, A Light in the Business World.