I’ve been on a search for some core values in my life lately, and also for my business. Priorities, Goals, and Values. They all seem similar, yet also different. Goals most certainly change over time, and Priorities seem to be my interpretation of what’s most important in life. But Values? Those seem to be things that I don’t determine as important. They’re already there, it’s my job to recognize them, identify them, and then align my goals and priorities with them. But what are those values?
I have a client who has their values clearly listed on about every piece of advertising they put out, and I like that. JDH Contracting‘s values are:
- Honesty and Integrity
- Do What Is Right For Our Customers
- Treat each other with Kindness, Dignity and Respect
- Never Compromise Safety in the Workplace
- Support our Community
- Protect our Environment
I like that. Very much. But I need my own. That’s why I was stopped in my tracks during my Bible reading this morning from 2 Timothy 2:22 and the following verses:
Fleet from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness.”
These are some of Paul’s last words to his protege, his son in the faith. Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. There we go. Values Paul espoused and encouraged Timothy to do the same with. So if I’m looking for core values that are out there that I want to adopt as my own, why not start here? I think I will, although I’d like to adopt them to myself, and also to my business, with a little more specificity and focus that seems to “fit” me.
So here we go. My core personal values, as nice little sentence fragments:
- Making right choices in every situation into which I am placed.
- Believing that I am not the one ultimately in control; trusting God, and then working my tail off to what He’s called me to do.
- Pursuing true relationships with those who build into my life, and into whose lives I have something to offer.
- Conducting my life with integrity, honesty, openness, and compassion.
And here are some core values for my business, subject to rewording or tweaking:
- Being up front, honest and fair with every customer or potential customer, and seeking to help them make decisions that bring true value to their organization.
- Conducting business in a way that provides my company room to grow and be profitable, but at the same time leaves room for the unexpected, and allows us to serve some clients that simply cannot afford our services.
- Developing long term, personal relationships with every client. Seeking win-win situations in every deal, and being willing to give and take for the benefit of the long term relationship.
- Building trust with clients through accountability and clear communication with my clients.
So if I were to boil those down to even shorter bits, for both myself and my business, what what I wind up with? Maybe something like this.
- Honesty and Integrity
- Relationships and Communication
- Trust and Fairness
- Generosity and Compassion
- Flexibility and Reliability
Well that’s a start. Probably a start worth using, revisiting, and adjusting over time. But I’ve never done this before, and now I have. I’m proud of me. 🙂