Heart | Smarts | Spine | Soul - Part 1

March 5, 2020 - Pastor Bill Mitchell

Heart | Smarts | Spine | Soul - Part 1

Pastor Bill Mitchell
March 5, 2020

In recent years, values have seemed to be lacking in many areas of society; particularly in business. We’ve lost what it means to use our gifts and our talents not just to benefit ourselves, but to drive forward the common good. Over the next four months here at BocaLead, we’ll be taking a look at how to re-discover and develop enduring values. Each month, we’ll be looking at different aspects that make up our values, which include heart, smarts, spine and soul.  Two books that have inspired us in this series are Simon Sinek’s, The Infinite Game, and Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck by Tjan, Harrington, and Hsieh. We would highly recommend these books to anyone who wants to take a deeper dive into these topics.

Enduring Values

Values that endure are ones that last beyond just the moment. They are ones that should be the same today, tomorrow, and forever in life and business.

heart icon   1. Heart

Heart means having passion, enthusiasm, and compassion. It means creating good culture and developing trust. It’s something that can’t be measured by metrics or numbers. When your strength is your heart, you take a deep look at relationships in your business. The only downside to people whose hearts guide their values is that while they are passionate, their passion changes from week to week. Restraint and focus is required to keep them from appearing wishy-washy.

smarts icon   2. Smarts

Critical thinking skills are what make the difference between people who are smart, and people who have smarts. The most brilliant people in the world are also sometimes the people who don’t know how to think critically. However, since not everyone has smarts, those that do can sometimes have the aura of being a “know it all.” That is why it’s important to have not just smarts, but heart and soul as well.

spine icon   3. Spine

Someone who has a spine has grit, courage, perseverance, and a “can do” attitude. Business is not for the faint of heart, and having a backbone can go a long way in making you successful. Be careful, though, having a spine without soul just means you’re stubborn.

soul icon   4. Soul

Soul is the primary aspect in our society and in business that is dying. Having soul is having civility, being interested in the common good, and having character and ethics. Civility, especially towards our competitors, should be so important in the way we do business. Currently, there’s an issue of ethical fading that we’ve seen taking place. Good people are either doing bad things in business, or worse, doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem. As important as soul is, it has to be combined with heart, smarts and spine. If not, you’re just a do-gooder.

Development of Enduring Values

So far, we’ve talked a lot about enduring values and what they are, but what makes an enduring value, and how can you develop it?

1. For Something

A value that lasts is one that is FOR something. It thinks optimistically; in the affirmative. For example: 4KIDS, a South Florida nonprofit, has a goal of finding “a home for every child”. That’s an optimistic, enduring value.

2. Ignite a Passion

If your team isn’t passionate about your goals/company values, then they won’t last. You need to ignite your staff, stakeholders, customers, and everyone who has dealings with your business with your enduring values.

3. Benefit Others

If your values and goals only benefit yourself or your company, they won’t endure. Look outside yourself to others and think creatively about how you and your business can help.

4. Resilient

Do your values endure change? Here at BocaLead, our primary goal is that we want to make our city a better place to live, work, worship, play and raise a family. That’s a value that is resilient, because it will last, no matter the context.

5. Idealistic

If your values are only as big as you are, they’re pretty small. Think bigger. Think outside just yourself.

When looking at how to develop enduring values, one question we asked ourselves at BocaLead is, “If your business or non-profit were to close, would anyone care?” Ask yourself this question. Use it to think about your enduring values. When you do this, use the five steps we gave you as a guide to develop and understand your values. If you’ve already set your values, evaluate them to see if they fit within these steps.

More Heart: Culture and Trust

Now that we’ve given an overview of the different values and how to develop them, we wanted to look a little more at two aspects of heart: developing good culture and trust.

Good Culture = Values + Behavior + Trust

Does your business or nonprofit have enduring values? Does your team follow through on those values in the way they conduct business? Do your people, vendors, customers, board of directors, stakeholders, etc. trust you? If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, you have what is known as a generative culture. This type of culture gives you the platform to do what you do.

If you’re lacking one or two of these – whether it’s values, behavior or trust – then you have a habitual culture. A habitual culture is one that is too good to leave, but not good enough to stay.

When none of these three aspects is present, or only partially present, then your culture is toxic. If you’re in a toxic environment and you have the ability to change it, then do so. If not, then leave. When you continue to stay in a toxic work culture, you’ll take that toxicity home with you and it will affect your relationships with family and friends. Instead, we here at BocaLead would encourage you to get out and go find something you love, that endures, and is exciting.

Make Your Values Mean Something

We in the business community have been given responsibility and influence. It is so important that we take those advantages and use them for the common good of our community. That’s what BocaLead is all about. Don’t just have enduring values, take the heart, smarts, spine and soul and go do something great with them.


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