I’ve written previously about Core Values.  You’ll get the sense, if you haven’t already, that creating a company with particular characters is very important to me.  It might very well be important to a lot of leaders, but where the rubber hits the road is in the usage of them.  Just like these posts evolve, so too my own experience and learning around Core Values has grown.

Previously we copied a company we admired.  Their culture felt right and early in anyones career, emulation is a great first move.

Enter Traction.  It’s a book by Gino Wickman and creates a system for running a business.  It’s chock full of processes and tools to help you establish things- one of which is Core Values.

The process goes something like this.  The entire leadership team of Cheshire Impact is gathered around a table.  We’ve been given the amazing opportunity to open up an office of our company… where?  …on the Moon!  Yes establishing our company on a new lunar body!  Now the question is this.  Who do you send, and why?

First we all privately write down two employees names on our notebooks.  Then we begin to brainstorm WHY.  Why are we sending these particular people.  When I thought of my chosen representatives, I thought things like they’re always so positive, they execute, they have character, they look out for each other… and so on.  No limit, just start writing!

After we’re all done.  We take turns sharing our recorded traits that get recorded on a dry erase board.

And a pattern immerges!

Slowly, like a computer graphic becoming more and more resolute.

There are three main areas of these traits. Amazing right?! We had a culture we loved and there was a pattern.

The three giant loops on the dry erase board encircled what is now our Core Values: “We Care, We Have Fun, We Get Things Done.”  Perhaps it was the marketers in us that could help but find a rhyme in it, but it was catchy and felt write.

Now distilling the words from thoughts is a great first step, but it is definitely the first step on a hike to making sure you grow and protect your culture.

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What traits would you write down about the people you work with?