Have you ever worked with an organization or been part of a team where their core values didn’t align with their actions? Did it irk you to your core? Did you feel a bit – bamboozled? Well, if it makes you feel any bit better, you’re not alone. We have all been there.
What are core values? Sometimes they are just pretty words and sometimes they are a “company’s DNA”. A company’s core values act as their rules to live by. It helps companies make decisions and act as driving forces. However, sometimes (far too often) core values are cast aside as mere philosophical dreams and the focus becomes financial gains.
At Apex Consulting Solutions, we’ve even almost fallen victim to this trap. One of our core values is taking care of our people. For us, that means more than just our company – it extends to all of Charlotte! We value being able to provide for others. Typically, we do this by donating to toys for tots, Operation Smile, and food for homeless shelters during Thanksgiving. This year, things changed. Life happened and we had to shift our priorities, never losing sight of our core value. This year we shifted to starting scholarship programs. Why was that important? Because our team knows we value giving back. If we just used our time and travel constraints as excuses, we would create a precedent to make excuses.
So what’s the difference between core values that work and those that do not? It’s not even about the value itself as much as it is in the team’s commitment.
Simply put: Core values mean nothing if your leadership team will not lose money over it or fire an employee/drop a customer over it.
Take our core value of honesty and integrity. While it would be nice to say that every person we’ve worked with over the last 4+ years has impeccable integrity, we cannot say this because it would not be true. But we also accept that having intense integrity and being honest is difficult. We know that doing the right thing even when it means losing or admitting you did something wrong is one of the hardest things you can do, but it’s one of our core values. We can forgive a person who admits they had an error in judgment but we refuse to accept willful deceit. Being honest is the foundation of trust and, as our company continues to grow throughout the United States, the only way we will maintain our foundation is through our willpower and commitment to honesty.
So how do you find out what your core values are? Well, take some time and think about what really irks your nerves. What actions really make you angry? That emotion typically happens when one of your personal core values have been violated. On the flip side, think about what actions make you feel immensely grateful and happy. Those also probably align with your core values and beliefs! Try doing this and let us know if you discover any new values!