How do you develop your Core Values and embed them in your company?


Many of my clients struggle when I ask them to tell me what their core values are. “Honesty”, “Integrity” and “Customer Service” are often near the front of the list, but I don’t  think these are really core values – I can’t imagine any company admitting that their core values were the opposite of these words.

One of the best ways to tease out what your company’s Core Values really are is to do an exercise with your staff. Ask them if they could replicate or clone, 2 or 3 people that would help to lead the company to market domination, who would they be. Hopefully the people are already working for the company – if not you may have bigger issues. Once all the names are collected, discuss the attributes of each individual and what are the strengths, character and personality traits that led them to being chosen. You will likely end up with a fairly long list of qualities, but somewhere in that list are your company’s core values.

Now the hard part begins. A company should really only have 3 to 7 core values, so in the first go around you will discuss which qualities on the list truly are important. This may reduce the list down to 10 to 15 qualities. Now through group discussion and debate the list needs to be further reduced down to the 3 to 7 Core Values for your company.

Then Tell the Story

I’m a big fan of using a story to describe your Core Values, rather than using a single word. If done correctly this not only helps to round out your core value but it also makes it “visual” rather than just “written”.

Make Mama Proud

McIntosh-Perry is an engineering company. One of its Core Values is “Make Mama Proud”. That one phrase covers so much, yet needs hardly any explanation.

Podium Mentality

Podium Mentality  is a Core Value that I helped one of my clients develop. Jason was a wrestler in high school, and when arriving at a tournament venue, the first thing he would do would be to walk to the winners podium, climb on top of it and imagine himself being crowned as champion at the end of the tournament. From there he would work backwards through each round, imagining what he needed to do to make it to the podium. Jason is now a Financial Advisor and owner of Jason M Orsky Wealth Management ( where he practices his Core Value of having a Podium Mentality to help him and his team to not only visualize the “win”, but the steps they need to take to get there.

Walk With a Purpose

One of the Core Values of Under Armor is to Walk With a Purpose. They say “Everything we do is part of a deliberate, long-term strategy/vision. Know where you’re going.” What they are really saying is – No Busy Work, Make Everything Count.

If you would like help developing your company’s Core Values, please call Simon (440)-385-6737 for a complimentary meeting.