Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Leadership Values

When the new year begins the lists come out and it's always time to see who views what as "winners", "losers", and/or what's in store for the next twelve months or so.

The other thing that happens, at least for me, is that this time of year makes you think of where things have been, what's changed, and what worked and what didn't. It also makes me think of what hasn't changed and why.

And so it was when someone came up to me in the office the other day and offered up congratulations on our starting of year twenty-two since ExecuNet's founding in 1988. As we were talking, he asked how I thought the company had been able to react and adapt to all the changes and challenges over the years.

I wasn't quite sure how to respond other than to say that I felt a lot of it came from the fact that we have always worked very hard to stick to our core values and that this was one of the major advantages of being a small company.

He went on to say that it must be a pretty hard thing to do as the company has continued to grow over time. My response was that while for sure it wasn't easy, so long as we never lose sight of what we believe in I thought we would be able to work our way through most any challenge.

Every organization, large or small, certainly has similar ideals or rules by which they try to manage. In our case they aren't so much "rules" as they are "beliefs."

We have a number of them, but at the core are these:
1. Every relationship we have, be it inside or outside the organization. is built on trust.

2. We want a culture that feels like we are working "with" not "for" and

3. We don't want to ever forget that everything we do or say reflects on us both individually and collectively.
Interested in sharing yours?


kszabo said...

In Aug'07 we defined some core values at our IT consulting company which included
/ Respect for Individuals, / Performance Orientation,/
Good Citizenship,/
Company financial status as prior to individual financial benefits/ /using the latest technology if and only if it has definite benefit for us.

In addition to general values they also addressed a troubled situation with high level of fluctuation and dissatisfaction within our own people.

These core values gave me and our management team a good help a few times to evaluate management situations.
Since Aug 2007 and including the current tough times, by now it is the time when I start to feel that the entity has embraced those values. Took a while and we all have to keep it moving. After all, company cultures make the difference, dont't they?

We did name at our company

Dave Opton said...

Indeed they do, and it is hardly a military secret either, so I keep wondering why more companies don't spend more time focusing on it.

For sure there are times when people stay somewhere because they feel they have to but the real ROI for the organization is when they stay because they want to.

Anonymous said...

The thing I have always tried to communicate is RESPECT. This shows up in all sorts of ways, in how we treat the opposite sex to posting management being silly posters on the cube wall. It really is a pervasive negative thing that often creeps into a company and influences the culture.
Minneapolis, MN

Dave Opton said...

Certainly if you were running a contest and asking people to suggest the one word that was the key to personal and/organizational success, I can't think of a better one than what you have suggested.

Thanks GL.