Tom Watson, Sr., the legendary leader of IBM, reportedly said that in order for a company to become truly great, it needs religion.
The kind of religion Watson was referring to is the idea that a great company needs to have core beliefs. It needs to have a unifying message that all employees adhere to. Some refer to this as a vision and mission statement for the company.
Why is this important?
When you clearly state what you and your company are all about, you’re announcing to the marketplace what you consider important and what people should expect from you.
This can have a powerful effect. When you clearly stand for something, you often stand apart in a competitive marketplace. When you make your core belief something unique, your company will be seen as extraordinary in a world of copycat dullness.
Credo is Latin for “I believe.” A strong credo not only unifies everyone in the company but also helps attract like-minded customers who want to be a part of an extraordinary company experience.
A credo should be more than flowery statements, which are only meant to go on the company plaque and the back of your business cards. A true credo should state your most strongly held beliefs and core values. It should be the North Star that guides your company’s focus and direction.
If you don’t have a credo or vision statement for your company, it’s time to create one. If you have an old one that no one in the company can recall, it’s time to revisit it and create a memorable one.
Don’t be afraid to share with the world — with clarity and boldness — exactly what you believe in and what you focus on. Much like the original IBM, which went from 1,300 employees and $4.5 million in sales to over 72,500 employees and $897 million in sales at the time of Watson’s death, having a company religion and sharing it openly with the world can help skyrocket your business, too.