When I left my corporate role five and a half years ago to launch República, my business partner and I quickly realized that one of our main responsibilities as entrepreneurs — especially given the lofty goals we had ahead of us — would be to define our company's values and philosophy. This would permit us to not only be clear about our vision for República, but just as importantly, allow us to identify the right people and the right clients to help us build a new kind of agency.
República's principles and foundation are 14 simple, yet powerful guiding statements about what makes us special as a company. They're designed to be a set of values for our employees to turn to as they make decisions every day. They clearly help decipher right from wrong and good from great. They guide the kind of business we take on, and the kind we won't. They're also listed on our website and most people display them on their desks. Over time, these “North Stars” have become synonymous with our growth and success.
I witness our principles and foundation put to work everyday in myriad situations, such as a farewell gathering last week for one of our employees who is moving abroad. It was an emotional occasion that brought together her parents, friends, and República colleagues. During the course of the evening, she shared something that really hit home. She said it was because of her experience at República, and through our commitment to our core values, that she learned the principles of ethical entrepreneurship. She expressed that her time with us had inspired her to follow her own dream of opening a fashion boutique, and would be doing so in this next chapter of her life. This was so humbling to hear and I was beyond excited for her.
We wholeheartedly believe that our company wouldn't have grown and excelled, especially in this economic climate, if we hadn't taken the time early on to craft these core principles and apply them each and every day. Creating a corporate culture in which employees are empowered to act and contribute on a regular basis to the overall strategy of the company will ensure the success of your business for years to come. Although our principles have created a solid foundation, as leaders I believe our chief responsibility lies in making sure that we, too, live by example and practice what we preach. I remind myself of that all the time.
It's fitting to close by sharing our 14th principle and the one that brings it all together for us: “Above all, somos familia. We believe in family, our own families and our República family. Everyone contributes to the vision, goals and purpose of República because this is the intention of it all: To create something great and share it with the people we love.”
The gathering I attended the other night brought this founding principle to life. I think her mom and dad would agree.
Jorge Plasencia is chairman and CEO of República.