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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery


Sometimes when I ask leadership teams to define their core values, they'll say something like. "Oh, that;s a waste of time. It's just Mom and Apple Pie stuff; everyone knows what's important here "Later, when they'e being sued for unethical business practices (Wells Fargo, anyone?), they tend to see things differently.

All decisions begin with values and priorities, so why not make it crystal clear what yours are in your organization? If everything is most important, then nothing is most important.

If you want to create a high-performance business culture and sustain it through rapid growth, then clear, enforced core values are essential. They need to be part of your performance management system. Not only should performance be defined in financial goals, but also in terms of the values that drive and insure this sustained financial success over time.

For example, if your business culture is "Make a buck any way you can" then you'll lose your A Players and your customers over time. Who wants to be involved with a business that doesn't care about the people who work there or it's customers?

Below is an example of a values clarification exercise for individuals. Take a moment and rank the items in the list from 1-13 depending on their priority in your life--then look at the rankings and decide if you're the kind of leader that you'd want to follow.

____Affiliation: to obtain and share companionship and affection ____Commitment: to dedicate myself to my responsibilities ____Expertise: to develop a level of technical expertise ____Family: to devote time to family activities ____Independence: to have freedom of thought and action ____Leadership: to become influential ____Personal Development: to optimize personal development ____Pleasure: to enjoy life—to be happy and content ____Power: to have control of others ____Prestige: to acquire recognition for one’s status ____Security: to have a secure and stable position ____Service: to contribute to the happiness of others ____Wealth: to earn a great deal of money

High-Performance Habits

  1. Define and clarify the core values that will create and sustain financial success in your organization. 

  2. Insure that these values are enforced throughout your business by making them an integral part of your performance management system. 

  3. Show the door to folks who don't practice your core values ("Terrorists") they will destroy your financial success from the inside out.

Copyright Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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