The Behaviour that Supports – Leadership
Can you remember the last time when you took off your shoes and socks and stood on the grass, or the beach or the rocks? Do you remember how it made you feel? Do you remember the connection you felt to the earth and how solid that was?
Your personal values do the same thing for you and those you create for your business help keep it grounded. Business values are the core principles or standards that guide the way you do business. They sum up what your business stands for and what makes it special. While business plans and strategies may change the core values of your business will remain the same.
The problem for those trying to identify their business values is that they often create a list of behaviours rather than values. Those behaviours belong to how you govern your business not the values that underpin your business.
These behaviours are good – don’t get me wrong, but you can apply these actions to any key values. Think about it?
There are nine values that I believe might motivate your business. Of which I believe there are three that you can pin your colours on. Those are the three that when all else fails, when push comes to shove your stakeholders will still believe in the business.
Which of the three, when your ship is sinking, will your business keep safe in the life boats? These are those that, when the going gets tough, you and other stakeholders in the business will guide those difficult decisions.
Communicating your values is an important but not easy task. I originally based the following exercise on Thomas C Ritts work, which is sadly now out of print. However, I have since adapted my exercise alongside James Sale’s work on motivational maps.