You might be surprised to know that I believe core values are simply not usable. But it’s true! A truth, understandably, that might need a little explanation. I understand why an executive would want to question their “return on investment” when focusing on core values. Yet, I want to stress the inherently self-destructive nature of a “transaction mentality” of using core values to get something. Core values don’t like being used. They like being lived!

Core values will never deliver what you set out to get.  The commitment should never be to an outcome … your commitment must be to core values themselves. Paradoxically, in return, everything improves because of your commitment to them. You must define them, embrace them, and completely live them. As a top leader at one of my client organizations put it: “Our commitment to core values has changed everything. It has changed the conversation!

Core values have a way of doing just that. They’re actually quite valuable.  Comment below and share your insights on placing the commitment to core values … instead of the outcome.