Oscar Wilde once said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness”, but long before that witticism was penned, an ancient wise king named Solomon said “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Wilde was funny but Solomon true, so I’ll follow the kings’ pattern but be mindful of Wilde’s warning.
Advance Employment, a Michigan based Staffing company has been serving clients since 1986 and we recently re-stated our corporate motto and mission;
All due respect to Mr Wilde, but some things never go out of style, and imitating the attitudes required for great service actually defy mediocrity and inspire others to aspire to greatness.
Our motto and mission are inspired by the leadership model articulated by Robert Greenleaf www.greenleaf.org, with a hat tip to Churchill Mortgage Company, Dietrich Bonhoffer and Ronald Reagan; organizations and people, all worthy of emulation.
Our goals are simple, connect people and clients in a way that works and wins for all three. Call us today at 888-JOB-TEAM, we can help you succeed.
Line by line, the Advance corporate motto or mission is a distillation of 30 plus years of life and business experiences shared by the group of people I have “done staffing with” since 1991. The original Advance Tagline from the 1980’s coined by one of my partners Guy Richardson, was his hiring philosophy. He looked for people who were “servant hearted, teachable and zealous for truth”
The team member who developed the artwork calls it our corporate oath but we don’t actually make anyone sign it in blood, not even red ink 😊.
Advance we are a Servant Leadership Organization…. But what does that mean?
Robert Greenleaf developed a philosophy of leadership centered around service. His two founding essays were written over 50 years ago but they remain relevant today. The concept is old, Jesus said 2000 years ago Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant and that wisdom is as powerful today as it was then and it works in every setting, business, personal, social, governmental.
It means, every day, in every way, we strive to Serve First, Serve without Exception.
As I have gotten more active on Social Media in the last couple of years I began following everybody I met or read that piqued my interest. My oldest son works for a company called Churchill Mortgage and I met their COO Matt Clarke at an event in Michigan. He used the phrase Serve First, Serve without Exception in his remarks and related it in a practical way to Churchills daily operating practices. The phrase is a meaningful, practical, actionable, principle, I liked it so much I imitated it and incorporated it into our motto.
Forgive without condition & trust but verify to embrace accountability throughout the organization.
The German writer and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoffer, famously martyred by the Nazis in 1945, used the phrase forgive without condition in a sermon first given in 1935. While it may seem an obscure reference in a business motto it is actually appropriate and powerful in a service setting involving clients, associates, co-workers, compliance requirements (state, federal, city, OSHA IRS DOL ERISA EEOC MDCR etc. etc. etc.) in a fast paced pressure filled performance based system. Trust me, the opportunity to forgive happens a lot, and if you can’t master that skill, you will not last long, as failing to do so saps your ability to serve with a smile. Holding on, getting back at others, waiting to give them their well deserved comeuppance tastes sweet for a moment but as Gandhi famously said an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
We follow forgiveness with “Trust but Verify” to embrace accountability throughout the organization. Ronald Reagan made the Russian phrase “doveryai, no proveryai” (Trust but Verify) famous in English when he used it in negotiating nuclear arms reductions with Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980’s. Reagan was known as “The great communicator” and was the first political figure I ever followed closely. Regardless of whether one appreciated his politics, his ability to turn a phrase to his advantage was legendary. Accountability up and down the chain inside an organization and inside out to the working associates, vendors and service partners is an imperative for success in any organization. When all can see that your organizations “word is their bond” loyalty results and long lasting mutually beneficial partnerships result.
Work Matters, Work gives people Dignity, & Self-Respect
WE PUT PEOPLE TO WORK
The simple declaration that work matters, Work gives People Dignity & Self Respect may seem old-fashioned in our soon to be “Meta” age, but real truth is timeless and “self-evident” to borrow a line from Thomas Jefferson. It is easy to dismiss the dignity of “some” work and label it a grind, a necessary evil, and so on. But no less a figure than Dr Martin Luther King Jr had several thoughts on work and working well. Two of my favorites are;
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.”
So, we put people to work, day in and day out. A high percentage of our associates eventually hire on with the client they are assigned to. Our ideal client is one seeking a long term partnership allowing us the opportunity to serve as their recruiting arm for all or a part of their operation. We have been serving well for nearly forty years, and that longevity and success ultimately come back to following these simple, self evident and timeless truths. If you call us at 888-JOB-TEAM or visit us on advanceteam.com or one of our social media pages (Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram) we would love to have an opportunity to serve you.
Blaine S Schultz