On corporate-rebels.com by John Esler, CEO of Esler Companies
Many recognize the need for businesses to undergo a fundamental shift in the way we traditionally operate. Businesses can be more than a unified focus on maximizing shareholder value. Unfortunately, doing business is often thought of as a necessary evil. Necessary in that it produces what we need to live. Evil because those at the top often make decisions based on greed and at the expense of the employees.
However, capitalism has the inherent potential to transform the world for the better, if we simply give it a chance. It will require we look beyond the organization as a pure economic or transaction model and recognize the power of the “soul” inherent in the organization and our work.
In our personal lives, if we are fortunate, we have been taught that love is the supreme virtue, the answer to many of life’s challenges. The most rewarding way to live is simple “with love”. Yet love is never spoken of in business education, training, and practice. Business schools teach that shareholder value is both the purpose and measure of a corporation, encouraging future leaders to propagate economics divorced from love.
It’s time to challenge this myth. Esler Companies feels inspired to take part in this growing movement to show the world the good that can come from business fueled with love.
Esler Companies, established in 2004, is a privately-held, $300 million company with 1,000 team members. As the largest affiliate of Renewal by Andersen, Esler Companies is a national leader in the home improvement industry. We credit our past success and future promise to a clear “why” that has empowered us to set lofty goals.
We strive to be a role model for what is possible when words and deeds originate from love, and commit to a culture that brings out the best in people”.
“With Love.” Our philosophy and operating system, we look to love to guide the decisions we make in all the functional areas of the business.
What Does “With Love” look like within the Esler Companies?
- Honesty – Tell the truth. Don’t push, pull, or twist.
- Affection – Listen. Empathize. Care.
- Respect – Treat others as they ought to be treated. Act in the other’s best interest.
We believe the future of the teammates and customer experience at Esler Companies starts with asking, “What is the most loving thing we can do in this situation?” Guided by this question, we’ve crafted a unique framework to direct an organizational transformation – Our Thriving Circle.
Our Thriving Circle
We believe our success comes from delivering an unparalleled customer experience and delighting those we serve. However, that is not the only end game. Delighting customers has a very soulful beginning and requires empowered team members inspired by the purpose and the internal culture. Getting to the heart of it all, our teammates can only be fully engaged and empowered through love of self.
The circle loops on without end. Teammates that love themselves reach their potential and delight clients with unmatched customer experience. Delighted customers generate fulfilled employees and greater love of self…and it continues. Unlike many other models out there that upend the typical organizational hierarchy, focusing on “Love of Self” is not a single transaction of passing love on to our customers. We love our teammates and customers because it’s the best way to love ourselves.
For Our Teammates
We strive to delight our teammates and their families out of love and a desire to see them be their best selves. Our intent is to honestly create an environment for individuals to thrive. PERIOD. Delighting customers is a profitable consequence.
Typical organizations have long discouraged individuals from showing up to work with their personal selves on display. Accepted practice is to avoid going to work with our whole selves to prevent exposure to ridicule, criticism and HR issues. However, this norm or implicit expectation is simply a limiting belief.
Amazing things begin to happen when we give ourselves permission to bring all of who we are to work. Every day in the office, we have opportunities for inner growth that will make us better team members, spouses, and parents. This intangible time is not detrimental to the success of the organization. In fact, it supports the company in ways that drive the bottom line, if you are willing to look further than the next quarterly report.
Esler Companies is taking steps to implement our Thriving Circle in ways that promote the growth of our team members. We are redesigning the on-boarding experience to encourage exploration of fears, beliefs and development of a growth mindset. These personal facets not only affect our work, but also how we live our lives. This process begins to create a safe environment for all teammates to experiment and grow with the organization.
We are also redesigning our Leadership Development to ensure a culture of love and personal growth is coming directly from the top. According to Mayo Clinic, the person you report to at work is more important for your health than your family doctor (Pfeffer, Dying for a Paycheck). For this reason, we must prioritize our leaders in the process of building an organization “with Love”.
For The Organization
We expect our Thriving Circle to perpetuate superior business performance and become an increasingly powerful tool for competitive advantage. However, we believe it will also create stronger individuals, leaders and families. We believe leading “with love” will have unquantifiable impact on future generations and humanity as a whole.