4 Steps To Create Your Company's (And Your Personal) Core Values
There is no easy way to be a leader. There isn’t a single perfect way to be a leader either. When we are in the privileged position of guiding a team—or lots of teams—there is no universal regimen, path, or class that can tell us how to do everything right.
We believe, however, that if we look within ourselves and work to uncover the things that make us who we are and the things that stand between who we are and who we want to be, we can create personalized guides to lead us down the path of success on all levels of business, including the personal (“I”), team (“we”), and systemic (“it”).
Core values are a tool. They are a set of ideas that we hold onto throughout our career in order to simultaneously guide and support us as we move through the ever-blending personal and professional worlds. They can change overtime, too. We care about creating great leaders who are resistant to burnout, and core values are at the heart of this work.
In this article, we’re going to explore the steps you can take to create core values that will make you, your team, and your company stronger than ever.
1 |Get Inspired
At first, the task of narrowing all of your thoughts, ideas, goals, and personality traits into a few attributes is definitely a bit intimidating. That’s why I recommend finding inspiration as you work toward finding them.
In addition to the one-on-one work that Erin does with many different types of leaders,she created an entire self-guided coaching program to help lead the way in determining who you are and who you can become at the professional level. Whether or not you choose to work with our content, we want you to find other leaders in your field (and fields you care about) and think about what makes them so great. Read books about leadership, watch TED talks about what it means to guide others, find people and other companies to look up to. Identifying core values in others can help you identify your personal core values and then apply them towards your company.
2 | Assess Your Strengths
Core values shouldn’t be things you think you need to be, they should be things that you know you can be.
That’s why your next step is to establish your personal and company-wide strengths. This is going to require some major introspection and honesty; it might be useful to sit down with a pen and paper and make observations about your behavior in past projects and experiences. In those experiences, were you the most communicative member of the team? Were you the most dedicated to the project? What made the project successful? Where were your weaknesses as a team? As a company? Rather than listing values you ideally want to possess, look for the blunt and honest truth of who you are and how you act in various contexts.
This exercise should at least give you a group of attributes you can consider when choosing your core values.
3 | Look To The Future
This step is just as introspective and just as important as step 2.
This is a visualization exercise. You’re going to close your eyes and peek into the life of your future self as a leader in your company 6 months from now, 1 year, 5 years, and/or 10 years down the line. This version of yourself is who you want to be as a teammate and a leader. It may help to write down what you visualize; you can even write down an ideal daily schedule for that future you to really step into those shoes.
Now, ask yourself about that person. What does their day look like? What are they on track to accomplish? How big are the teams they work with? How is their business functioning as a whole?
4 | Honor Your Personal Vision
Once you’ve established what your future self is doing, it’s time to figure out how they’re doing it. Under what conditions do they do their best work? What makes them a great leader? What is driving a healthy work environment? How is that healthy environment being cared for? Again, it may be helpful to write all of this down.
This last step is the trickiest one because you have to consider the attributes you already have and select the ones that you just need to amplify in order to become the person leading the company in your visualization. This will help you determine which core values you will need to carve a path directly to that future version of yourself and your business.
Once you know exactly where you need to be, you’re going to narrow it down to 3-5 attributes. Some core values examples that you might consider are family, integrity, strength, fluidity, excitement, autonomy, beauty, variety, power, fun, and honesty. Because everybody has their own unique personalities and traits, these values listed are extremely wide-ranging. No two people are the exact same, and that’s what makes core values so special. Every leader’s success is unique to their personal journey.
Keep in mind that you should begin with personal core values because these will transfer to your company core values in a way that is honest and authentic. We can’t force core values that don’t actually align with who we are, and forcing misaligned attributes will make you more frustrated than ever. Trust your journey to finding your core values and, once you’ve figured them out, let them lead the way.
If you feel that you need some support on this journey, let’s connect. The road to creating a healthy future for yourself and for your company awaits.
- Tags: burnout