By Russ Levanway, CEO
We’re spending some time revisiting our core values this year to ensure we don’t lose sight of their true meaning. I think that, for core values to be meaningful, they need to be reflected upon often, to be explored for new ways to model and apply them. In a healthy company, core values tend to manifest naturally because they’re integrated, but even in a healthy company, you may find, if you’re honest with yourself, certain elements of your core values might not be applied consistently. You need to reflect on that and find out how to make them part of your core again.
It’s really important that your core values are a natural extension of how your company already works. Are you drawing up fantasy core values and telling everyone they represent who you are? That’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. You probably didn’t hire with those values in mind, nor do you work like that.
Always, always keep it real.
At TekTegrity, we have four core values: Trust, Tenacity, Growth and Camaraderie. We spent a lot of time thinking about and developing those based on how we operate, and this year we’re reflecting on one value per quarter. This quarter’s value is trust.
In theory, everybody knows what trust is: it’s honesty, integrity, doing what you say you’d do and others knowing they can rely on you to do it. But when I attended the World of Business Ideas Forum last November in New York, trust was the theme across the entire conference, and I learned to look at it in a different way.
I learned about a book, The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, which describes trust as expanding circles rather than a linear journey between untrustworthy and trustworthy. For Covey, trustworthiness isn’t merely doing what you say you’ll do: it actually comprises escalating levels of credibility. The book is a worthwhile read if you are so inclined. In our our stand-ups and divisional meetings, we’re be talking about trust, and department managers are reading The Speed Of Trust this quarter.
What are your organization’s core values? Is it time to revisit them?