The idea behind core values is that it’s a set of principles that guide your actions, your decisions and how you interact with others. It’s not a new concept, although I’m pretty sure that I heard about it most recently on the Entreleadership podcast (one that was just recently added to my list). I spent a fair bit of time over the last couple of weeks thinking about what things I value in life, both professionally and personally and came up with the following list of core values:
Accountability – If I make a mistake, I want to own that mistake and do what needs to be done to make it right. Conversely, I also expect others do to the same with their interactions with me. If they make a mistake they’ll own up to it and correct it, not pass the buck by blaming it on somebody else.
Integrity – For me, integrity means not compromising my values when it’s the more convenient or profitable option. This means that I won’t tell a customer that we’ll ship something on March 16th in order to land a contract if I already know that it isn’t going to be possible.
Honesty – There’s a lot of value in getting a straight answer from somebody. Being honest with somebody doesn’t require you to be mean, there are constructive ways to give people feedback that isn’t necessarily positive. I want people to come away from their interactions with me knowing that they got the truth from me, not just my assumption of what they wanted to hear.
Quality – I want the things that I produce to be good. If it’s a piece of software, then I’m embarrassed when somebody discovers a bug. If it’s something physical, then I want it to feel and look like it was made well, and stand the test of time as proof.
Balance – my non-working life is very important to me, especially my family and social activities. I’m not willing to be constantly sacrificing these things in order to work. At the same time, I fully understand that balance isn’t uniform, there will be times where the scale is going to have to tip further to one side than the other. As long as in the end it gets back to even then I’m ok with that.
What values drive your day-to-day life?