Watch the Darley family, a 3rd generation manufacturing business family operating W.S. Darley & Co and specialized in pumps, fire apparatus and emergency products based in Illinois, USA, as they explain why celebrating values is truly at the core of their family constitution, and how it reminds every family member what is expected of them.
I grew up in a family with very strong family values and they really mirror our business values. They are about fairness, about equality, about doing the right thing.
We really learned from my father. My father is extremely generous, always thinking about each person in the family, so I think he passed those values on to us.
One of the things that my grandfather wrote on a piece of cardboard back in the ‘30s was a phrase that said, “Today, say nothing that is not true, nothing that is not kind, nothing that is not useful and nothing that is not necessary.” It is something that I think really sums up who he was, and it is something that we try to emulate.
Of course like every company, we are profit driven but I think that that has not ever been the bottom-line at Darley, that there are other things that we have considered and that is integrity, honesty. We want to be fair to people. And I think that in the long run, that has helped us as a company to grow and those are the values that we want to pass on to the next generation.
Back in the early 1990s, we were trying to go from a mom-pop type of business to a professional business, we went and formed a family council and one of the very first tasks of our family council was to come up with a family constitution. And the family constitution was really evolved and continues to evolve today at our annual meetings. While we were in these family meetings, we would work on our family constitution, what are our core values.
Part of our constitution is that we are a team as a family, that no matter what position a person has in the company, we still value that person as a valuable family member.
One of the ways that our values are upheld is through communication, especially from the top of our company down, from our president and our executive team, they do what they say, they communicate openly.
We realize that, you know, a stronger family means a stronger business, so it is a hard work ethic, it is integrity, it is all of the issues that are in our core values both as a business and in our family constitution.