As chairman emeritus of FirstMerit Corp., Howard Flood says there’s a big difference between local entrepreneurs and CEOs of major corporations. What sets them apart is pride.
“Entrepreneurs are prouder of who they are, what they are and what they do. And if they do something wrong, their attention to remedies will be so much quicker than the hierarchy of a major corporation,” says Flood. “That’s because the entrepreneurs are generally stalwarts in the community who are well recognized, and a mistake affects them more when they walk into church or into the grocery store.”
Anthony Ciepiel, president of Cleveland-based Realty One, says that business owners need to do more than establish values for their companies. They need to translate those values into actual competencies, then hold employees accountable.
Ciepiel spoke recently to a group of local businesspeople and students at an ethics forum hosted by Malone College in Canton.
He says that translating values into actual practices begins with the hiring and training of new employees and continues with written policies that are communicated throughout the organization.
At Realty One, he says, employees are held accountable for upholding the company’s values through performance reviews. Those who exemplify those values are recognized.
Ciepiel says Realty One’s corporate values affect the culture of the organization. “There’s a very strong relationship between values and culture: Values influence the culture.”