‘These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.”
- Jesus of Nazareth
When we talk about core values and purpose, we are talking about the deep, powerful, and defining foundations of your business. When talking to a client the other day, the thing that I compared them to was “the law and the prophets”…the thing upon which pretty much everything else rests.
While many of the companies I come into contact with have created both of those things, one employee at a company told me,
“Those are just words on the wall that sound nice, but don’t really mean anything.”
In other words, he either doesn’t feel them being lived out on a day-to-day basis or he doesn’t personally buy into them. Both of those interpretations are a real problem.
And sadly, they are pretty common.
Your purpose and core values should...
- be unique to your organization.
- be known and felt.
- experienced by everyone.
- be foundational to decision making.
- determine who you hire, who you fire, and how you incentivize.
We also coach that they are for you and your team alone. They aren’t meant to be worn on t-shirts or used in marketing campaigns. It is a true north that should guide you and be felt by everyone that comes into contact with your company.
Our core values are unique to us and differentiate us from every other business in the world…even the ones who believe what we believe and do what we do. Every business is as unique as the people who make up that organization. Yours should reflect that uniqueness as well.
Here are ours:
- Team - Enjoy & Celebrate (we work with people that we like, we have fun, and we work hard to celebrate one another)
- Coaching - Asking questions that no one else asks (There are a lot of coaching organizations out there, but we take the profession of coaching very seriously. We have very intentional meetings with direct conversations and formal write-ups after every one.)
- Restoration - Unearthing Glory in others (Restoring the business to the owner’s original intent, but also digging for the more transcendent way that the business might change the world.)
- Stewardship - Ownership mindset for a Transcendent Purpose (We believe in the deep responsibility to care for the people God has placed right in front of business leaders.)
- Adding Value - Do what it takes To "Add Value" to every interaction
While we believe in the values that so many other people believe in - honesty, integrity, hard work, etc. - we feel like those types of things are generally accepted and don’t powerfully differentiate us from other companies who do what we do. Our values suit us to a “T”, uniquely define us, and are the foundational support that everything we do rests upon.
- Do you have stated core values?
- Do your values truly reflect who you are as a company?
- Do they powerfully differentiate you from every other company who does what you do?
- Do you use them as a foundational guide for everything you do?
- What do you think you are missing out on by not having core values that define your business in this way?