“Core Values, they effect everything”

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 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 you do and don’t do certain things. They reveal what you stand for and determine how you govern your personal life, lead your team and create your workplace environment.

But, if given a blank piece of paper, could your core leadership team write down 5-7 non-negotiable principles that dictate how you live your personal leadership values or create the culture where you lead? How about those at the front door or who answer the phone?

After thirteen years of traveling over 250 days a year and working with hundreds of church and marketplace leaders, the lack of understanding and commitment by their teams’ to the same core values created most of their leadership and organizational problems.

Most leaders think their organization is values-based. They think everyone knows, supports and lives them every day. This assumption by senior leaders creates most of their time-consuming and energy-draining challenges.

If you don’t think core values effect everything, ask your team to list your team’s core values by memory. If they can’t, I would bet the farm that most of your leadership and organizational challenges are values-related issues driven by either uninformed or uncaring team members.

Your leadership life will be easier and more fulfilling when you get your “core values statements” out of the file, take the framed plaques off the wall and make them a way of life for everyone!in on a regular basis.