“Core Values, lack of agreement causes most of your problems”

Upon the death of President Franklin Roosevelt near the end of World War II, Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House, took V.P. Harry Truman aside and said, “You’re going to have a lot of people around you and telling you what a great man you are, Harry, but you and I both know you ain’t.” Truman ended up being a pretty good president because his “core values” were fundamentally strong, and they guided his presidency.

Most organizations talk about core values. Why they do certain things and not do other things. What they stand for and how they should govern their personal lives and create positive working relationships.

However, when given a blank piece of paper and ask to write down 5-7 non-negotiable principles that dictate how you live your personal life, or create the culture where you work most people cannot do it.

After thirteen years of traveling over 250 days a year and working with hundreds of leaders, I have found that the lack of clarity and commitment to a set of shared core values has created most of the leadership and organizational problems they are asking me to help them solve.

Most leaders think their organization is values-based. They think everyone knows and understands their importance, passionately supports and lives them every day. This assumption by uninformed leaders creates most of their problems.

Don’t think so, ask your team to list your organization’s core values by memory and how they affect the outcome of everything your organization stands for and does. If they can’t do it, I would bet the farm that most of your leadership challenges are value-related issues.

Everything you do should have value, but not everything can or should be a core value. Core values are things you will not compromise under any condition. Passionate agreement on what creates organizational value produces momentum, a positive work environment and outstanding results.

“Now since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with this Scripture: “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe and therefore we speak”
2 Corinthians 4:13.

When it comes to core values, does your “We speak” always override your “I speak?” How do you know? If it does 2018 will be a great year for your organization! If it doesn’t that should be your first goal for the new year.