core values

Mistakes We Make with Core Values: Meaningful or Meaningless?

Core Values – Make Your Values Mean Something

What five words would you like someone to describe you or your company as? Honest, Excellent, Innovative, Intelligent, Competitive?

Most fortune 500 companies have a set of core values.  It would be harder to find an organization that operates without them these days.  Does your company have some? Maybe you have a personal set of values that you live by.   Having core values is not always a good thing, (you read that right!)  Core values can be meaningful or meaningless.

I want to share with you the ways that I have found to make your core values mean something.  When created and implemented authentically the benefits of having deeply ingrained principles in your organization can:1) set you apart from your competition, 2) help guide your company through decision making, (from hiring to judgement calls) 3) serve as a rally point for your employees and 4) Guide the interaction of your employees. Core values serve to align every part of your work process.  They create identity, teach culture and set forth a clear vision. Proverbs tells us the value of a clear vision:

"When there’s no vision, the people get out of control, but whoever obeys instruction is happy."

Core values are a powerful way to bring scripture into your workplaceWhen constructing the foundation of my company I chose biblical principles as our core values. I know that there is power in God’s wordThey are values that run through the fabric of everything we do. Every employee-related process—hiring method, performance management system, criteria for promotions and rewards, and even dismissal policies. They govern our client relationships and the conduct by which we measure ourselves. If you have a set of values and you want them to be effective, everyone needs to be constantly reminded of them. 

“Empty values statements create cynical and dispirited employees, alienate customers, and undermine managerial credibility.“

Poorly implemented values can be detrimental to the culture of an organization.  If the gap between what we say and what we do becomes too great it loses all its power, and we mislead people.  James 1:5 says, “You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves.” Living out core values is not always easy.  They can never be compromised, or they lose their power. 


When considering the values you live by, at work or at home I encourage you in two areas:

  1. Build on a good foundation, the bible is the best foundation for life that I have found.
  2. Give sufficient attention to the implementation and sustainability of your values. 

Don’t approach a values initiative as a onetime event that is measured by the attention it receives, but by the authenticity of its content. Play the long game and build well with good materials. 




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