I attended FusionCon this year in Scottsdale, AZ and was amazed by the small business stories shared throughout the three day event. One successful business owner took center stage to tell his story about how he was able to turn his company around, starting with core values.
The issue was that he neglected to identify the company’s core values from the start. Morale was low, employees had little direction and sales were dismal. He went through the process of identifying his company’s core values. He realized his employees needed to be just as passionate about those values and company mission in order for the team to be successful.
He made defining core values a part of the interview process as well.
He asked candidates, “What are your core values?”
And many times over, candidates couldn’t answer the question.
I sat in my chair thinking about how I would articulate my own core values if I was asked that very question. I know what I stand for of course. But, could I state 3 – 5 personal core values clearly and make that connection with a company? I dig some digging and brainstorming following the event.
Defining our values gives us purpose, motivation and direction.
It can build confidence and make things clearer, more focused.
If you are a working mom who is thinking about your next career move, define your personal core values first and that will help you find your next career fit. Interviewing is not always easy. It’s not just about a potential employer figuring the candidate out. We should be learning about the company and its representatives as well. What do they stand for and how does that fit in my own value system?
If both sides are not aligned, it can make for a rough road ahead. When they are aligned, it can be employment nirvana. OK, maybe not nirvana, but it’s a good thing for everyone.
Clear your mind and space. Pull out a piece of paper and pen or your iPad. Jot down all of the things you value. Let the words flow. Some words that pop up may surprise you.
Have you ever noticed the power of 3? Three things, concepts or ideas are easiest to identify and remember. Circle or highlight the top 3 things that are of most value to you. If it helps to rank first, you can set up the list in an order that feels right for you. Arriving at 5 is perfectly fine, too. It’s your list, your values!
Live and Revisit
You are already living them so being true to those values will feel right. Revisit and realign as needed.
Wonder what happened to that business owner who asked the core values question during interviews?
His business turned around. His employees enjoyed working for him and new employees were as passionate about his business as he was. He aligned the company core values and mission with hiring, creating company goals and leading his team. It all started with that first step of identifying them.
What are yours?