Are you ready for 2014? Do your core values inspire you?

Happy New Year,

Are you ready for 2014?  Do you have an annual strategic plan that provides an inspiring context for this year?  For the next four weeks I’ll be sending messages about aspects of annual planning to consider as 2014 begins.

If you’d like a quick 20 minute phone call with me to discuss any of these topics, please schedule yourself here:

Here’s to an inspiring, prosperous and fulfilling 2014!


Are your Core Values alive?

Many companies have core values on their website or on a plaque in their lobby, and yet when you interact with that company, you don’t experience those values being real.  Great companies exude their core values.  Take a look at the Phase 2 core values above.  Do they sound like yours?  Do you imagine theirs are alive and actually guide action?  Have you ever flown Southwest Airlines or rented a car from Enterprise?  These companies don’t train their people to be funny or friendly.  They hire friendly and funny people.  Core values can’t be trained for.  For more on this, go check out Dina Dwyer-Owens’ appearance on the Undercover Boss and the Dwyer Group’s Code of Values.

That said, there are many ways you can build your company around your core values.

  • Do they appear in your job postings?
  • Are they part of your interview and selection process?
  • Are they part of the employee evaluation process?
  • Do you have company awards that reinforce them?
  • Can everyone in the company tell at least one legendary story about each core value (think of the Nordstrom story about accepting a return of tires when they don’t sell tires)?
  • Do front-line managers use the exact language of the core values when praising or offering feedback for improvement?  Every day?

What can you do today to upgrade your core values?  Gather your senior team with the instruction to tell a story about a specific event in the last year (better yet, last quarter or last week) involving a specific core value and a specific employee (not a member of the management team).  What happened?  What did that employee do?  Which core value does this exemplify and why?

After everyone has told a story, notice if any of the core values wasn’t covered by a story.  Ask yourselves if that one really is a core value.  If you’re happy with your list, what specific actions can you commit to in the next 90 days to bring your core values more to life.

Read more: Core Values need to match your culture (don’t be generic)

Next week: Do you have the right people in the right seats doing the right things?

The Purpose Podcast

Episode 24 of the Purpose Podcast just came out yesterday.  We explore the power unleashed by entrepreneurs clear on their purpose. How does that impact day to day action? Are you clear on your purpose? Take a listen and send me your thoughts. If you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also, if you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming show, let me know.


I free up entrepreneurs for greater impact. Day to day demands of your growing business will sap your energy and blunt your effectiveness. Together we can work to reduce demands by up to 80% while moving more quickly in the direction of your purpose.

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