Leadership in companies across the spectrum of industries often make a list of their company’s core values. This list will include things like innovation, accountability, honesty, and integrity. And the goal of this list is usually to give employees and clients a clear picture of the kind of company they aspire to be and the principles and ideals they seek to live by and strive for. It’s a good thing.
But, just as a house is only as strong as its foundation, a company’s penned principles are only as strong as the foundation of ultimate values they are built on; in other words, what its leadership values most.
For example, Enron – the Wall Street darling of the late 90s whose name is now synonymous with scandal and corporate greed – would include their core values in their annual report to shareholders. Here are the top two:
• Integrity: We work with customers and prospects openly, honestly, and sincerely.
• Respect: We treat others as we would like to be treated.
But their core values weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. They were a mere prop to maintain a respectable and reliable image to clients and shareholders.
As a result of Enron’s years of dishonesty and corruption, 20,000 employees lost their jobs, and $2 billion in pension and retirement funds disappeared. At the end of the day, what Enron’s leadership actually valued most was themselves. Their image. Their personal profit. There is no weaker foundation.
So, what foundation is Jasper Ventures built on? What does its leadership value most? In a word – Jesus.
Some would find it tempting, due to their experience with Jasper Ventures, to answer this question with “people.” And this is as it should be. One of the measures of how much someone loves God is how much they love people, because loving people (albeit imperfectly) is an inevitable fruit of loving Jesus. (1 John 4:7) This is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is the strongest foundation a company’s values – or anything else – can be built on.
All the things that render a company’s values as either weak or worthless… our fallen hearts, natural self-centeredness, and love of money… are crushed by the surpassing worth of Jesus. (Phil. 3:8) When those in leadership feel their fallen nature pulling them to think only of their own advantage, they hear the truth of scripture: “It is more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35) When a situation arises where there is more to be gained financially by dishonesty, with not much chance of being caught, they hear the sweet promise of Jesus: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)
Jasper Ventures’ core values and charitable services to the community are not props to give the company a positive image in order to maximize profit. These beliefs and acts are the overflow of hearts that have been shown the love of God. They know hope is found only in Him and want to share that truth with the world.
This is the reason why Jasper Ventures’ vision proclaims, “We are a Christ-centered family of companies creating unparalleled value for our employees, clients, and communities.” This mission is not just words on a page; it is founded by, rooted in, and centered on the “unparalleled value” of Jesus Christ.
There is no stronger foundation. There is nothing of more value.
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