The Small Business Leader’s Daily Manifesto

February 7, 2019 | Roger and Susie Engelau

It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.[1]

This is a line from Max Lucado’s When God Whispers Your Name . In this daily manifesto, he goes on to say, “For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice.”

Lucado then lists 9 choices we can make to guide ourselves each day. We were inspired by these choices and heard and saw in them a great daily manifesto of sorts for ourselves as leaders of a small business.

  • How will I choose, as the leader of my company, to interact and react today?
  • What values will guide me as I run my company? Make decisions? Respond to questions? Solve problems…?

In this spirit, we reworked Lucado’s words into a set of practical actions and behaviors, a daily manifesto, to guide the small business leader’s typical workday. We hope you find some value in them. Better yet, may we all practice them. And best of all, may we inspire the same results in others.

I choose love –

I will view every person—employee, supplier, and customer, as a human being who has feelings, intelligence, and value. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. No mistake is helped by anger or retaliation.

I choose joy –

I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to improve and grow myself and the organization. I will be thankful for_______

I choose peace –

I will encourage healthy conflict… passionate dialogue around issues in the spirit of finding the best answer. I will refuse to engage in unhealthy conflict… gossip, arguing, or venting. I will forgive quickly.

I choose patience –

I will expect and accept the inconveniences that are bound to come up during the day. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will take a moment to be thankful and even to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness –

I will seek to understand the desires of my employees. I will help them set goals and do all I can to help them attain those goals. I will greet people when I pass them, smile, and treat others as I want to be treated. I will create a culture of generosity by setting the example with random, regular acts of kindness.

I choose goodness –

I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will seek opportunities to give my team members credit. I will admit my mistakes before I accuse.

I choose faithfulness –

I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. I will trust the knowledge and skills of my employees. I will delegate with confidence and faith. I will be faithful to the processes and procedures to which we’ve agreed and implemented.

I choose gentleness –

Nothing is won by force. If I raise my voice it will only be in praise. I will ask vs demand. I will avoid cursing as it reflects what’s in my heart and may offend. Instead I will choose words that help and uplift.

I choose self-control –

I will maintain calm and poise because anger and threats elicit only hurt, fear, and anxiety. I will be impassioned only by new ideas, solid performance, and helping others. I will be influenced only by Godly ideas.

This is my daily manifesto. I commit my day to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If I fail, I will seek grace. If I succeed, I will give thanks.

[1] From Max Lucado’s When God Whispers Your Name