Values are always present, whether spoken or not – both for the individual and the organization.
Do you believe this to be true?
You may be saying…”Sure, we have our mission, vision and values on the wall!”
Most organizations gave this some thought as they started or during seasons of change, but do you remember them? More importantly, do you live by them? Are they the right values? Is everyone on the team on the same page?
Unfortunately, it is often found that the values on the wall are rarely the same values that are demonstrated. This is a clear leadership issue!
The first step in shaping the future of others is to demonstrate the desired reality today. Our actions will either reinforce or contradict what we say. We also recognize that the current culture in an organization is a result of underlying beliefs and convictions of those who are leading – their values.
The best results will come from the right culture, which is driven by the right values.
Our values influence, shape and could even determine thoughts, actions, decisions and motivations.
When it comes to values:
- Everyone must know them
- Everyone must agree to their meaning
- Everyone must be able to implement them
- They must be non-negotiable
You may be thinking at this point – “That sounds nice in theory, but is it proven? Or is it just corporate jargon?” Good question!
Organizations with strong core values that enable, engage and empower people have:
- Higher revenue vs. peers (4.5x greater)
- Lower turnover (54% less)
- Higher morale and performance (50% greater)
- Greater customer satisfaction (89% better)
- Stronger ability to withstand business challenges
So, if values matter, what are the right ones? Are there measurable values that have stood the test of time?
At Global Values, we believe there are and they apply in all contexts:
Integrity – demonstrating humility, honesty, impeccable reputation, moral character and sound decision-making
Discipline – being diligent, patient, self-aware and self-controlled
Generosity – being thankful, compassionate and open handed with all that you are and have
Service – seeking, trusting, forgiving and believing the best in and for others
“Shared values are the internal compass that enable people to act independently and interdependently simultaneously” (Kouzes & Posner).
When values are right, people don’t/won’t need to be micro-managed.
When values are present, culture is a shared responsibility. Leadership is responsible for determining and demonstrating the right values and the team is responsible for consistently acting in a way that maintains and strengthens the culture by living the values in every interaction they have – both internally and externally.
When we have the right values, it allows us to lead with vision…which I will explain further in my next post!