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Posted on Oct 27, 2017

Values in Leadership: A Passion for Serving

Values in Leadership: A Passion for Serving

Chris Bingham founded Riley Life Logistics in 2007, literally starting it in his garage. Since then, he has moved the business into bigger and bigger facilities, providing specialized and flexible fulfillment solutions for growing, brand-focused companies.

Today, the company provides ecommerce brand fulfillment where Chris sees every shipment as a representation of their customers’ unique brand.

More than Money

When Chris set out to create Riley Life, he wanted a business that was about more than just making money. As a new father at the time, Chris named the business after his daughter, Riley, to describe what he was looking for – where the “life of Riley” means a life of luxury that is deserved. Ultimately, Chris wanted a business that he could be proud to have his daughter’s name on it.

Chris also talks about Riley Life as a certified B-Corporation, meaning a “for-benefit” business. Chris feels this links them to many other businesses that are “values-based” such as Patagonia, Dansko Shoes, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Riley Life has three stated values:

  • Service
  • Passion
  • Growth

These values are a direct reflection of what Chris values personally.

A Passion for Serving

Service is the top value because Chris views himself as a service-oriented person who is passionate about serving, from customers to employees to the community at large. Chris has worked hard to instill the mindset of service into the hearts of everyone around him, from employees to vendors to even customers.

Much of the team at Riley Life regularly participates in their community-based projects, where they involve more than just employees. Whether it’s a Riley Life sponsored blood drive or a Habitat for Humanity project, there’s a passion to engage others outside the company, such as their UPS and FedEx reps, their insurance agent, and even their customers.

While Chris says the company’s stated values have evolved over time, he feels that everyone associated with the company really grasps them from an “internal mindset, cultural standpoint.”

Good Early Learning

Chris proudly explains that their business is more than just shipping a t-shirt, a plate of some kind, or a vitamin. Looking at the outcomes associated with the products they ship, it’s clear that they do indeed make an impact in people’s lives.

Chris provides a specific example.

Early in the company’s history, Chris remembers when he was packing a box that contained 9 flasks (like liquor flasks), where each one cost about $100. At first he had a very negative thought about the person ordering such frivolous items, thinking to himself: “why is someone spending $900 on flasks and having them shipped overnight?” But then he paused and realized, “these were wedding gifts” (for the groomsmen). These were special items being delivered for someone’s wedding! Chris suddenly appreciated that if this product didn’t arrive correctly – on time and undamaged – there would be real consequences for the story of this wedding couple.

What Chris and his team at Riley Life does matters.

As Chris states so succinctly, it’s possible to “make a much bigger difference if you can just think outside of yourself.”

To listen to the whole interview with Chris, visit: Values in Leadership.


This is a new Business Leader Series called Values in Leadership, where I share relevant insights gleaned from interviews with successful business leaders. I welcome your comments or questions by emailing: