Your community is filled with companies and churches. So how do you keep your organization’s profile on the top shelf—or even on the ceiling? Based on my experiences with corporations, non-profits, churches and organizations worldwide, I think there are at least 7 steps you can take.

1. STAY ON TRACK. More than likely you have taken time to construct a statement of mission—documenting the “What’s,” the “Whys,” and the “Wherefores” of your organization. Your next important task will be to keep your organization and it products or services on that “purpose track.”

2. DON’T ADVERTISE SOMETHING YOU CAN’TDELIVER. The integrity of many organizations has been tarnished by 100-dollar ads for 10-dollar programs! If you can’t deliver the “Best,” “Biggest,” or “Most Spectacular” output on the face of the earth then don’t promise it.

3. TREAT STAFF WITH RESPECT. As someone once said, “You’re not only known by the company you keep, you’re also known by how you keep your company.” Your encouragement, compassion, training, and support for your staff will soon be well known in your community.

4. BE OPEN ABOUT PLANS AND PROGRAMS. Many leaders act like they’re conducting an undercover operation. A lack of publicity about organizational programs or plans is a sure-fire integrity killer. Keep everyone in the loop—from staff members to stakeholders to onlookers.

5. COMMUNICATE GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT FINANCES. Your constituents want to be informed when the cash “flows” and when the cash “ebbs.” One of the most important documents that an organization can publish is its financial report.

6. PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE WORKERS. When that new hire walks through the door of your organization, you are responsible to provide for more than health benefits and payroll. You are responsible to provide a safe environment. Safety awareness includes more than passing out hard hats; it includes providing an environment where staff members . . .

▪ Work without fear of all forms of harassment,
▪ Feel accepted and appreciated, and ​​
▪ Feel free to contribute to the organization’s mission with excellence.
7. FOCUS ON THE MAIN THING. Probably your greatest challenge will be to keep the organizational oars in the water, paddling in the direction of its mission. Along the way, you’ll be tempted to take side trips or look for shortcuts. Your institution’s integrity will also be known by its focus. Can it avoid expensive or pop mission add-ons? That’s up to you. When all else fails, stay the course.

High profile organizations don’t peak accidentally. They reach the top because their leaders plan for it.

–Stan Toler