3 Questions to Determine How Committed You Are to Your Core Values

November 23, 2015 11:29 pm Published by

In years where there are political campaigns going on we tend to hear a lot about core values. Candidates tout them all the time in an effort to convince supporters and those who are undecided that they are worthy of trust.

Day in and day out, businesses operate on core values as well. Some businesses talk about them a lot. Others are less verbal about them. Still, those core values are there—behind everything a business does—driving the activities of the business.

Or are they?

It seems that some businesses (like political candidates) have one set of values written down for public consumption, but then they act (at least sometimes) on a whole different set of values.

What about your business? Chances are you have a set of core values. Maybe you even have them written down and you share them with your employees—or at least your leadership team. But just how committed are you to those core values? Here are three questions to ask yourself that really determine your commitment.

1. Would you fire an employee who seriously violated one of your core values? I’m not talking about a casual slip-up or a mistake in judgment. I’m talking about an employee who willfully and deliberately acts in opposition to one of your stated values. Is that value important enough to you to terminate an employee for that?

2. Would you take a financial hit in order to adhere to your core values? What if maintaining your values meant losing a big contract? What if—in order to successfully forge a strategic partnership—you had to compromise a key corporate value? What would win out: Your finances or your values?

3. Are your core values alive among your employees today? It’s one thing to have nice-sounding values and ideals on a piece of paper. Do you see evidence of those values in the actions of your employees? Or do your people give lip service to some ideals and then do “whatever it takes” to succeed.

A number of years ago, I was involved in a partnership with another individual. Unfortunately, our core values didn’t mesh. I knew that I couldn’t maintain my values and continue my partnership with this individual, so we parted ways. There were financial and strategic implications for both of us—but I felt that the values I held were too important to be compromised.

If you have core values for your business, how committed are you to maintaining those values? How would you answer those three questions? That will tell you what you need to know.

Take Assessment

Categorised in: , ,

This post was written by Chuck Kocher