The following thoughts are not about politics. They’re not about whether you are a conservative or a liberal or in the middle. I write to draw attention to the importance of creating alignment in your business. And I can think of no better example than the country in which we live.
What values come to mind when you think of America? On what beliefs was this country founded and does it still act today?
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom of expression.
The opportunity to craft your own destiny.
Equal opportunity for all.
An inherent love for our country and our fellow Americans.
While we sometimes get sidetracked by politics and events, our Core Values bring us back to what makes this country the greatest place on earth to live and have a business. The heartfelt responses to the many terrible shootings throughout 2018 make this clear. The outpouring of support and donations for those whose lives were devastated by hurricanes and wildfires also speaks to this.
We may lose sight of these values in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our busy lives, but when it matters, these values quickly manifest themselves. We return to our roots, band together and reach out to our fellow Americans.
Does an alignment like this exist at your business? Does every employee understand, believe in and follow a set of Core Values? Do you hire and fire on the basis of Core Values?
Small companies share Core Values through osmosis. Their founders convey them through direct contact – through the things they say and write, of course, but especially in the things they do and the way they do them.
However, as companies grow, the sharing of Core Values needs to be more deliberate and intentional. And this is often where companies lose their way and run aground.
Your Core Values are what make your company special. They are what set you apart from your competitors and strengthen your reputation in your industry and your local community. They are the guidelines by which your team interacts with your customers. They are what endows your company with strength and brings everyone back after turmoil. That’s why everyone at your company must know them and live them.