The Power of Culture: How Values Drive Success

Adam Tully – Better Talent

What are your values?

What are the values of those friends closest to you?

What are the values of those who are in your company?

We all have values we live by; sometimes, we need to sit down and meditate on them.

Then we need to write them down.

Then we need to hold ourselves accountable to them.

Then find people with the same values.

Then after forming deep relationships with them, hold them accountable to those values.

Why? Because when you get serious about who you and your company are at your core, you can finally start putting the right people in the right seats. When you implement a values-based approach to hiring and management, you can reap the benefits of a team moving in unity without constantly pitching your vision to new hires and your staff.

In my last five years as a COO/EOS Integrator, It’s been my core focus to lead, manage, and hold people accountable to KPIs and the business’s goals. What’s even more critical and what I’ve been “most” passionate about is ensuring all team members are aligned with the organization’s Core Values as we reach our goals. When we surround ourselves with like-minded people, we feel empowered and enjoy the camaraderie of being on a cohesive team that reaches for the same goals, which naturally drives success.

The book Traction, written by Gino Wickman, places high importance on crafting your core values as the first step in establishing your organization, followed by hiringfiringrewarding, and recognizing, using those Core Values as the foundation and lens by which you make these decisions.

As your organization’s Visionary, imagine what it would feel like to say, “I’m excited about the future because I know we have the right people in the right seats and the decision-making framework to keep moving forward.”

Sound like a dream? Here’s the thing – once you’ve established your core values, this can be your reality.

This leaves us with the million-dollar question – how do we craft core values that accomplish all this?

I can’t cover ALL of it here, but these are some of my insights that have made a massive difference in building a great culture and, at the same time, driving success.



Crafting Core Values: Lay the groundwork.

If you want a fantastic culture of like-minded people, the leadership team must first create core values they desire to live out by the team. Then schedule an offsite meeting where you take time to decide on your values as a leadership team.

However, even before that meeting, the leadership team should individually sit down and meditate on their core values. Without real thought being put into this step, values can get thrown around so loosely in many companies because of the hypocrisy of the leadership taking the time to think about where you’re headed and what you’re individually committed to will make a massive difference in agreeing on values the whole team can exemplify every day.

How to craft core values that mean something

Rule #1  Core values should be specific enough to guide behavior yet broad enough to encompass the larger aspirations of your company.

Too often, companies define their values with words without connections to their work. Instead, you should strive for more specific core values. If you’re a vacation rental management company, instead of saying, “Be reliable,” choose a more detailed statement.

For example, “We will provide seamless and reliable experiences for vacation rental properties.” Then apply that commitment to being reliable in everything you do.

Rule #2 Your values should reflect your true beliefs. Any inconsistency between your values and real-life actions can harm your brand’s credibility. If you say you value customer feedback but never act on it, customers and employees alike will lose trust in your brand.

Rule #3 Go granular. Rather than choosing a value like integrity (shouldn’t everyone?), create a core value that explains how and why you’ll act with integrity.

Living out your core values

Core values are not simply plaques on the wall or content for your “About Page” (although I recommend keeping your core values front and center wherever possible.) Your core values must be lived out daily. When an individual on your team is not reflecting these values, it’s time to connect and figure out why.

When you meet with that person, clarify where the value misalignment is.

When someone on your team is not living out your core values, it’s essential to address that with them, preferably within less than 24 hours of the occurrence, to help them align with the organization’s values.

If the desired change is not achieved after you’ve connected, the tough but necessary decision to let them go may need to be taken. Although this is a hard conversation, in the long run, it will be best for your company and the employee, who has the freedom to find a job where their values are aligned, and they have the best chance to succeed.



Hiring a team aligned with your core values

So you found out your core values; you then met with the leadership team and found out what values you share. Then you hired a fantastic team that had the same values. How do you know to continue to hold them accountable?

Traction has a very easy-to-use one-page tool called the People Analyzer which is helpful in this process. The practical use of this 1-page tool is for the leadership to evaluate the entire team on how well they live out the values. The leadership team then individually completes the sheet and discusses the results.

 Every time I have ever been part of this exercise, it is clear what the next steps are. This is a fantastic way to begin holding the team accountable. The next step is to reward, recognize where needed, potentially fire, and hire accordingly.

As COO of Better Talent, I speak with our partners daily about their hiring strategy and process. One of the most important things to business owners is hiring applicants with their organization’s values. During the interview process, they are hoping to uncover what the values of each individual are. When you have established core values, your hiring team uses them to make hiring decisions. You will build a team that will win!

Next steps:

If you’re struggling, need guidance on establishing or refining your core values, or want to build a team that shares your values, don’t hesitate to reach out to Better Talent.

Better Talent is an outsourced Talent Acquisition and Talent Optimization Platform. We want to be an extension of your team by assisting you throughout the hiring process.