Core business values do not change over time. They are not negotiable. You may have a life-changing event in your life that causes 1 or 2 of your core values to change. When my little brother died of a heart defect at 4 months old, my dad dedicated the rest of his life to cardiovascular research and product development with his company. This was a huge change from him, a corporate electrical engineer, but in reality his core values of honesty, working hard and helping others did not change. It also inspired his team to work hard and be dedicated to helping patients around the world with their efforts.
When identifying core business values, start with your personal core values, then add values that you want in and for your business. Identifying and writing down your key core business values is vital to your success for several reasons:
What are core values and how do you identify them?
Values are beliefs that are very important to you, so think about your passions when identifying your strongest values. Try asking yourself “what makes me angry? What is the belief system that is being broken or trampled upon here?” On the other hand you can try asking yourself “what makes me feel great? How am I behaving when I am at my best?”
Examples include: helping others, honesty, integrity, health, love, happiness, intelligence, diversity, safety, innovation …
Exercise: Look online for a list of core business values. Click here for a list of 500 potential business values. Pick out 10-15 of your favorites or the ones that mean the most to you. Don’t choose based on what you think others will think of you, but what is meaningful to you. For your business, yes, consider the clients and your team in your choices. Once you have this list, pair off two words at a time and pick the best one of the two. Continue this process until you’ve narrowed down your list to your top 5.
It may seem like quite a process to go from 500 choices to your top 5, but picking 20 values out of a list goes fairly fast. Narrowing down from 20 to 5 takes time and consideration, but remember that these choices will last a very long time and serve you well, so it’s worth the time and highly recommended.
To test to the longevity of your business’ core values, consider the following question: “If your company was so successful that it were sold you were a multi-millionaire would you still hold the same values?”
If you want help facilitating this exercise or have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Coach Jim at (707) 246-3646 or email Jim@PEAKBusinessCoaching.com.