The core values at Lemonade Stand are not listed out in any particular order. We believe that all of our values are equally important and encourage everyone to live out all of them. This isn’t a list of 11 values where we’re like “yeah we created 11 of them.. but if you have to choose, focus on these 4.” Not at all. We want our team to live and breathe every single one of these values; however, it is no coincidence that the final one on our list is to “See the Big Picture.”
Most of the other values on our list will come pretty naturally if you are constantly striving to “See the Big Picture” when you are choosing how to act.
For example, if someone corrects you on something that you’ve done wrong, there are two ways to react. One, assume that they have their own interests in mind and get really defensive about how you’re always right and would never make a mistake. Two, realize that they (at least on our team) have your best interests at heart and are trying to help you to grow and to learn and are really trying to help prevent you from making the same mistake in the future. Well, if you’re seeing the big picture, then you’d go with option two, because it is going to help you out in the long run and ultimately make you a better person where you can contribute much more to the big picture. Option two also just happens to be the route of humility and also that of learning—two more of our values.
If you’re seeing the big picture, during down times or rough patches, you’ll remember and know that times will get better eventually. In the big picture, whatever you’re passing through in the moment will eventually fade and will have built you into a better person. This will help you always “Stay Excited and Upbeat” about whatever stage of life you are in and where the future will take you. Another of our values brought to life simply by seeing the big picture.
I could go on and on about all of our core values, but I think you get the idea. If you are striving to “See the Big Picture” at all times, and you let that guide you when you are making small, day-to-day decisions (or really big decisions), you’ll generally end up living a life that is aligned with a ton of other really great values.
Hopefully that clears everything up about why this core value is so very important to our team and to our entire culture.
Here’s a little story about what this looks like for us.
Hiring Branson Hirschi
About a year ago, we hired a new team member. This guy had basically zero marketing experience, and we weren’t really even sure what he was going to do. We hired him anyway. Why? We were looking at the big picture.
This person’s name is Branson Hirschi. He’s one of the coolest people that you will ever meet in your life. He actually found Lemonade Stand the same way that I did. Someone that I grew up with posted about this really cool company that they work for on LinkedIn. Branson is an old friend of mine, and I knew that he was looking for something in marketing, so I sent it over to him.
He applied right away.
After having an interview with the team, he got the devastating email that they had decided to go in another direction. Well, that’s the end, right?
Not for Branson.
He took that news and decided that wanted to learn from it, so instead of writing up a “thank you for your time, keep me in mind if any opportunities pop up in the future” email, he drafted up an email telling the team how absolutely grateful he was that they were willing to give him so much of their time and take a chance on interviewing him. He then asked a series of questions basically boiling down to, “what the heck do you need me to learn or to do so that I can bring enough value to be able to join your awesome team?”
You could tell that he was dead serious too. He was willing to go all out—learn whatever it was that Lemonade Stand needed at the time—spend all of his free time in courses or asking questions to professional marketers or volunteering at other companies to learn every single thing he could about digital marketing.
You see, all he needed was for someone to take a chance on him. He was beyond willing to learn what was needed and was wrapping up a degree in marketing as well.
Well, we didn’t want to miss the boat on someone so humble and eager to learn. Those are values that are really hard to teach. Digital marketing? Time consuming, maybe, but not nearly as difficult to teach as those innate qualities. We’re happy to train someone in our industry that is already humble, upbeat, energetic, and teachable.
With that in mind, from that one, single response from Branson, we sent out an offer. It wasn’t even clear exactly what he would be doing yet, but we couldn’t miss out on a person like this.
He came aboard and did exactly what he said he would do. He has learned every single thing that he possibly can. He now leads out our entire podcast production studio and is now teaching other people about all of the cool benefits of digital marketing and what exactly digital marketing even is by helping out with our sales team. He has become the person who is now educating other people about services that he barely even knew existed just over a year ago.
We don’t always have a need for the people that we hire. We try to “See the Big Picture” for where that person could end up—what ways they might be able to help lead new projects or teams. We never want to miss an opportunity of bringing someone to the team that could help shape the entire future of our company.
It’s not always possible, or even feasible, to make hiring decisions like this—especially if budgets are tight or times are hard. If you can, though, I highly recommend that you try to look for the big picture in this way!
How Can You Live This Core Value?
Ok so now you’re dying to see the big picture, right? But you’re not sure where to start? Hopefully I can offer a few pointers that will get you pointed in the right direction.
First thing: stop sweating the small stuff. Now, by this, I do not mean to be completely oblivious to small things or stop paying attention to detail or anything like that. What I mean is stressing out and losing your head about tiny little things that ultimately won’t affect the big picture can be really detrimental to your health and your company.
If someone owes you twenty bucks, and you are calling them day and night to collect that, you might want to just take a step back and think about what the results of that will be. One, maybe you get your $20? Two, any relationship built with that customer is destroyed. Try, instead, to maybe just forget about the $20, and give that customer an incredible experience by being humble, kind, and forgiving. Maybe things don’t end up working out with that customer, but if you are kind, honest, and able to move past small things like this, most likely they could still end up sending referrals your way or writing up a really nice review for you on Google. You never know what a little bit of kindness can do. Twenty bucks is not going to break the bank.
Sometimes you need to just let things go.
Another thing I would suggest is being more forgiving in general. It’s not often that someone means to intentionally offend or hurt you. Don’t hold that over their head and make them suffer for one small thing for the rest of their life. See the big picture. Let it go. Move on. Picture what your relationship with that person could be like in the future if you’re willing to forgive them for something stupid that happened today.
Don’t hold grudges. That’s small-picture stuff.
Two more ways that you can start seeing the big picture: think before you act, and then just be a good person.
Always think about what consequences your actions will have before you decide to take them. All of our actions have repercussions, and we get to be in charge of the decisions that we make. If you’re about to do something that you know is going to be harmful to someone else in the long run, maybe try to find a better way to accomplish what you need. Think about the long term!
We live in a world of instant gratification, but that doesn’t ever pay off or truly last. Think about your long-term goals. Plan around them, and then base all of your decisions on them.
Finally, be a good person. There is nothing big picture about being cruel, or mean, or ignorant of the people around you. Stop thinking about yourself so much and what you want out of life. Turn your focus to the bigger picture—all of the other people on this wonderful planet. Help people. Serve people. Be kind to people.
That’s what the big picture is all about.
If you’re interested in planning out your digital marketing strategy with the big picture in mind, please contact our team! We base all of our strategic decisions for clients on the big picture and what will help them the most in the long term. We would love to be able to help you grow in this way!