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The Top 10 Priorities That Guard Your Five-Star Reputation
by: Gala Gorman

Making money doesnít make your reputation...
your reputation makes you money. Gala Gorman

Whether your business is product or service-oriented, the
loyalty and dedication of your customers is greatly dependent
on your reputation. Your most effective sales force is your
existing customer base. Word-of-mouth or the personal
recommendation, serves to create an expectation that you must
only live up to - rather than one that you must create from

The assets of your business have traditionally included
property, plant, equipment, and your customer base.
Progressive organizations understand that the concept of
business assets should be expanded to include their good
reputation. By being responsive to change, having the ability
to conduct a constructive dialogue with stakeholders, and
taking advantage of networked resources, the organization
further extends their tangible and in-tangible non-traditional

Companies are increasingly adopting socially responsible
business practices based on sustainable development to ensure
efficiency, stimulate innovation, and create top-line growth.
This new approach to business requires leadership to re-think
priorities with a focus on a longer-term agenda. The socially
responsible leader understands that decisions made by management
must focus not only on profit-making but also on reputation-
building. Fortunately the latter feeds the former.

These are the Top 10 priorities that will ensure a sustainable
future for your business or organization. After thoughtful
consideration, priorities must be established (re-established)
and communicated to stakeholders. With every area of the
organization working in alignment with the vision, mission and
values, goals and objectives are more easily reached. To begin
the discovery process, use this list to honestly evaluate your
organizationís priorities.

1.Define and demonstrate your values.

A.What products or services do you provide and how do they
serve to demonstrate your values? You must first define your
values and create your mission with a clear understanding of the
values you wish to demonstrate. If your products and services
canít be reconciled with your values, trust is eroded.

B.How will your products or services impact stakeholders?
Your stakeholders include stockholders, but the group also extends
to staff, associates, vendors and the community that is directly
or indirectly impacted by what you produce. Stakeholders become
a far-extending community of concerned parties.

C.What filter is in place for decision-making? Your filter
is created from having a clear understanding of your values and
mission. Decisions are run through this filter before being
communicated or implemented.

2.Create a recognizable image.

A.What is your desired image? Once you have defined your
values and mission, you have an easier job of creating your image.
You know how you want to be perceived and recognized and,
consequently, you can take action that will create the desired

B.Are your logo and promotional materials consistent and
memorable? Your logo is a powerful trigger that creates
recognition for your organization. Careful thought and
consideration should be given to your logo and how it communicates
the message desired.

C.Does your marketing support and extend the desired image?
Your marketing plan and program should serve to create and extend
your brand recognition. All activities, whether they are marketing
related or otherwise, should serve to create and support your brand

3.Know your market and customer.

A.Who is your perfectly-aligned customer? You should be able
to readily communicate the profile of your perfect customer. By
creating this profile, you set the universal law of attraction into
motion so that you can focus your energy on customers whose values
and beliefs are in alignment with the organizationís.

B.What does your perfectly-aligned customer expect from your
services? If you are focused on serving a customer that is
perfectly-aligned with your values, by understanding how they expect
to benefit from your services you create a powerful business model.
You walk a mile in the customerís shoes.

C.How might you extend your services to exceed expectations?
Once you understand customer expectations, you can begin to discover
ways to exceed them. It is important to maintain focus and know what
you can realistically do without diluting your energy.

4.Strive for perfection.

A.Is perfection expected? Perfection isnít conditional. It
must be the primary goal regardless of circumstances. Every level of
the organization should understand what it means to perfect its product
or service.

B.How are mistakes or errors turned into learning opportunities?
Mistakes and errors can be transformed into tremendous opportunities if
they are given appropriate consideration. The root cause can be mined
for its eye-opening insight into breakdowns in an organizationís systems
and infrastructure.

C.Who decides if itís perfect enough? There must be one clear
standard that is demonstrated at every level of an organization. This
standard applies regardless of time pressures or circumstances.

5.Treat your stakeholders like family.

A.Do you understand who your stakeholders are? Stakeholders is a
fairly new term that extends far beyond an organizationís stockholders
or owners. Even the organizationís customers are stakeholders - they
have a vested interest in the organizationís continued existence and

B.Is community encouraged? For example, staff spends more of
their waking hours with fellow workers than they do with their own
family. By encouraging community through fostering relationships
between stakeholders, the organization creates loyalty, dedication,
and commitment.

C.Are wealth creation and benefits shared fairly? Careful
consideration should be given to the distribution of wealth amongst
those that are most instrumental in creating it - intrinsically and
consequentially. All members of an organizationís family can expect
to benefit from the success created by sharing and progressing the

6.Contribute to your local community.

A.Is your local community defined and understood? For some,
local may be limited to a 10-mile radius. For others, local will
encompass the globe. In order to contribute effectively to your
local community, you must understand its make-up.

B.Is community participation encouraged and rewarded? The
organization should create a win/win relationship with its community.
The community provides it with its means for creating success and it
gives back to the community appropriately by allocating and sharing
its resources.

C.Do you understand how your local community extends globally?
While many organizations may limit their focus to a community that is
in their neighborhood, all organizations impact the global community
in some way, shape, or form. It is instrumental in progressing the
social responsibility agenda to initiate the dialog and take global
considerations into account.

7.Make decisions considering intrinsic and consequential

A.How are costs determined in decision-making? In the evaluation
of any project or initiative, there are clearly identifiable associated
costs. There are also consequential costs that can easily be overlooked
if the decision-making process isnít designed to incorporate a
full-spectrum of cost considerations.

B.Are decisions made with a long-term focused perspective?
Short-term motivations are generally limited to a strictly
profit-oriented agenda. In order to effectively incorporate progressive
and socially responsible initiatives, longer-term results must be
considered and prioritized.

C.Does the organization tell the truth? There are lies and..there
are lies. The truth should provide the recipient with the information
needed to make an informed decision. If a decision is made based on
inaccurate or incomplete information, it is based on lack of the truth.

8.Manage the organization with integrity.

A.Are financial records maintained to ensure accurate and
meaningful reporting? Accurate financial reporting is critical to
effective decision-making. Financial policies should be employed to
create records that provide the most genuine and meaningful results of

B.Does management emphasize being socially progressive? Most
organizations delay the implementation of a socially responsible agenda
until the pain associated with the delay is intolerable. By taking a
pro-active approach, social responsibility becomes the competitive edge.

C.Do the companyís products and services promote quality of life?
If the organizationís success is dependent on the degradation of societyís
health and welfare, integrity will be beyond the organizationís reach.
Products and services should be designed to contribute to human welfare.

9.Encourage innovation and continuous improvement.

A.How does the company capitalize on technological advancement?
Technology is a powerful tool that can bring an organizationís
stakeholders into closer proximity. In order to foster community,
technology can be a great ally.

B.Are employees encouraged to increase competencies? Continuous
improvement requires a commitment to education and personal/professional
development. The organizationís compensation program should reward those
that increase their skills that can be developed and applied to meet
customerís needs.

C.Are resources allocated to research and development? It is
tempting to focus on today. In the competitive environment we operate in,
a today-oriented focus is critically shortsighted. Innovation and
improvement must be supported with a commitment of resources.

10.Tread lightly on the planet.

A.Is the workplace environmentally friendly? As was pointed out
above, we spend more time in the workplace than we do in our home-place.
The environment should be thoughtfully created to promote creativity,
health, and productivity - with an emphasis on the environmental

B.Have products and packaging been developed considering life
cycle? The organization should have a clear understanding of where
their products or services will end up 10 (or 100) years from now.
When life cycle is taken into consideration, a productís cost
incorporates an entirely new perspective.

C.Does the organization understand its environmental impact?
There is a trickle-down effect associated with just about anything we
say or do. This trickle-down effect could also be referred to as a
trickle-out effect. The environment is effected in seen and un-seen

Your reputation is one of the most valuable assets of your business.
By incorporating a new set of values and priorities into what has proven
to be a successful formula on many levels, I believe that business will
be the platform for a new agenda - the Social Responsibility Agenda.
That agenda will solidify your reputation as an organization that is
worthy of its stakeholdersí dedication and loyalty.

Regardless of the size of your business, you make a contribution to the
global marketplace that impacts humanity with a rippling effect. As an
organizationís leader, you choose whether that ripple will be felt
positively or negatively. Even a small movement or change in a socially
responsible direction can have a dramatic effect. Every day produces a
new opportunity to mold the way your organization is perceived and to
enhance your reputation!


The Top 10 Priorities That Guard Your Five-Star Reputation have been
developed from the Social Responsibility Assessment TM (SRA TM) which is
at the center of Wholistic Businessí executive development and consulting
programs designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Your FREE Report
- 40 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders - is available at At Wholistic Business, we believe that
business literally makes the world go around. It will be business owners
and managers that will ultimately change the world for the better.

Wholistic Business (, a division of
MetaComm International, LLC, is committed to assisting small to
medium-sized organizations in developing socially responsible business
practices with a keen eye on productivity and profitability. Gala Gorman,
MetaCommís CEO, holds a Masterís Degree in Human Development, is a
certified public accountant, certified financial planner, published author,
executive development coach and business consultant with over 25 years of

The Social Responsibility Assessment TM (SRA TM) is a great way to
establish a baseline for your organization ensuring that future decisions
and practices move you in your intended direction. The SRATM includes a
closing report, prepared after a thorough review of the organizationís
policies and practices, which discusses practices currently in place
within your organization and suggestions for improvements or
recommendations for new implementations.

Call today for your FREE initial consultation to discuss how your
organization will benefit from a Social Responsibility Assessment TM
conducted by Wholistic Business and from implementing socially responsible


For more information, contact Gala Gorman between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Pacific Time at:

A division of MetaComm International, LLC
(888) 886-4111 or (702) 286-4111
Post Office Box 1016
Boulder, CO 80306
Web site:

About the Author

Gala Gorman,
MetaCommís CEO, holds a Masterís Degree in Human Development, is a
certified public accountant, certified financial planner, published author,
executive development coach and business consultant with over 25 years of


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