From Moses to Zuckerberg, it's the values that matter

I went to TEDx in Portland a few weeks back. Greg Bell, founder of Water the Bamboo Center for Leadership, opened up the show.

He shared his perspective on perseverance, revitalization and personal success – tying everything back to values.

“Values are like the roots of giant bamboo trees,” he explained. “A bamboo farmer waters his seeds for three full years. During that time, nothing visible occurs. But in the fourth year, a sprout breaks the soil and grows 90 feet in 60 days – the fruit of his labor”.

Greg’s point: Mind your values diligently and you – your idea, your life, your brand – will grow tall and strong.

This is a simple idea. It’s not new. In fact, the Old Testament has God pretty much laying this out for Moses during his time on Mount Sinai.

Great brand farmers, like the prophets of old, reap their rewards from the grand harvest by religiously cultivating values and meaning. The boundaries within which we as people can grow, evolve and master life, apply to these things we call brands too.

It’s how Dyson became one of most interesting brands of the last 20 years. Dyson stands for working outside the confines standard technology dictates to create innovative and more efficient products.

Imagine what a Dyson real estate vendor might look like.

It’s also the stuff that powers the Anthropologie brand. Anthropologie believes the things we seek out for comfort (clothing, soap, bedding) should be special. Therefore every product they sell contains unique elements made specially for them.

Imagine what an Anthroplogie real estate brokerage might look, sound and feel like.

It’s also the stuff that fueled Facebook. Zuckerberg believed in what the Internet could be rather than what it was. What he built provided people the tools to drive the Web rather than ride along as a passenger.

What would it be like if the consumer drove real estate?

These brands didn’t rise to prominence by asking people for permission. And they didn’t win mainstream acceptance by slapping tag lines on ad campaigns reflecting a so it is written, so it shall be done brand mentality.

Claims such as The Best, isn’t the same as believing in a better way to do things. The claim might help you win a few customers; the belief – when guided by carefully guarded values – drive you to do everything better than every one of your competitors.

Across real estate’s plains, there is a swath of fertile ground where great farmers till. Some are building newbrokerages; some are creating new apps; some are removing the dust of many dry seasons from brands that seek a new life in the sun.

All are driven by a set of strong values tied to a desire to create something better for this industry.

May their bamboo grow tall and strong.