While almost 7 million businesses start each year, only a fraction of those businesses survive.
Why is that? What causes these businesses to fail? There are so many reasons that a business can fail, but have you ever considered what happens to a business without core values?
What is the mission based on? How do leaders lead? What is expected of employees?
A business without core values is like a book without a spine. It'll fall apart at the seams.To prevent that, let's dive into a core value list and what it takes to truly be leading a business successfully.
Why Core Values?
So what really is the point of core values, especially in business?
You probably know that personal core values help guide us to make tough moral choices, decide what plans to choose, and how to navigate a conversation. They dictate the type of people we hang out with and how we deal with hardship.
But what's the importance of having core values as a business leader?
Because core values can help you create and find financial success, a happy and productive team, collaboration, a solid customer experience, and ultimately, guide your mission statement or the reason for having the business in the first place.
Necessary Business Leader Values
There are hundreds of core values that you could have and hold true to you. But there are a few that are essential values for CEOs and business leaders.
Also known as flexibility or fast-moving.
Being agile or having agility as an organization refers to the ability of the business or business leaders to adapt and change to differing circumstances. Since most environments these days are rapidly changing, our habits or needs will change as well.
Whether an organization needs to adapt due to a new company rival, a circumstance out of its control, or new technology, agility is the core value that will help with that flexibility.
How to Use Agility
As a company, if a new social media platform comes out as TikTok did several years ago, a company that jumps on that opportunity is displaying agility. They're adapting to the changing circumstances in the tech field. Because of this, they'll stay ahead of their competition.
Also known as ethical or doing the right thing.
Integrity, in easy terms, is doing the right thing even when no one else is watching you. You may realize that you could hide extra money, you could take a shortcut when working with customers, or do something else that would benefit you as a human.
When you do what is right, or whatever doesn't personally benefit you, you are using integrity.
This is one of the most crucial values to have when leading a business because it shows everyone around you (customers and employees alike) that you can be trusted to do the right thing.
Also known as teamwork.
Working together is what makes the company work. You've heard the saying before: Teamwork makes the dream work.
Without that team, and without that collaboration, there isn't as much power or force behind it.
In order to work together, all team members have to be respectful, genuine, and trustworthy. Without those underlying core values, collaboration could fall apart.
Also known as inclusion.
To have the core value of diversity means that you support and value the differences in ages, skills, philosophies, gender, sexual orientation, race, and religion.
All of these differences can lead to more collaboration because of the different views everyone brings to the table.
It is no longer acceptable to talk of diversity, the company must show it and lead with it.
While quality may not seem like the most important core value, it can attract a certain customer and more financial success. If customers know that you are dedicated to quality, or putting out materials, products, and services that hold up and do what they say they will, they will be more willing to pay a premium.
You will gain respect and credibility.
If responsiveness is a core value high on your list, Merriam Webster defines this as your company is quick to respond and always responds in a positive way.
While responding quickly is great, the importance of this one is responding positively. With this core value, training and coaching employees on how to respond and hold difficult conversations is key.
Also known as dignity or courtesy.
Without respect, there is no collaboration. Without collaboration, there are no goals met and the quality of the work and products will diminish.
If you need a starting point for demonstrating core values as a company, start with respect. Learn how to receive and give it, and go from there.
Choose Your Core Values
As a business leader, you must choose your core values and stick to them. Whether you have conversations about them, write them down, journal daily, or create workshops on core values, they are a must. The key is to choose 3-5 values that are most important to you and your company.