At 3Seed we believe that running our company on a basic set of core values means everything. We look for these values in our employees, our clients, our vendors, and our partners. After all, we spend a lot of time at work so we might as well enjoy the people with whom we spend it. Alignment with these values, as a matter of fact, determines if we hire you, fire you, or work with you. They are posted right inside our front door, and when you walk through that door, we want you to "feel" them in the air:
- Creative & Fun
- Help First
- Humble & Confident
So, have you thought about your core values, whether they are in your business or personal life? Ultimately, your core values tell what kind of a person (or company) you are, but none of us should ever stop striving to be even better, and embody these values in everything we do.
When I meet with a potential client, core values are usually item #1 on my list. If they come to our office, I show them the poster and explain why these values are so important to us. But having a poster in the office means nothing if we don't walk the talk. I believe that someone could spend less than an hour in our office and witness these core values at work.
Does your business have a written set of core values, and do you follow them? Remember, this is not a 'wish list' of what you hope to become, it is a 'here and now' list of who you are. Try this exercise... Get your leadership team into a room and discuss what you do really well. Now take a step back and determine why you do it so well. With a little thought and soul searching, you should be able to create a set of four or five core values. You may already be following some core values without realizing it. If the team creates the list quickly and with full consensus, that's a good thing. It means that all you need to do is write them down and make them known to everyone else.
In my opinion, this document is more important than any organizational chart, responsibilty chart, or mission statement. Everything starts with core values, and if there is alignment then there is harmony.
Oh, there's one I forgot... Must Love Dogs.