Core values are important for a business because it’s so easy to get side tracked. When this happens, the main thing doesn’t stay the main thing.
Have you ever seen a business start doing things that are outside of what they stand for? It isn’t pretty.
Most business owners over-complicate this and try to come up with a list of values containing business buzzwords like:
- Corporate synergy
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these words but usually they aren’t genuine.
Instead, I recommend keeping it simple. What are the 2-3 words for you that:
- Are unique to you (i.e. not everyone has these qualities)
- Are evident in how you do things (You could feel it in the way things are done)
- Are an advantage (Obviously these are things that help you stand out in a good way)
To illustrate how simple this could be, here’s what we did recently with our older kids (4, 8).
We went through our kitchen and read different labels on different items (natural, organic, etc.).
We then asked them to choose a few labels that described our family and how we want to live that we could all agree on.
It wasn’t long before we came up with them. Check out this picture of our finished “Family Core Values.”
I can’t take credit for this idea. I learned it from Ken Blanchard.
It was surprisingly simple and the kids were able to understand what we were doing.
Just like in business, these values aren’t for us to just put up on a sign but to actually live by. They are standards to hold ourselves to.
What are your core values? If you already have them for business, how about personally?
If you have core values, what can you do to communicate them more effectively?