I talk a lot about core values being the touchstone for cultural accountability with our clients. Recently, one of our newer clients was reviewing their values in our session and emphatically sharing how their many new hires were receiving them well.
As they described, these bright, shiny, new people loved the core values during the hiring process, and they were thrilled to be joining a team who lived the way the Visionary proudly shared.
A bit later, there was a heated conversation between the team as they debated who to blame regarding a wrong person who hadn’t been let go as promised. That wrong person was causing problems. The Visionary said, “this will damage our reputation.”
My response was “it already has.” The Visionary also shared how he’d divorced this person, wasn’t talking with them and already saw them as gone and hadn’t talked with them in weeks.
I asked if this behavior was aligned with their core values?
Silence enveloped the room.
Core values only work if we embody them entirely. They don’t work any harder than we do, no matter how many walls they’re painted on, notes are written, or shout outs are offered. When it’s difficult, lean in.
They define who you are, always, not when it’s easy.