Our Green Social Purpose

Since our last article on May 1, 2018, we have been establishing our new Green Technology Division. We are currently providing consulting services for four (4) major green technology projects. Three (3) are aimed at reducing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and forest floor wood waste then converting all three waste streams into useable products that are intentionally designed to not only lower pollutants but also allow for future reprocessing. 

Our 4th project involves consulting for US Industrial Hemp growers and processors who are providing environmentally friendly, energy efficient products and design services. This project will also include the conversion of hemp processing waste into usable products of all kinds.

We are collaborating with engineers, scientists, inventors, businesses, academic institutions, waste to energy technology ventures and foundations who seek a better quality environment and a lasting legacy of healthy wholeness for all people. 

“Success” Theater

Sometimes delaying the addressing of a difficult topic makes the topic more difficult to address. This topic falls into that category. In today’s work environment, spending a couple of decades at one company is most often considered the sign of an unpromotable stagnant person unless of course you own the company or work for government. In the decades prior to the dot com era, decades at a successful company was more the norm than not. Fortune 500 companies thrived on a combination of a constant longevity and a renewal cycle that produced “giants” of industry, “captains” of corporate ships and “moguls” of business.

People found security in large corporations. Benefits were generous. Profits were consistently on the rise. Shareholders’ dividends were a sure thing and most often more than projected. Forecasted sales and revenue numbers were always met or exceeded and expenses realized were always less than budgeted. Makes for an investors’ paradise and an employees’ heaven. For many decades, sometimes a hundred years plus, major American corporations were the epitome of what most everyone saw as success. Getting the campus interview or a position with a Fortune 500 company was a “now you’ve made it” step. Company cars, expense accounts, travel and living allowances, the company credit card, business trips to exotic places and meetings in the best hotels were all status symbols that approached their peak around the time the 1987 Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street” arrived.

Michael Douglas’ was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Gordon Gekko. The role also landed him recognition by the American Film Institute (AFI) as having played the 24th best villain in movie history. His character’s quote, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”, AFI’s 57th best movie quote of all time, served to charge up at least two generations of values and ethics oriented companies competing against companies devoted to the Gordon Gekko power, wealth and control greed. The greed won and is still winning. Though, values and ethics may be making a comeback. Greed will always be with us. But sometimes, just sometimes, greed gets caught in its own web of deceit.

Fortune Ten companies always looked good on the outside. Individual Contributor Programs eliciting praise from across the globe were commonplace. Training programs that became the standard for their respective industries were emulated as “the way to go.” Strategic planning implemented by the “big guys” was the envy of companies large and small. Profits, profits, profits and accompanying financial management methods were so leading edge MBA programs used them as “how to do it right” examples. Employees stock ownership programs, savings and security programs, college savings funds, long term disability, moving allowances, home buying and relocation cost  programs for transferred managers and executives, full health insurance with modest – if any – employee paid premiums, paid education benefits and promotions were all realistic expectations. If you were a senior manager or executive for a Fortune 10, the sky literally was the limit — the company plane, the driver picking you up. The good life was in abundance and for some still is.

While these incentives were bountiful, behind the scenes was a very different story. Values, ethics, morality, servant-leadership, honesty, simplicity and transparency, while being professed in public and to shareholders, began to take a back seat to the greed, significance, control and comfort of corporate leaders. Deception led to “off book” companies. Generally Accepted Accounting Practices became Generally Altered Accounting Practices. The Independent CPA Annual Audit Report gave way to the Incidents Can’t Present Accurately Annual Audacious Report. There was and still is “not presenting accurately” incidents occurring regularly.

A major corporation well respected and believed to be one of the best places in America and the world to work for the last 100 years plus is close to insolvency. In fact Warren Buffet has had to bail them out once previously and is currently considering doing it again after their recent change in top management. It’s sad but common in America today Gordon Gekko’s greed is apparently still good. It appears to be “greed is good” in the case of General Electric Company (GE). GE created a theater, The Success Theater, by playing an Academy Award performance as the hero of American business. Instead of the past two (2) Chairmen of GE being the hero’s they portrayed on the Success Theater screen, behind the scenes they were actually Gordon Gekko in disguise or was it their reality. They were handsomely rewarded by the GE Board of Directors and the GE Shareholders with millions of dollars in compensation and millions of dollars in exclusive perks. Jack Welch, the GE Chairman from 1980 to 2001, during the Gordon Gekko role modeling period, was lauded and still is by many as the “Best Executive of the Century.” Jeffrey Immelt was “anointed” as his successor with expectations of exceeding Welch’s stellar record of performance. Perhaps; the attached articles regarding true values, GE’s unfortunate state of affairs at the moment and our country’s current prevailing return to Gordon Gekko’s greed in business and governance, will remind us that greed is at the expense of the 99% of Americans who pay for it. Those in the 99% may not believe “Greed is Good.” Are your personal or business finances a “Success Theater” or a “Documentary-Truth and Honesty?”

Is it values and ethics for your legacy or greed and deception? It’s your script to write.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/04/character-matters-if-you-let-it.html

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/04/tighter.html

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=wells+fargo&aq=3&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=w&gs_rfai=CWGRRSdpYTPjEF4fQ6APbpozfCAAAAKoEBU_QaP1z&pbx=1&fp=d1f071870171591f

www.wsj.com/articles/how-jeffrey-immelts-success-theater-masked-the-rot-at-ge-1519231067

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-12/judging-ge-s-jeff-immelt-versus-jack-welch?utm_campaign=news&utm_medium=bd&utm_source=applenews

It’s Official. Gordon Group, The Legacy Company is a Social Purpose Corp.        Because It’s That One Thing?

“What does that mean? You guys are a social purpose corporation? What difference does that make? Does that mean you are a not for profit organization? What’s the deal?”

Since 2006, the Gordon Financial Group, Inc has successfully conducted business in the Puget Sound area. The businesses, organizations and clients who have utilized the company’s services have been very generous to The Gordon Financial Group, Inc.

During three (3) years of sessions enrolled in the Authentic Manhood Series, the subjects of noble causes and legacies was studied and discussed. Two (2) years ago discussions began about how to turn the “noble cause”, “legacy” inspiration into a reality. While Gordon Group, The Legacy Company will continue to offer financial services; we have expanded our service offerings to assist in creating unique legacies as our way of giving back to the Puget Sound area, our clients and the people who have given so much to us.  

In having served large companies, organizations, institutions, charities, small businesses and families we found that one (1) thing in common with them all; and yet, that one thing’s realization was often lacking.  In spite of the different management structures and missions, they all had that one (1) thing as a goal. They all wanted to leave a positive impactful legacy. For some that legacy meant money to take care of their families. For some leaving a legacy meant leaving a business that would continue to employee the devoted employees who helped create and sustain the business. Many wanted to leave great memories for family and friends. Others wanted to leave a community better than it was before they came. Then there were those who wanted to be known for simply having improved the quality of live for those around them, no matter the environment. Another group sought to leave the legacy of a good reputation or a life fostering lasting inspiration.  Establishing a perpetual gift to a church, faith-based organization, hospital or favorite charity fit perfectly for another group. From our newly found direction as a result of the Authentic Manhood Series, our mission evolved into a passionate desire to leave our legacy by helping those seeking that one thing: A Legacy.  

Now, cue Jack Palance, Curly Washburn from the movie City Slickers. Yes, we help people make their One Thing, A Legacy, become a reality. That’s what our social purpose means for us. We are not a “not for profit” corporation. No, our fees are not tax deductible. In addition to a full array of personal, organizational and business consulting, training, financial, funding, cyber security and project development services; we raise money for individuals in need and “not for profit” organizations. We are a “for profit” company. What is different about a social purpose corporation is that a majority of our net profits are dedicated to the purpose of helping our Puget Sound clients and our chosen charities establish, maintain and secure that one (1) thing: A Legacy

We help create an appropriate, “uniquely designed”, “one of a kind” legacy tailored to meet our clients’ wishes.  Whether aiding in developing a personal, professional, business, charitable, memorable event, entertainment, artistic, destination or living setting, spiritual or family legacy; it is our mission to see that a legacy renders a perpetual gift and lasting memory of thoughtfulness, care and thankfulness. Gordon Group, The Legacy Company does that one (1) thing: A Legacy.

If we all take Curly Washburn’s advice and stick to that one thing and that one thing is a meaningful drive to leave a lasting legacy, then everything else———–. How will you finish that sentence? We may not be able to establish a better world but, we can help you establish that one thing: Your Legacy.

Managerial Dictatorship is Easy. Servant Leadership is Hard. It’s Your Choice.

Sometimes it feels really good to bark orders with authority.  I have friends who are former military who have forgotten they are “former” military. Man, can they bark.  They bark orders, responses, prayers, well wishes, corrections, directions and even praise. This is not a criticism. This is how a few of them are wired after military service.  Though their current approach isn’t, it sounds almost dictatorial. It sounds firm and solid. It sounds confident. There is no hesitation. There is an assuredness that can make people feel secure.

A friend and former Sergeant-Major of the US Marine Corps; (There is only one for the entire Corps by the way.) once explained to me that moral does not necessarily mean everybody is happy. Good moral means that everyone is secure in the roles they are expected to perform.  Good moral means that everyone is confident in the leadership they follow. Good moral means that everyone’s common cause is agreed upon and supported accordingly.

Dictatorships on the other hand seldom realize good moral, happy followers or long term beneficial results.  Though to some US military authority and dictatorships may seem to have a lot in common, the types of authority utilized are quite different.  At least in the United States of America our military is in support of freedom, safety and security. That is an authority we readily honor. US citizens have never been big fans of totalitarian governments or dictatorships. Fortunately for the US, and the world, this type of authority is not highly honored nor is it respected.  That type of authority and leadership leads to neither good morale nor happiness.

Being a dictatorial manager, program director, supervisor, team leader, business owner or an officer of a company can be very easy.  A good intimidating bark conveying an “I mean business” set of instructions can cause immediate reactions and results. Dictatorship management styles can instill a fear based respect in those you supervise.  That style delivers an unequivocal message about who’s in charge. Authoritarian leadership commands loyalty for fear of grave consequences. “Do it my way or else you’re out of here”, leaves little room for questions about who’s the boss.  And, therein lies the problem. It leaves little room for any questions at all.

At some point in our lives, we have all had an authoritarian, dictatorial type of manager, coach or leader.  Maybe we have even had someone in such a role in the name of our faith. That is the most confusing of all. Of course we always learn something with that type of leadership. Unfortunately we usually learn how we do not want to manage nor how we want to be as a person.  We may learn in such cases but we seldom thrive. We are hardly drawn out to perform better with our fullest devotion to company, cause or leadership. It’s hard to give your fullest when you are in constant fear or; worse yet, never sure when the next berating will occur.

As cruel as this type of management environment may seem, in the short to medium term it is much easier than its opposite, servant leadership.  Eventually, authoritarian leadership collapses upon its own angry overtones.  Anger and anger based authority is a managerial mask for fear and insecurity.  An oppressive management approach will only hold up in a short to medium term cycle or in a situation where no other employment is available. It’s a lot easier to intimidate than it is to foster that great Sesame Street concept we all know and love “cooperation”.    

Cooperation and collaboration take time, effort, concentration, listening, empathy, intention, planning, vision, goals, objectives and a well thought out mission to pursue.  Dictatorship as a management method may have all those same elements but they are developed in a vacuum. Servant leadership is impossible without a desire to serve others. Servant leadership does not mean everyone will always be happy.  There can even be a lull in moral once in a while. A servant leader notices those things and attempts to reconcile the underlying causes. The dictator may simply “fire” the perceived cause and never discover the underlying contributing issue.

Servant leadership is anchored in a sincere desire to serve customers, employees, fellow management, vendors, suppliers, distributors and whomever it takes to make your endeavor successful in meeting the mission of your company, organization, program or project.  Servant leadership also means fulfillment of your own desire to experience the highest sense of accomplishment in what you do as a leader and who you are as a person.

The attached article is an excellent reflection of a servant leader who is still growing and learning after 26 years with the same company.  While servant leadership is a greater challenge than managing as a dictator, we are never too old to learn and it is never too late.? What is your choice going to be?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/308427

Is Anyone Asking You the Tough Questions?

You may have the idea from reading our posts that we are into purpose. We encourage those who know us well to ask us tough questions about our purpose and how we are walking it out.

With that in mind, let me be the interrogator for a moment.

  • Do you have a Vision Statement? Not just for your business, organization or project but your personal life as well.
  • Do you have a Mission Statement? Business? Organization? Personal?
  • Do you have a Social Purpose?  Whether you are a Social Purpose Corporation or not. What are you giving back?
  • What are your Goals? Your career? Your life? Your great adventure?
  • What are your Objectives? Are you inspecting your activities or simply expecting them to happen? Are you suffering from “mission drift”?
  • What Oath have you made to yourself? Your Business? Employees? Co-workers? Family? Customers? Clients? Citizens?
  • What are your Values? Respect? Service? Integrity? Credibility? Humor? Significance? Comfort? Control? Compassion? Your Neighbor? Family? Yourself?
  • What is your Slogan? Here’s one of ours: We may not be able to change the world but we can help you change yours. Our tough question to ourselves regularly is: Whose world have we helped change today? How? Why not?
  • Lastly, what are your Beliefs? Personal? Faith? Business?People? Family?Country? World?

Imagine if every year people from all over the world ask you questions similar to the above? Could you answer them?  Do you have all the emboldened items written down? Do those around you know what they are? Do you know what they are?  If you have them, do you know where they are?  Though they emphasize the importance, only 2% of Harvard’s graduating classes over the last 20 years have actually developed Vision, Mission, Social Purpose, Goals, Objectives, Oath, Values, Slogan and Beliefs Statements or the like. Out of the 2% who have developed these statements, 98% successfully realized their plans. So, who’s asking you the tough questions about what you are doing,  hoping to do or not doing? Who’s holding you accountable for your Walking It Out Plan. If you are avoiding the people who ask the tough questions, rethink that. Aren’t those the people who can sharpen you and help shape you the most. Enjoy the attached article and keep this in mind. Though it may be Bill and Melinda Gates  Though he left Harvard before he graduated. He left in that 2% category with a plan. He can answer the tough questions. They both can. Could you about your business and life? Is anyone asking you the tough questions?

The Toughest Questions We Get; by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates

Are You Focused on a North Star?

“Of course I’m focused on the North Star. I know where it is and how to use it to guide my path if I get lost.” You might that say naturally with ease. Let’s exchange some very small but important words.

Let’s swap “the” for an “a”.  Light up those letters Vanna.  Now, are you focused on a North Star? What is your North Star.?  What is your purpose that is a greater purpose than yourself? What is your noble cause that is beyond your spouse, your family, your friends, your money, your faith or your retirement fund?  What is something beyond those things that is even beyond yourself?  What is something that would cause your heart to soar not be sore should you give to some cause or someone without a dime in return?

If you are older you may have had many life-learned lessons and experiences to impart to someone younger than yourself.  Impartation means teaching, sharing, mentoring or giving to someone who could truly benefit from your knowledge and skills.  Imparting practical knowledge and the “how to” aspects of your life’s great adventure can aide someone in discovering their unique design or their North Star.   Discovery of your North Star applies whether you are an older or younger person.  The search also allows us to meet with each other and help one another find the best way to chart a course.  In most instances it is no longer the case that a simple, “I’m in the know because I’m older” is acceptable to those who are younger.  Appropriate answers, explanations, reasoning and thoughtful expression of the lesson or subject matter being taught will always be more advantageous than age.  Currently age as a qualifier may work just as well in the reverse.

In today’s digitized world, a much younger person may be helping an older individual find their digital North Star.   I certainly am blessed to have a younger business partner.  He asked me not too long ago if I knew what he liked best about my “flip phone”.

I replied, “I have no idea.”

His response was, “Absolutely no one will want to steal that baby.”

He then proceeded to meet me at my own level of digital maturity and patiently educate me about the benefits of becoming a functional citizen of the digital society.  I am so glad I approached him a few years ago and ask if he would be my accountability partner. We are now business partners.  With mutual respect and total disregard for age we are learning from one another daily. Our North Star, our legacy, is to help others have that same experience.  No matter our age we all have something to offer others that is a gift and blessing to them and a joy greater than any material value to us.

Find your North Star.  Find your noble cause.  Find your social benefit purpose.  It will change your perspective about life.  Find someone to mentor.  It doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement.   It doesn’t have to be work related.  Give to someone who needs what you know. Allow someone to give what they know to you to fill a need.  It’s not about age.  It’s not about comparisons.  It is about giving nobly and with humble purposefulness.  Were we all to find a way to exchange our knowings, we have no doubt that each of us would encounter the world as a more uplifting place.

And, if this approach works for Tim Cook it most likely will work for all of us.  See for yourself in the attached article.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/apple-ceo-tim-cook-on-his-secret-to-success.html

A Social Purpose Trend Setter?

Gordon Group, Inc The Legacy Company made the decision some time ago to transition into becoming a State of Washington Social Purpose Corporation. Giving back to the community, advancing Pacific Northwest innovative businesses and boosting Western Washington’s  creative individual endeavors is how our net profits will be utilized as we grow. Our social purpose is supporting, assisting and helping others in establishing legacies for family, home, business, community, charities, patronage of creative arts, society’s betterment and chosen personal Pacific Northwest charitable projects. Gordon Group’s way of investing in a purpose beyond ourselves and our company is to see that we act as servant leaders to the communities and entities that continue to make our lives meaningful and a great adventure..

The State of Washington is one of the US leaders in establishing the licensing and recognition of the Social Purpose Corporation business structure. As we “trend” into this new corporate structure, we find it interesting to see other states and major business organizations seeing the benefit of the social purpose corporation. While it is not for everyone, our life and business experiences lead us to this transition. We love the Pacific Northwest and our exceptional, diverse array of offerings in every aspect of life. Music, media, arts, film, digital arts, computing, sports, food, clothing, home design and furnishing, education, medicine, business acumen, logistical redistribution, internet business, aerospace and an endless supply of world recognized names and products have originated here. All those industries have given and do give back generously to our communities and region.

Our hope is that we can make a small contribution in that same vein in perpetuating a legacy for  a single person, a group, a business or an institution as the result of our association and success with and for our clients. We all need a noble cause and purpose beyond ourselves. What is your noble cause? What is your social purpose whether you are incorporated for that intent or not? Do you have a social purpose greater than yourself?  

The attached article on the subject and its growing scale is interesting, encouraging and most timely.

Business Insider – Blackrock CEO Larry Fink