Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Steps to Identifying and Implementing Your Core Values
By Victoria Munro
and understanding your personal core values,
or new values you choose to adopt,
will energize and affect all areas of your life and
business. These values are the non-negotiables
that are truly important to you. Whether we are consciously
aware of them or not, we all have and live by personal
values. The way we live our
lives will demonstrate the values we hold dear.
of Understanding and Following Your Core Values
In addition to providing a baseline and guide for decision-making
and problem solving as you move ahead in life and grow
your business, understanding your core values will:
you and those around you
you forward in the right direction
and retain those with similar values to be your
employees and clients
you to successfully create and sustain a meaningful
company culture that will survive business growth
a greater unity among business associates, clients
When our lives, activities and businesses
are aligned with our deeply held core values, we are
being true to and honoring ourselves. This will result
in a sense of fulfillment, well-being and satisfaction.
Companies that state and adhere
to their core values gain a distinct competitive advantage
in the marketplace.
We’ve all known companies that
talk about and display excellent values but fail to
follow them. Perhaps they made a promise to put the
customer first but failed to adequately train and support
their sales and service personnel to follow through
on this promise. Making a commitment
but failing to follow through reveals a lack of integrity
that will quickly erode loyalty among employees and
clients alike. Without clearly defined core values,
we’re also in danger of making reactionary decisions,
based on demands of others or our feelings at the time.
Businesses as well as individuals
hold core values. If you’re
involved in a partnership, discuss this and together
write a core-values statement that expresses your ethical
commitments. The statement should be one that you can
all own and feel strongly about. Talk about your statement
with employees and encourage them to follow your values.
When hiring employees, look for those who hold core
values similar to those of the company.
and understanding our core values is a foundation to
crafting a personal or business mission statement
and to creating a business plan. With well-articulated
core values in place, you will be able to set goals
that feel right to you and that you’ll be far
more likely to achieve.
Below, we have included a simple core-values
exercise. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest
you take some time to understand your core values. Discovering
and defining your core values will prove a worthwhile
investment of your time and energy!
Creating Your Core-Values Exercise
We have listed some of the most common
values on the printable
page to help you identify your core values
or to discover new values that you would like to embrace.
Feel free to add other values to the list that are meaningful
over the list and circle the top ten values that
are most significant to you. Make
sure that these are genuinely important to you,
and not what you feel you should value, nor
what you think others expect you to value. It may
be helpful to think back to your childhood and remember
what was important to you then.
down that list to only five
values that mean the most to you. Then trim
it further until you are left with your core
one or two values.
a brief definition of what this value (or values)
means to you in practical terms, and commit
to applying this in every area of your life. Consider
how this relates to your business.
this information to craft
a mission statement for your life and for your business
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
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