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Lead with Purpose and Establish Company Core Values

Updated: Apr 4

Tabetha’s role is to help businesses and companies strengthen them

Innovation, strong leadership, and a cohesive and compatible team propel companies into juggernauts of fiscal success. At the heart of every business that explodes into a profitable enterprise hides a secret to success that cannot and should not be underestimated by up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The most successful businesses and the savviest CEOs lead with purpose by establishing company core values. These values and ethical standards are as different as the businesses they represent, yet outlining core values designs a foundational compass for the entire team. This compass guides morals, ethics, and overall morale.

A values statement outlines expectations, draws ethical lines, and provides an underlying ethos for the entire team. Discover your company’s core values and learn how other enterprises laid the framework of success by defining, implementing, and mandating a list of uncompromising values.

Table of Contents:

  • What are Core Values

  • Examples of Core Values

  • Personal Core Values vs. Company Core Values

  • How to Find Your Core Values

Key Takeaways:

A values statement communicates to the public that the company holds certain standards to be of critical importance. These statements must be truthful, and they must be followed. In today’s social media court of public opinion, a company’s hypocrisy leads to a speedy trial that almost always ends with a guilty verdict and a life sentence of cancellation.

What are Core Values?

Before establishing core values, company leaders need to understand the meaning behind this ethical and moral foundation. Harvard Business Review defines core values as “deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones.” HBR highlighted the issues with establishing core values and noted that the now defunct and ethically-contentious company Enron had a list of core values that, in hindsight, did not guide the company’s direction. Those values included respect and integrity; communication also was noted as an Enron core value.

Unfortunately, statements outlining core values can ring hollow. Companies that lay out a beautiful list of values and virtues but fail to follow them only succeed in hurting their reputation or looking hypocritical. Companies cannot proclaim that they wish to respect the environment in their values statement while outsourcing factory work to a country that has no respect for environmental standards. Actions speak far louder than words.

Customers and the public eventually hold companies accountable. Those statements and values matter, and the court of public opinion, especially in the era of social media, is not known for its kindness and rarely awards second chances.

Examples of Core Values

Companies and leadership teams must carefully frame the core values of a business. Choose words and values cautiously, and understand that following the values is an expectation, not a suggestion. Core values statements do not need to be lengthy. Truth, however, is crucial.

Don’t establish a moral high ground that the company doesn’t expect to follow. Core values can focus on work ethic, honesty, and other areas of importance. Each company’s values are unique to its foundation, leadership, and team.

When establishing core values, make it clear that team members must follow them. Many companies communicate to employees that breaking a core value is grounds for termination or, at the very least, a reprimand.

Leaders needing more insight into establishing core values can look to other values statements for inspiration. Here are a few examples:

Personal Core Values vs. Company Core Values

Personal values often align with company values and vice versa. Some CEOs or Founders use their values to establish company-wide values. Leaders then focus on hiring practices seeking individuals with these same moral and ethical standards.

Before writing a values statement, remember to consider the feasibility of those values seriously. Will the company practice what they preach? Can the team uphold these values? Leaders also must consider any consequences when team members betray the company values. How will individuals be held accountable?

Always remember that companies are now on a social media stage. Engagement on social media is a common marketing practice. The court of public opinion holds sessions on social media; the court isn’t always just, but it’s always firm in its sentencing. Consider this when establishing values without considering the implications behind each core value.

How to Find Your Core Values

Establishing core values requires leaders to examine what they consider to be their company's most important ethical elements. Values statements tell consumers and the public about the interests of the company. Values statements showcase an uncompromising commitment.

Writing a values statement isn’t just about writing words on a computer screen to present a positive corporate image. Values must hold weight, and they must be followed.

Values statements can focus on the team's work ethic, customer commitment, or environmental awareness. Host a leadership meeting or a team meeting (with all employees) and discuss values. Gain insight into each team member's values and use the feedback to create a comprehensive values statement for the company.

The Value of Values

Purpose-driven leadership requires creating a moral foundation for the organization by establishing values. Tabetha helps business leaders uncover and discover the key values that align with their company. Schedule a consultation with Tabetha today to learn more about creating an impactful values statement to move the business and its team to the next level of success.

How The Entrepreneurial Operating System® Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

The Entrepreneurial Operating System® is a proven system that helps businesses clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.

An EOS Implementer like Tabetha helps business owners build a strong foundation for their business to grow on top by implementing the key principles of EOS®: strategy, execution, and control. Tabetha will guide you through every step of the implementation process to help your business goals, ideas, and plans come to fruition.

What are you waiting for? Schedule a call with Tabetha Sheaver today. She has the insights and years of experience to help take your business in a new direction.

Tabetha Sheaver

Tabetha Sheaver is a CEO, executive coaching specialist, project management professional (PMI), and an award-winning business success partner. She helps CEOs regain control of their companies with organizational change management strategies. While helping entrepreneurial leadership teams to be open, honest, and healthy, Tabetha’s experience and insight have made her an in-demand public speaker and presenter nationwide.

Tabetha Sheaver

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