Core values is the first step in creating a sustainable business. These are the values that are key to who you are, what your business is and why you go to work every day.
I bet you know that everyone has values. Sometimes those values are stated explicitly. More often you have them and you haven’t taken the time to let others know what values are important in your life. Watch this five minute video about why you need to explicitly state what your core values are. Then, leave a comment below to let me know what you think about letting others know in your business what your business stands for and why your values are important.
Here are the main things we’re covering in today’s video blog:
What core values are.
- How everyone in your company makes up your core values.
- Why you need to tell everyone in your company all of the time what your core values are.
- How to use your core values as teaching moments within your company.
- How I’ve used core values as teaching moments for a company I was involved with.
I see that you’re watching this video today. My guess is, one of the reasons you’re watching this video is, you’re a little bit curious about what core values have to do with making your company sustainable. I’m also assuming that, because you’re watching this video, one of your goals in life is to create a business that’s a sustainable business.
Let’s start off and talk about what happens when you don’t have clear values in your company. Let’s pretend you’ve got 25 people working for you. Let’s also pretend or let’s believe that you’ve never really told people what the core values in your company are. Or you may have told them once or twice but you don’t tell them every day and you don’t have a system for reinforcing what your core values are in your company.
Now, here’s what happens, you have 25 people working in your company and they each think and make up what they believe the values of your company are. Sometimes those values might be things that you want to have happen in your company. But an awful lot of times, those values really aren’t what you want to see happen in your company.
So, if you sit down and say, “Here are the four or five things in our company that we value which are our core values and we never want to break these values.” What are you going to get? Well, one thing you’re going to get is you’re going to start getting all of your people being on the same page. Instead of them having their own values and having 50, 60, 70 or 80 different values running around your company, you’re going to have four or five. And you get to use these values as a very important management tool. I don’t want you just to make values up to make values up. We’ve got enough useless things in our businesses that we shouldn’t be doing. This is not one of them. It is, in my opinion, the starting place for how you create a sustainable business.
Let me give you an example of how I’ve used a core value of my company. My first business was a vending and food service company. We used to make about 20,000 sandwiches a week which is a fair amount of sandwiches. We had about eight or nine people working on our food commissary where we made all these food.
One day, I walked into the commissary. I happened to walk around and I ran into—I was looking at some of the food that was being made. And there was a person making sandwiches. They might have been the worst-looking sandwiches I had ever had seen in my life. So, I went up to person. I said, “Tanya, what’s the deal with these sandwiches?” She looks at me and she’s actually staring my feet. She’s really not looking at me. She’s staring at my feet and she says, “Well, the manager made me do it.” I looked over at the manager and she was over there wrapping sandwiches. Tanya was in a different part of the commissary making sandwiches. So I said, “Tanya, the manager’s over there. You’re over here. You’re making sandwiches. She’s wrapping sandwiches. What’s the deal?” Tanya – still staring at my feet said, “Well, you made me.” I said, “Well, how did I make you?” She said, “Well, you always make sure that we go fast and I’m going fast and I can’t do it right and go fast.” And I said, “Really? Was I just in here telling you to go fast?” And she said, “No”, still staring at my feet. So, I said to Tanya, “Again, why did you make the sandwiches like that? What caused you to do that?” She was staring at my feet and she realized at that point that I wasn’t going to let her off the hook. So, here’s what she did, slowly, slowly rise – went from staring to my feet to slowly going up, she picked up her head, she leaned back, her shoulders went back and she looked me straight in the eye and she said, “Well, it was my fault and I can fix it.” I said, “Tanya, that is absolutely great. Go ahead and do it.”
Now, here’s what happened. This was the bonus part of this thing. Tanya, up to that point, was a marginal member our team. I mean, I was thinking about times I would’ve talked to the commissary manager and say, “Should she even be here, because she’s not exhibiting our values?” I mean, she would make lousy food when one of our values or one of what we used to call pillars was, “If you’re not going to eat it, don’t sell it.” Frankly, there’s no way anyone’s going to eat those sandwiches that she was making. Here’s what happened, Tanya went from being a marginal employee to being one of our best employees. In fact, about a year after that, we made Tanya the manager of the commissary.
So, by using core values, and using them as tools to help people understand how they can make your business better, it’s something that’s really important. And when everybody understands things like personal responsibility, or honesty, or promptness, or accuracy are values that everybody needs to exhibit in the company to stay there, your company wins. You’ll get a chance to become sustainable. It’s something that’s good for you.
So, you might be wondering, “what’s my next step? I don’t even know how to go about creating core values?” Well, you happen to be in luck because here at Ask Josh Patrick, we help people do this on a regular basis. Now, I’m happy to have a free 30‑minute conversation with you about this. All you have to do is click on the button below, you’ll get a sign-up sheet that gives you a 30-minute appointment with me. You find a free slot in your calendar and a free slot in my calendar – let’s work together. Just fill out the form, click it, and we’ll spend 30 minutes talking about how values can be used in your company and we have process that can help you get there.
Thanks a lot for watching this blogpost – a new thing for us here at Ask Josh Patrick. We’re playing around with video blogs. Why don’t you click on the response below and leave me a note on how you like it. I hope you did.
This is Josh Patrick. I’m the head curmudgeon here at Ask Josh Patrick. Thanks a lot for spending some time with us today.