A few months ago our team decided that it was about time that we carved into stone some core values for Maisey Harris & Co.
Being still a young company we hadn’t put much thought into it before now, but found ourselves wanting something that we could show to clients and potential team members, to show them what our company strives towards.
We wanted values that we believe in, that we can shape our company around, to create a space that thrives with positivity and energy.
This meant that we didn’t want to spend just five minutes on them, creating carbon-copy values that we’d have forgotten in the next five minutes. We wanted to sit down and discuss them properly, using a process to ensure what we came out with on the other side had value and meaning for us.
Given how close-knit we are as a team, and being only four of us, we assumed that we’d run through the process quickly. After all, our thinking seemed in sync most of the time.
We were wrong.
And it taught us so much.
We didn’t think as alike as we thought we did.
Our team has always been in such alignment, working so easily together, that this came as a shock. We found ourselves with conflicting definitions and priorities.
Values that were so important to one person came further down the list for others.
And picking out our core values, the ones that were essential, turned out to be a lot harder than we thought.
We were forced to sit back, and really examine what mattered to us, individually and as a business.
This was what was invaluable about the process.
We could not just rush through it, pick out a few things, and chuck in a chirpy description for them. We had to analyse why certain values meant so much to us. Listen to each other, and recognise what was important for them.
And then decide what values we’d never let slide, no matter the situation, and pressure.
Each of us had taken it for granted that we had the same core values, and to learn that we didn’t know taught us a lot about each other, and ourselves.
And it made us really consider why certain values meant so much to us.
Examining ourselves, and each other, brought us closer as a team. It helped us understand how each other ticked. It showed us our differences, but also the things that mattered to all of us.
Each of us wants to live into our values. Each of us believes in them. And whoever comes on with us in future, whether client or team member, will know if we are right for them by whether these values hit home for them as well.
Overall, it was an amazing team-building experience that we would recommend for any business, large or small.
And it’s not just us that believe core values are essential for a company. Look at any successful business, and you will quickly see the values that define them, that they push because they know that that’s how they recruit passionate people, and attract the right clients.
So when did you last think about the values that drive your company? Have you dusted them off to look at recently, or are they displayed proudly where everyone can see them, where they can remind you to live into them every day?
Values are what define us, and make us stand out from the crowd.
So don’t fade into the back ground – stand strong and proud.