Real quick now...no pondering, no guessing, no googling or reflecting...
Gimme the top 5 values which are in your values set!
Look at you! I went and made a garden salad and ate it with a bratwurst and you’re still not finished!
But...can you imagine making a big impact with your life or in your business without nailing down your values set?
Neither can I.
I am so serious about this that in my free, Fast Learning Resource "7 Unique Skills to Make a BIG Impact in Business", nailing down your values set is Super Skill #1.
Yes...the first thing you have to do, if you’re going to make a big impact or win big in business or life, is to become very clear on what your values are.
So...What are values & value sets?
I know you get that you have to nail down your values set, right? But the big question is: What are values?
Values represent standards of behavior which define how you live and work. They are what you stand for and they inform what you will and will not do.
They can also be situational - meaning that those which are right for your business, might not be right for your life. And having family values does not mean they are right for your business.
But the real issue about values is that if you don't select them, they select you. In other words, values exist in your life and business whether you are conscious of them or not.
When you don't consciously select your values, you are just like a beach ball drifting aimlessly on the ebb and flow of the tide.
For example, you chase after what a friend told you was a great idea. But halfway down the road, you realise it's not the right one for you after all. Now you have to come all the way back to your starting point.
When this is the case, you are unlikely to know the difference between your head and your tail and this is not good for your life or your business.
So, what's a better approach? It is to be guided by your own set of values.
Now let me define values set.
When I talk about your values set, I'm talking about that unique set of values which you have determined is right for you and your business.
Notice that you determine what the final values in your set are, even when you get help identifying them.
Now you're wondering...
What are the benefits of having a defined set of values?
When you have a clear set of values to guide your life and your business, you can consciously use them in incredible ways to determine personal and business priorities.
They can serve as a:
1. Compass to guide the behaviour of everyone in the business. This is very powerful for accountability from the top to bottom in your business.
2. Benchmark against which to evaluate projects and deals, which the business might want to pursue. When you subject them to your values set, and they don't match up, you can walk away.
3. Signal to customers and competitors as to exactly what the business stands for and how it operates.
In essence, you can safely claim that your values set clearly indicates the character and culture of the business.
The big question is, then...
How do you determine your personal values set?
As a Small Business Owner, any values set you create, will impact you and your business.
Therefore, first, you want to be clear about your own core values and from there, determine a set which supports the mission of your business.
This means that how you establish your personal values is very important.
The one thing you have to do is...
Be very clear about what you stand for
When you know what you stand for, you're in a much better position to decide what you want your business to stand for.
The way I recommend to my clients to get clear on what they stand for is to write your personal "Code of Honour".
Hello…and that is what?" You declare anxiously.
Please relax...I will explain.
It's a set of rules and agreements which you make with yourself and which you do not break or compromise.
In my Struggle to Success Breakthrough Blueprint, this is the one exercise that many of my clients credit with helping them to make the biggest shifts in their lives and businesses.
These agreements are made in 6 key areas of your life:
- Primary relationships
- Financial freedom
- Business and team(members)
- Personal growth
Try to list only a 2 or 3 key "agreements" under each area because you want to be able to honour your agreements.
Here are a few examples from my own Personal Code of Honor:
Business and team(mates)
- I will take at least one action every week to grow my business(es)
- I will treat team members with dignity, fairness and compassion
- I will hold myself accountable to all agreements I make to myself
- I will always be in touch with and driven by my Spirit
- My word is my absolute bond
Now that you have your personal code in place, you're ready to move on to creating a values set for your business.
How to create a set of values for your business?
If you have a few employees, they are your "Values Team". If you have more than a few, then select your "Values Team from among them. In case you're the only employee in your business, then you can do the exercise alone or tap into your network for help.
I am proceeding on the belief that you have a team and you are also taking part.
- Ask each member to list the 10 values which best represent who they are i.e. their personal values. Be sure to include your own.
- Then ask them to share their values and select the values which are common to the most members of the team. However, do not dismiss any that might have been listed by only one or two persons. You might find that on reflection and discussion, they might prove important to the business and its mission. Try for a final list of 10 – 12 values.
- Next, ask them to collectively list the values which they believe a high-performance team should have. Follow the selection process at #2 above to select a final set of 10 – 12 values.
- Finally, ask them to collectively list the top ten values which they believe would best support the mission/business. Again, uses the selection process at #2 to select 10 – 12 values.
To be clear, you now have 3 sets of values, 10 - 12 per set, in the following areas:
- Representing your core team as a whole
- Those which should exist in a high-performance team
- Those which support your mission/business
Now comes the hard part.
From these values, you will have to select the 7 – 12 core values which you would want to shape the culture of your business, and guide the behavior of your team.
Why 7 – 12 core values?
Too few and you run the risk of not covering all the key aspects of your business and the behaviors you want to engender in the business.
Too many and you are in danger of just overwhelming the business and making the values themselves meaningless.
But...how you make the final selection is entirely up to you!
You see, no one knows your business better than you. Furthermore, you know what you want your business to look like and the culture you want it to have.
In selecting the final values set, ask yourself these questions:
- What values are absolutely essential to my work environment?
- What values represent the primary behaviors I want to encourage and stand by in the business?
- Which ones are essential to supporting/creating the unique culture of the business?
- Can these values be as valid 100 years from now as they are today?
Everyone seems to get stuck at the point where it comes to selecting values.
To make sure this does not happen to you, and to prevent any excuses and fears from getting in your way, I am sharing 89 values to get you thinking about yours.
Rush over and download them here.
Now you want to make your values actionable.
Making your core values actionable will just about nail the selection process for you.
Values Action Statement help you transfer your “single word” values into statements which go to the core of your mission. They also help to connect you and your team and make sure you attract the type of customers you want.
Remember: Slogans and taglines are not core values.
Here's an example of how you make single values in values statements.
Impact Training & Development Services has among its core values passion, persistence and prosperity and resourcefulness.
When they were transformed into values statements, they were expanded into:
- Passion – to infuse our every action
- Persistence – the pathway to results
- Prosperity – for our clients and ourselves
- Resourcefulness - when we combine imagination and experience
You should know that these values underpin the mission or purpose of ITDS which is to:
“Help small businesses make a BIG impact”
Moving forward on your values set…
Aren't you happy?
I have done some serious heavy-lifting for you. I've walked you through how to establish your own values set and from there, show you how to establish values for your business.
Now, all you have to do, is follow the steps and you're way ahead of the competition.
Remember that nailing down your values set is the first and most important step in making a BIG impact.
Once you have nailed down your values set, you must now align your behavior with your values.
When your behavior is in alignment with your values, you feel successful, you are confident and your personal influence is high. You are sure what’s right for you and your business and you will easily reject any ideas, contracts, etc., which do not closely match your values.
Just imagine the power and influence you can have when you are so sure what you stand for that you can walk away from a seemingly sweet contract which is not in keeping with your values.
So…now you are you ready for the next six steps you need to make a big impact so, go ahead and get them!
Valuing your success...