Identify your identity

Features - Professional Development

Concrete core values are the foundation you build your professional life on, so you had better take a moment and figure out what they are.

August 24, 2017


Speakers love to talk about them. Writers love to write about them, but few get down to explaining what they are and how core values influence your actions. The secret to success is to be true to your core values – at a company and personal level. Build your life around those values and you will alleviate stress, increase bottom lines and build lasting relationships. Whether you’re part of the management team, a crew foreman or you mop the equipment maintenance floors, it’s imperative you identify your core values and realize how important they are to your success.

Core Values are the Company’s Compass

Core values for companies are primarily a guide for the internal organization. It is very much like a mission statement. It announces for the managers, employees and your customers what the company’s philosophy is supposed to be. Core values can be helpful in setting the direction of a business. They can be a reminder—readily available to employees—of the management’s corporate compass; the ideals, principles and values that create the company’s foundation.

Make Your Core Values Known

You will often find the core values or mission statement on the wall. They are certainly somewhere in contracts, or other customer-focused business collateral. The numbers, of course, are immensely valuable, but simple facts and figures on a page can quickly become tedious, repetitive, and ultimately disinteresting. Displaying your company’s core values clearly provides your customers with the reassurance that they are choosing to do business with a company of principle and integrity.

Your Company’s Values are More Than Words

To be effective, your values need to be more than part of the company slogan. Core values need to be the company culture. If they are, they don’t need to be repeated; they will be experienced and lived by each employee each day; from the C-Suite to the street sweep.

Simply announcing a core value is not enough – it must be woven into the company culture. To do that it must be genuine. To be a core value it must be simple enough any employee can look at it and determine whether their actions are in accordance with the value. That is a tall order.

Core Values Lead the Way during Adversity

It is easy for companies to say they are propelled by a distinct set of core values. In time of adversity your core values should be the guide that is consulted. Sadly, in those hard times the core values give way to expediency. That is when the core value, or mission statement, gets ignored to achieve a desired result. Avoid the temptation to subvert your driving principles for an easy solution. Let your company’s core values guide you during tough times.

Your Personal Core Values Impact the Company

What are you core values as an individual? These are more important to you than the core values of your company. These are your guiding principles. These values determine the course of action you will take in your professional life.

What is important to you? The reason you need to know them is because even if you can’t identify them, they are the driving force behind everything you do. Rather than let these values unconsciously dictate your direction, you need to identify them, and allow them to take an active part in every decision that you make.

Values are a Decision-Making Beacon

Every choice you make at work is an opportunity to display your internal values. If honesty and integrity are your core values your decisions are made with those principles in play whether you know it or not. That is why it’s important to investigate your core values. When you discover what they are you begin to understand why you behave the way you do. You will not find happiness and success if you are operating in opposition to your core values.

Wayne Schoeneberg is a Certified Professional Coach, a speaker, and a bestselling author.