The word “Values” has overlapping and yet distinctive meanings. On the one hand, your values represent importance or benefit of something, whether monetary or not. On the other hand, values are like moral codes, representing principles and standards on which a person might judge what’s important. Of course, the word “value” also can represent a monetary measure. Although the steps you take to identify and act on your core values can lead to monetary success or enhance your value as a leader, you have to follow core values intrinsic in yourself or your company to get there.
Values guide personal and business ethics, but they also guide how a company sets it vision, mission, strategies and measures of success. How do leaders spot, incorporate and communicate personal and corporate values?
Typically, a company’s values are derived from its founder. Changes in leadership or environment might adjust the values, but for the most part, original personal values form the basis for the entire company. Here are a few examples of values in lists for leading companies:
- Coca-Cola: Integrity, be real.
- Southwest Airlines: Persevere
- Starbucks: Creating a culture of warmth and belonging where everyone is welcome.
- Virgin Airlines: We think customer.
- IKEA: Daring to be different.
Getting in touch with your own personal values helps you set and stick to a vision of success. And companies striving to set or revamp their missions always should incorporate values of key stakeholders. Finding your own values or those of your corporation boils down to determining what makes you demonstrate success without sacrificing principles, or finding both monetary success and maintaining loyal customers and workers. What brings you joy?
Values and Passion
Speaking of joy, values and passion are inter-related. If, for example, your values emphasize being a good steward of the Earth, you’re probably passionate about sustainability. Or maybe your values are influenced by your religion, and you’re passionate about helping others. No matter the specifics, passions you’ve discovered typically match your core values, and vice versa.
Values might drive your vision and strategies, but passion helps you meet your goals. It establishes and maintains the sense of purpose, and in turn, operating with passion can be listed as a key personal or organizational value. In other words, one of your values is to love what you do.
Articulate Values and Vision
To ignite passion throughout a team or organization, company leaders must share the core values and vision with managers and individuals. Your most passionate employees will share those values and demonstrate enthusiasm for their jobs without thinking about it – they share the same values.
Most of all, leaders must be honest about their values and model them rather than simply printing them on a poster for the break room. Believe me, there is precedence for meaningless values. In this Harvard Business Review article, author Patrick M. Lencioni lists the corporate values of Enron, a huge energy company charged with committing one of the country’s biggest accounting frauds in history.
So, more than anything, values need to be honest. Living by them can mean some pain along the way. But with perseverance, those individuals and companies that follow their core values are more likely to reach – and especially maintain – success.
Learn how you can incorporate values into your own personal or organizational vision with Success Factors Inc. Call us today (425-485-3221).