Value Vs. Values… Part 2


A decade ago, ‘Corporate Mission Statements’ were all the rage.

Much thought, countless hours and tens of thousands… wait, hundreds of thousands… no, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS were spent with consultants and strategists and marketers to sort out the corporate reason for being.

And small business went along for the ride.

“I know we need to set aside some time for that…” were the words echoed in conference rooms across the country.

Now, this is not to say that missions and their public pronouncements aren’t important… however, they only matter if they are anchored by values.

Your values.


All new businesses, especially service businesses, are founded on, well…the founder’s values. When you and I started out, we did so for a reason. In fact, everything we did… we did for a reason. And those reasons were based on our values.

As success after success leads to growth, our leadership is tested. The real challenge of leadership is to create a culture of excellence and purpose that also allows personal growth and success in an ever increasing group of creative and diverse individuals.

In a small business, the extent to which your values are adopted will either be the glue that makes growth possible… or the Achilles Heel that limits your potential.

As a small business owner… as a leader… here is a quick and inexpensive way to find out if your organization is living your values. Plan on investing $1.27 or so…

Give each of your staff a piece of scrap paper. Ask them to take ninety seconds and write down what they believe are the three most important values, principles or attributes that guide the company’s business or personal interactions.

Then, compare their list with yours; the overlap is the extent to which you are on the same page.


The truth about values is that there is truth in values. We don’t create our values… instead, our values create us.

Unlike Mission Statements, Value Statements are not about what we decide… or what we say. Value Statements are about who we are, and that defines what we will do. As a small business owner, defining and articulating your values is important for at least three reasons:

1) Especially in the service sector, you are the brand… your values are readily visible… for better or worse.

2) Your values will affect your relationships, and have a profound impact on your reputation.

3) Your values are not easily duplicated by your competition… they can fake it for awhile, but ultimately they need to define their own.

And remember, high integrity and strong character can become powerful competitive advantages in era of compromised leadership and marginal service. Just ask yourself… who would you rather do business with?


I look forward to speaking with you.



Remove all consideration of price for a moment… what are three ‘values based’ reasons to choose you over a competitor? If you woke your employees up at 3 a.m., would they have the same answer?

Who is the person most responsible for instilling in you the value system you now possess?

When was the last time you had the opportunity to go against your values? How did you handle the situation? Are you confident that every one of your employees would handle it the same way?


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