What values define you?

Stradivari Violin

Most companies have elements called Values.  Typically, Values are those key or core attributes that define a company’s foundation… its commitment, its beliefs, and its unwavering mode of operation.  My own company, for example, has had the same three values for over 100 years:

  • Quality – an unwavering commitment to quality
  • Integrity – integrity in everything we do – this is our foundation
  • Service – consistently delivering value to our customers, providers, and patients

Without question, these three elements, if done well, can differentiate a great company from a mediocre one.

Values for our personal approach to work and life can drive us toward excellence or greatness, as well.  Have you taken the time to identify your own personal values?  Notice, I didn’t say “develop” your personal values.  Values are how you naturally behave.  They are your core, your foundation.  Others can see your values in how you make decisions, treat others, or behave in a crisis.  Do you know which “values” define you?

Recently, a colleague received information on the values established by another company and shared them with me.  This company states that these are the values that determine “…who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.”  I thought it would be good to share these nine values.  See how many of these you exhibit well:

  1. Judgment – you make wise decisions despite ambiguity; you identify root causes and get beyond treating symptoms; you think strategically and can articulate what you are and are not trying to do; you smartly separate what must be done now and what can be improved later.
  2. Communication – you listen well, instead of reacting fast, so you can better understand; you are concise and articulate in speech and writing; you treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you; you maintain calm poise in stressful situations
  3. Impact – you accomplish amazing amounts of important work; you demonstrate consistently strong performance so colleagues can rely upon you; you focus on great results rather than on process; you exhibit bias-to-action and avoid analysis-paralysis
  4. Curiosity – you learn rapidly and eagerly; you seek to understand our strategy, market, customers, and suppliers; you are broadly knowledgeable about business, technology and entertainment (Note: this is an entertainment company); you contribute effectively outside of your specialty
  5. Innovation – you re-conceptualize issues to discover practical solutions to hard problems; you challenge prevailing assumptions when warranted and suggest better approaches; you create new ideas that prove useful; you keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify
  6. Courage – you say what you think even if it is controversial; you make tough decisions without agonizing; you take smart risks; you question actions inconsistent with our values
  7. Passion – you inspire others with your thirst for excellence; you can intensely about our success; you celebrate wins; you are tenacious
  8. Honesty – you are known for candor and directness; you are non-political when you disagree with others; you only say things about fellow employees you will say to their face; you are quick to admit mistakes
  9. Selflessness – you seek what is best for the company rather than best for yourself or your group; you are ego-less when searching for the best ideas; you make time to help colleagues; you share information openly and proactively

So, how do you stack up?  Would you be successful at this company?  The values listed above are good ones for us all to consider and, whenever possible, emulate.  What would our company be like if every employee exhibited these every day?  Amazing, I would guess!

Have you considered what values define you?  Thanks for striving to make life better for others.   Have a terrific day!

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