Consistency and core values: Find success by serving people

To serve people effectively, you must know them well. If you want something, you have to give something to help others achieve success. These basic concepts apply to business and life because we don’t operate in silos.

Consistency in character across the board is critical. Showing respect to individuals is central to any executive’s ability to lead with authenticity because if we can’t be ourselves, who can we be?

The core values of faith, relationships and reciprocity, philanthropy and consistency of character form a strong foundation for my company. Every decision made is centered on satisfying one or more of these values. This is our playbook. We are a business, but our ultimate purpose is to serve people. And we can do this best when we are faithful, focused on giving and consistent in our words and deeds.

Our clients are our prized assets. They must be treated specially, with honesty and empathy, and with a sense of honor and respect. Their needs must be satisfied. The loyalty of our associates, strategic partners and clients is most important to us, and we take that very seriously. Here are a few ways we do this:

Serve others — Be responsive to customer needs and resourceful in providing innovative alternatives and solutions to customers’ real or perceived problems. To be problem-solvers, you must be closely connected with your clients. You must work to serve them. Do this by focusing on your values and working to make a real impact on the people you touch in business and in life. One of the biggest strengths a leader or company can have is to admit your weaknesses — and learn from your own mistakes and those of others.

Be consistent — I have a “be who I am” motto — I’m transparent, and I believe this is important for all individuals, and particularly executives who are entrusted to lead organizations and manage people. I do not switch roles or attitudes between CEO, father, husband, community member or investor. I am who I am. That builds trust among associates, clients, neighbors and friends.

Focus on people first — My business — and yours — is about serving people. And when we concentrate on meeting their needs, then we are successful. Life is about your contribution, not about making comparisons. In your business and life, do you focus on people first? How do you work to meet others’ needs? Do you tailor solutions to solve their problems, or try to plug a product or solution in to work for them? The former will help you build strong relationships built on trust.

The bottom line is simple: By focusing on people first, being consistent and always serving others, we can find success and happiness. A great sense of satisfaction is gained by doing good for others, and when this is combined with a business goal, then you know you are providing true value.

Umberto P. Fedeli is CEO at The Fedeli Group