In today’s video we’re going to cover the four values that exist in your company. Two of them will be ones you probably want and two of them you would be better off without. Thanks to the brilliant work of Patrick Lencioni and his book The Advantage. All of these values came from his book, one I highly recommend and have listed as one of the five business books you need to ready.
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I appreciate you spending a few minutes with me today. Today, we’re going to talk about the types of values that exist in your company. Now, we all have values in our company. Sometimes those values are put there mindfully, sometimes they’re not.
So, I recently read a book by Patrick Lencioni called The Advantage. It’s one of the five business books I think that everybody has to read. At some point in the future, I’ll actually a do a video blog around books I think you need to read. The Advantage is one of those five and it’s really important. You know, one of the things that made this book so great was that Mr. Lencioni talks about values in a way that, to me, makes a ton of common sense. So, let’s go into what the values are and then we’ll go a little bit deeper into them. That’ll be our conversation for the day.
So, there’s four types of values you can have in your company. There’s core values. Those are the values that really exist and are truly in your company. We have aspirational values. Those might be values that we want to have that we don’t have right now. Then we have permission-to-play values. Those are values that are sort of generic and everybody likes them. And probably most of the time, we follow them but there are times that we don’t. And then there are accidental values. Those are the sort of values that accidentally creep into a company and the values that we really don’t want to have there.
So, let’s talk about core values because in my opinion core values are really the important ones. A core value is something that everybody in your company has to be an 8, 9 or 10 on, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being low and 10 being high. Don’t have any more than five core values. I know, you’ve all seen mission statements where there’s a values list that goes on as long as your arm. Well, most of those values are either permission-to-play values or they’re aspirational values. They’re not core values. They’re not the values that make up the DNA of your company.
Now, for me, one of the core values I have in any company I work for is personal responsibility. I just won’t tolerate somebody working in a company that I own that isn’t going to be personally responsible. It’s too hard to get things done. I don’t want people blaming. I don’t people justifying. I want them to be responsible. That way, we can have an intelligent conversation about what we should be doing in our organization.
The next type of value is the aspirational value. It’s something that could become a core value down the road but isn’t a core value today. It’s something we want in the future. A lot of times, I see an aspirational value as something like becoming a learning organization. We’re a learning organization and we value learning. Well, there are a very few companies I’ve ever actually seen that are really learning organizations. But there’s lots of companies where a learning organization might be a permission-to-play value where “sometimes we’re a learning organization, sometimes we’re not”. Or an aspirational value which is something that we would like to have become a core value but hasn’t gotten there yet.
Then we go to permission-for-play values. These are the sort of global values that you hear and you see on the walls of many companies. Things like “respect for others.” Well, I’m going to tell you, there’s an awful lot of companies that say, “Hey, we have respect for others and probably 50%, 60%, 70% – maybe even 90% s of the time, they have respect for others. But there’s that 10%, 15%, 20% of the time, they don’t. So, that’s what we call permission-to-play value. Permission-to-play value is not bad by themselves but is not a core value. It’s not one that makes the DNA up of your company.
And then finally, there’s accidental values. Accidental values sometimes to me feel like it’s a group think. For example, an accidental value is you have a company that’s full of introverts. Well, if your company is all introverts or all extroverts you’ve got a problem. You need to have a a mix of people to have a balance, to have a good company that provides things where you need extroversion and there are things you need introversion for. It’s not one or the other. It should be both. So if you find out you have a “one or the other” and it sort of feels like a value, you probably have some accidental values creep into your company. Well, it’s always a good idea to think about that.
So here’s what I want you to do. I want you take out a piece of paper and write down every value you can think of, that you think might exist in your company. Then I want you to go with your pen and I want you to go core value, aspirational value, permission-to-play value or accidental values and keep crossing off those core values until you get to the three to five that are the most important.
We’re going to talk in the future about how to create a mission statement. And I can tell you that creating a mission statement has to come out of the values that exist in your company. Without those values, it’s almost impossible to create a mission statement that makes some sense. So, I want you to focus on your core values. I want everyone in your company to be an 8, 9 or 10. If they’re not, you might not have the right person in your company. You have to think about that. If people don’t exhibit the values you want in your company, it’s probably a pretty big deal. So, that’s what we want to talk about with values. Figure out what your core values are. Understand what the other values are in your company and take some action around that.
Oh, by the way, you’ll see there’s a sign-up for newsletter button at the bottom of this post, why don’t you click on it and sign up? You know, on a pretty regular basis, I put out a newsletter about how you can make your business sustainable. There might be a roundup of some blogpost and podcast that I’ve done and maybe video blogs. I might have some curated material and they’re about some books I think you need to read, or it could just be a comment about or a written piece on something that’s important, I think, for you to create a sustainable business.
Well, thanks a lot for spending some time with me today. I’m Josh Patrick. I’m the head carmudgeon here at Ask Josh Patrick. Thanks a lot for spending a little time with me today.