What do you believe? What values do you hold nearest to your heart? What characteristics truly define your organization?
If you don’t know, stop what you’re doing and figure it out. These values — and yes, I’m talking about core values — are the foundation of everything you’re trying to achieve. You’ll never realize your vision until you clearly identify them.
I know what you’re thinking: Core values are oversold and underused. They’re cliche. They’re trite. They’re words on a poster that everybody ignores.
And that’s true at a lot of organizations. Too many leaders think they need core values but don’t really believe in their power. They come up with some buzzwords, slap them on a poster, and then forget all about them.
That’s a shame, because when they are clearly, carefully, lovingly defined, core values are the most powerful force in business.
Here’s why: You can’t achieve your vision unless you have great people on your team. Great people, in part, are those who believe what you believe.
Great people are those who share your core values.
“When (your core values) are clear, you’ll find they attract like-minded people to your organization,” Gino Wickman writes in Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. “You will also find that when they are applied in your organization, they will weed out the people who don’t fit. Once they’re defined, you must hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize people based on these core values, This is how to build a thriving culture around them.
“Unfortunately,” Wickman continues, “most organizations have not defined their core values, and the resultant lack of clarity hinders their growth. When your people don’t embrace your core values, their actions hurt your cause more than help it. By not defining what your values are, you have no way of knowing who believes in them and who doesn’t.”
Stellar high-performers are great. We all want them. People who can make us money hand over fist are rare and valued. But if they do so while damaging your culture, they’ll end up doing more harm than good. As thought leader Tim Sanders says, “High-performing jerks will suck the life out of your organization.”
To get where you want to go, you’ll need both of Jim Collins’s renowned criteria — you’ll need (a) right people (b) in the right seats.
Right people are those who believe what you believe. They share your core values.
Equally important, core values will repel people who don’t share them. When you carefully, thoughtfully define your core values, you will have taken the first step toward surrounding yourself with great people.
That, in turn, will be the first step that will take you closer to achieving your vision.
Want to define your values? We can help
I’m an EOS Implementer™. I help leaders get more of what they want out of their businesses. One of the first steps in that path is to clearly define your core values.
If you’d like to know how EOS® can help you grow and thrive, contact me — I’ll be happy to give you 90 minutes of my time to show you how EOS® can help you get everything you want out of your business.
If you want to find out how your business is doing today, take our free Organizational Checkup™.