241. Live By Your Core Values

VC Minute
Live by your core values, without exception. Because any one exception will undermine those values for everyone.

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better

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Rich Maloy:

This is Rich Maloy with SpringTime Ventures, bringing you the VC Minute, quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better. We’re going to hear more from SpringTime’s partner, Jeff Gardner and his book, “Love Your People.” But first, I want to thank AVL Growth Partners for their support of the VC Minute. They’ve been a trusted financial ally, providing invaluable insights to several of our portfolio companies. I’ve known them through the startup community for over a decade, and they have a stellar reputation. Head to AVLgrowth.com and explore how they can be pivotal to your growth. AVL Growth Partners. Your success. Their expertise.

Jeff Gardner:

One of the key parts to setting up a great organization, it’s really easy when it’s you as a founder, you as a founder on a small team, but as you get bigger, when you articulate your vision, a key component of that is your core values. You must live by your core values. An example of that is Tylenol and Johnson & Johnson, way back when they had the cyanide poisoning. They went back to their core values and why they exist, and that allowed them to make the right decision.

An example at a more micro level that I’ve had in my organization was we were in the middle of raising capital, and we found out that our very best salesperson had been coming in early and scooping off the best leads in the morning. One of our core values was being honorable, and that clearly was in violation of being honorable. I had the conversation with my head of sales. He’s like, “What should we do?” He was concerned that you never want to miss your numbers when you’re in a two-month process as far as raising capital. And you want to make sure that you can deliver, but this is a clear violation at the highest level as far as your core values.

The conversation was, it was actually a really short one. If we don’t do something, people are going to think we’re just absolutely full of shit with our core values. It’s something that we must live by and we must respect. So we walked the individual out of the building, shared with the rest of the sales team what had happened, and the importance of continuing to make our numbers. We actually got a standing ovation. They knew that there were issues going on with this individual, and this sales team stepped up and way over delivered. Not just the next month, but continued into the future. The whole level of the organization was lifted by us focusing on our core values and making sure we did what was right for the organization.

About “Love Your People” by Jeff Gardner
Love over fear is the key to exceptional leadership. ‘Love Your People’ shatters conventional wisdom by advocating for a love-based approach that sparks unparalleled organizational success. Through gripping narratives, bold insights, and disruptive guidance, this manifesto redefines love as a strategic weapon, unleashing innovation, autonomy, and transparency. It challenges fear-driven leadership paradigms, igniting empowerment and championing personal growth and collaboration.  

Pick up your copy of Love Your People – An Entrepreneurial Leadership System at Amazon

About AVL Growth Partners
AVL Growth Partners, founded in 2009, is the leading fractional Finance and Accounting firm supporting organizations in pivoting from growth to scale. AVL brings an experienced team of CFOs, Controllers, and Accountants to your organization, delivering transparent, strategic actions for short and long-term success. Transform your financial approach affordably with AVL, supporting companies coast to coast – get to know AVL Growth Partners at avlgrowth.com. (Sponsored)

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