Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 20

BELIEFS IN BUSINESS

The Power of Beliefs In Business BY : ARI WEINZWEIG , ZINGERMAN ’ S COMMUNITY OF BUSINESSES

FOR AS much as I ’ ve studied , taught , and written about both business and self-management over the years , up until recently , I ’ d hardly paid a coffee cup ’ s worth of attention to the ways in which beliefs were impacting my world . In the course of Parts 1 , 2 , and 3 of the books that make up the Zingerman ’ s Guide to Good Leading series , I ’ ve covered mission , vision , values , culture , Servant Leadership , self-management , and a whole lot more . And yet it ’ s only in the last few years that beliefs are finally getting their just due .
Although beliefs can shift in a split second , more often than not they change slowly . Some small thing happens , usually unexpected , that makes us take pause and wonder . We listen to a different perspective , see something surprising , read an insightful book , hear a new song , or meet a particularly interesting person . Any or all of these occurrences can present us with beliefs that are not aligned with our own . Seemingly small shifts in beliefs can develop over time into deep roots , from which enormous benefits — or if your beliefs pull you in a negative direction , potentially big problems — may eventually grow . One day , whether we fully realize it or not , our belief has changed . In some cases , this new belief could be the complete opposite of what we ’ d once thought to be truth .
Today , many of my beliefs about business , leadership , and life couldn ’ t be further from what they once were . If they hadn ’ t changed , Zingerman ’ s would surely never have happened . Even if my partner Paul Saginaw and I had opened the deli in 1982 ( in a 1,300-square-foot space with just two employees on our payroll ), we wouldn ’ t have transformed it into the thriving , engaging , imperfect , and interesting community of ten businesses ( all here in the Ann Arbor area ), with over 700 staffers and $ 60,000,000 in sales that it has become thirty-five years later . My life — both personally and organizationally — is about 1,800 times more rewarding and in alignment than it ever would have been had I held tightly to my original beliefs .
Beliefs may be the biggest single force at work in our organizational lives . Economics , education , environment , and employee engagement are all important , but beneath the surface , most of what is in play are the beliefs of the various folks whose views are being bandied about . While everyone has some beliefs that he or she is conscious of — politics , religion , sports , and popular social issues seem to provoke speedy expressions of support or scorn — we actually have far , far more beliefs at play in our lives than that . The difficulty is that those beliefs are frequently framed as facts , certitudes , thoughts , theories , norms , shoulds , and should nots . Most of us fail to recognize them for the beliefs they are . They ’ re down there in the dirt , below the surface , sitting solidly in our subconscious minds . Many are so far below our levels of consciousness that we never even realize we have them . Whether we know it or not , though , our beliefs are almost always calling the shots . As William James wrote , “ Belief creates the actual fact .”
After living most of my life with beliefs that I barely even realized I had , the last few years of studying this subject have been life- and business-altering for me . In the past , while I paid a lot of attention to actions , arguments , and analysis , I gave little or no thought to beliefs . That too has changed nearly 180 degrees . I work hard almost every day to be in touch with my own beliefs . I ’ ve also become far more sensitive to others ’ beliefs . I now watch the way that beliefs are being reflected — for better or worse — in relationships , projects , problems , profits , and , perhaps most importantly , the growth and success of the people who are part of our organization .
While specific beliefs may come and go ( the world , it turns out , isn ’ t flat ), the role of beliefs has surely been in place for all of human history . Belief has always been at the core of organized religion , to take one powerful example . Psychologists have been studying this subject in depth for decades . But in my experience , beliefs are rarely discussed in the context of business , a place where logic and reason and strategy are generally said — or I could say “ believed ”— to dominate the dialogue .
I suppose this isn ’ t surprising . Most of
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BELIEFS IN BUSINESS The Power of Beliefs In Business BY: ARI WEINZWEIG, ZINGERMAN’S COMMUNITY OF BUSINESSES FOR AS much as I’ve studied, taught, and written about both business and self-management over the years, up until recently, I’d hardly paid a coffee cup’s worth of attention to the ways in which beliefs were impacting my world. In the course of Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the books that make up the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading series, I’ve covered mission, vision, values, culture, Servant Leadership, self-management, and a whole lot more. And yet it’s only in the last few years that beliefs are finally getting their just due. Although beliefs can shift in a split second, more often than not they change slowly. Some small thing happens, usually unexpected, that makes us take pause and wonder. We listen to a different perspective, see something surprising, read an insightful book, hear a new song, or meet a particularly interesting person. Any or all of these occurrences can present us with beliefs that are not aligned with our own. Seemingly small shifts in beliefs can develop over time into deep roots, from which enormous benefits— or if your bel ́ձԁѥٔ)ɕѥѕѥ䁉ɽϊQ)ٕՅ䁝ɽܸ=䰁ݡѡȁݔձ)ɕ锁Ёȁаȁ́)%ͽ͕̰ѡ́܁ձ)ѡєͥєݡЁݗe)ѡ՝ЁѼѠ)Q䰁䁽䁉́)̰ͥ͡ձe)ѡȁɽݡЁѡ䁽ݕɔ%)MAI%9)ѡ䁡eЁiɵéݽձ)ɕ䁹ٕȁٕٔ)ѹȁAհM܁$)ѡȀİՅɔ)ݥѠЁݼ啕́)ɽݔݽձeЁٔɅ͙ɵ)Ѽѡѡɥ٥əа)ѕɕѥչ䁽ѕ͕ͥ(ɔѡɉȁɕݥѠ)ٕȀх́)́ͅѡЁЁ́ѡ䵙ٔ)啅́ѕȸ5䁱QѠͽ䁅)ɝѥQ́Ѐİѥ)ɔɕ݅ɑЁѡ)ٕȁݽձٔ$ѥѱѼ)䁽ɥ̸) ́䁉ѡЁͥ)ɍЁݽɬȁɝѥ̸ٕ)̰Սѥ٥ɽа)啔Ёɔха)ЁѠѡəЁݡ)́䁅ɔѡ́ѡمɥ)́ݡ͔٥́ɔ)и]ٕ役́ͽ)ѡЁȁ͍́́͡Qѥ̰)ɕ̰ձȁͽՕ)͕Ѽɽٽ䁕ɕͥ)Ёȁ͍ɻQݔՅ䁡ٔ)Ȱȁɔ́Ё䁥ȁٕ)ѡѡиQձ䁥́ѡЁѡ͔)́ɔɕՕѱ䁙Ʌ̰́)ѥՑ̰ѡ՝̰ѡɥ̰ɵ̰)͡ձ̰͡ձ̸5Ё́)Ѽɕ锁ѡȁѡ́ѡ䁅ɔ)Qeɔݸѡɔѡа܁ѡ)əͥѥͽ䁥ȁՉ͍)̸5䁅ɔͼȁ܁ȁٕ́)͍͹́ѡЁݔٕȁٕɕ)ݔٔѡ]ѡȁݔ܁Ё)аѡ՝ȁ́ɔЁ݅)ѡ̸́͡])́ɽє+q ɕѕ́ѡՅлt)ѕȁ٥Ё䁱ݥѠ)ѡЁ$ɕ䁕ٕɕ镐$ѡ)܁啅́Ց她ѡ́ՉЁٔ)̵ͥѕɥȁ%)ѡаݡ$ЁѕѥѼ)ѥ̰ɝյ̰̰ͥ$ٔ)ѱȁѡ՝ЁѼ̸QЁѽ)́ɱɕ̸$ݽɬ)ɐЁٕ䁑ѼѽՍݥѠ)䁽ݸ̸'eٔͼȁɔ)͕ͥѥٔѼѡϊd̸$܁݅э)ѡ݅ѡЁ́ɔɕѕP)ȁѕȁȁݽ͗Qɕѥ̰͡)ɽ̰ɽ̰ɽ̰ɡ)Ёхѱ䰁ѡɽѠ)Ս́ѡݡɔЁ)ɝѥ)]́䁍(ѡݽɱЁɹ́аͻeЁФѡɽ)́́ɕ䁉ȁ)յѽ丁 ́݅́)Ёѡɔɝ镐ɕѼх)ݕəհᅵA卡)ٔՑ她ѡ́ՉЁѠ)ȁ̸ Ё䁕ɥ)ɔɅɕ䁑͍͕ѡѕЁ)̰ͥݡɔɕͽ)Ʌѕ䁅ɔɅͅQȁ$ձ)ͅ䃊qٕwQѼєѡՔ)$͔ѡ́ͻeЁɥͥ5Ё(