Why Core Values Are Important For You And Your Business
Core values are a cornerstone of the Wholeness at Work Program. Being a leader in your personal and professional spaces comes with a lot of uncertainty—after all, determining what makes a good leader is subjective and fluid.
As a leader, maintaining, guiding, and inspiring the interwoven systems of business can sometimes feel overwhelming and complex. Guiding the individual, “I,” the team, “we,” and the systemic, “it” that make up a workplace is a big responsibility, but accepting a few missteps and fumbles here and there is also a part of that journey. With Wholeness at Work, we seek to fundamentally change the way we approach those systems in order to help you stand tall, guide your team successfully, and shape the sustainable growth of the business to thrive.
In this article, we’re addressing core values: the tool that roots all of your work so that you, your team, and the business as a whole can work together as one incredible unit.
Core Values Definition
Core values are a guiding mechanism of success.
They are a set of attributes that you relate to and prize above all others. Keep in mind that core values are not goals. For example, your core values shouldn’t include unattainable things, like “perfection.” Your core values should come from genuine ideals and inspirations that make you work hard every day. They are who you are and how you want to be.
Some potential core values examples include: humor, independence, knowledge, integrity, self-actualization, variety, beauty, belonging, change, stability, and respect. These should ultimately guide your meaning of success (which is subjective to every individual), so look inward and choose values that help you identify with your most authentic self. This may require a fair bit of soul searching.
Why Are Core Values Important?
The idea behind core values is relatively simple: we need attributes that align our decisions, drive our goals, and support us as we move to achieve them. Here are three reasons why they’re so important in the systems that make up your workplace.
1 | They Help Pave A Path
Being a leader in any industry is hard. This is so obvious that it feels a little silly to type, but we believe it’s important that your work and stress and perseverance is acknowledged and honored.
When we are given the privilege of leading a team (or many teams) for the first time, we’re really forced to dive into the deep end of the pool and flail until we learn how to swim. Having core values is like buckling into a life vest in preparation for the water—core values give us something to hold on to and guide us as we figure out how to keep our heads above water.
For example, let’s say you’re put in charge of a team for a work project. This is a collaborative project between departments, so you’ve never worked with some of the team members before. Regardless of your core values, expressing what they are at the beginning of the project establishes your intent and leadership style and sets the president for everyone under you. Core values enable you to set up clear goals, roles, and channels of communication to propel your team forward. The core value is with you every step of the way, resulting in a cohesive strategy that gives everyone the chance to succeed together.
2 | They Help Us Set Boundaries
Core values are also an incredible tool for setting boundaries with yourself, your team, and your entire business.
Let’s say one of your core values is family. On the “I” level, having core values will help you assess when you’re pushing yourself too hard. For example, on Friday evening, when you know your week is technically over but you think sending a few more emails would make you feel a little better about your day, turning to your family core value will remind you that it’s time to turn off the computer, spend time with your loved ones, and give the people on the other side of those email notifications time to do the same (which serves the “we” system). If your company understands that you are offline at 5:30 pm on Fridays and you will not respond to emails until Monday morning, it establishes your ideal work-life balance and has a ripple effect throughout the entire team. This also prevents burnout on a systemic scale (“it”).
Core values help us establish where we focus our time, where we set boundaries, and how strictly we impose them.
3 | They Keep us Grounded
Without core values, it becomes easier to lose our sense of purpose and drive. Here are positive forms of stress that can and should be enhanced by core values, as well as negative forms of stress that core values can help us avoid.
On days where we feel scatterbrained, in meetings that feel unproductive, in an overarching work environment that feels toxic, it’s easy to get lost in the negative. Working within your core values effectively provides an anchor on a roaring sea.
When we let go of our core values, it’s easy to feel lost and to feel like your leadership is not sustainable, meaningful, healthy, and authentic. Personal “I” values become group “we” values become cohesive “it” business core values, so we must find balance between what is good for ourselves on the day-to-day and what is good for the entire company. As long as we establish our core values and let them lead and support us, it is much harder to stray from the path of success.We’ve worked with countless leaders to use core values to prevent burnout and create supportive, communicative, thriving environments and it would be an absolute pleasure to work with you. You already have the tools to make a good work environment a great one, We’re here to guide the way. Let’s connect and discuss just how we can do that together.