Since March, I have been supporting the global PR agency Porter Novelli on their work with Johnson & Johnson – specifically their Global Community Impact program.
Something that really struck me when I first started working with Johnson & Johnson were the values that Robert Wood Johnson famously penned 75 years ago to guide his family business, something he called “Our Credo.” Check it out; it’s quite remarkable given few commercial enterprises of that era were championing the larger role businesses should play to help better society. Today, Johnson & Johnson’s Credo continues to serve as the foundation for all corporate decision-making, has been translated into 49 languages and dialects and is displayed in more than 800 buildings throughout the world.
Several years ago, I felt moved to draft my own credo and placed it prominently on my previous website. Years later, I feel it still accurately reflects the principles that guide me and my work, and wanted to find a home for it here:
Promote clients – not yourself.
You won’t find me on social media promoting my firm or me. The only awards I’ll spend precious time and resources applying for are ones that recognize my clients. (I have received enough awards in my career.) The trust and appreciation I earn daily from clients and teammates are validation enough.
I work on every account. I also hire contractors to create account teams. So do most other agencies – but they usually don’t talk about it and position contractors as employees on their websites. I pride myself on being an open book. I have worked as a contractor myself for other agencies. I will always tell you the truth about my business model, costs, feedback from journalists and more.
Treat everyone with respect and kindness.
CEOs, assistants, contractors, competitors, baristas. It is my intention to treat everyone with dignity, respect, kindness and compassion – and to only work with those who afford my teams and me the same courtesy in return.
Cultivate work that makes you happy.
Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about my work. While I craved the bylines and recognition when I was younger, today I thrive by serving others and using my talents to help organizations achieve their goals. I gravitate toward people, industries and activities that make my heart sing. And I encourage everyone on my teams to engage in ways that bring them similar fulfillment.
On their website, Johnson & Johnson asserts, “Our Credo is more than just a moral compass. We believe it’s a recipe for business success.” Indeed, Johnson & Johnson is one of only a handful of companies that have flourished through more than a century of change.
I strongly believe that when your business operates from a core of integrity and a genuine care for others, amazing things can happen for all – including (or even especially) yourself.