Last week, I attended an excellent seminar in Wilmington that touched upon leadership topics, financial wellness, and the ability to make an impact in the community, among other themes of the day. The 2018 Millennial Summit opened with keynote speaker Devon Still, a former Penn State All-American and NFL player, who provided some great insight about the need for company core values within a business or nonprofit organization.
Still, who gained national prominence when he redirected his focus away from a budding NFL career to care for his daughter Leah as she battled cancer, presently runs a nonprofit that he founded, which helps families with children battling pediatric cancer.
Using Core Values to Reach Your Goals
Still shed light on his personal philosophy during a 20-minute speech. He talked about impact: “there are no average people, only average mindsets.” He spoke about resilience: “accept failure but don’t accept defeat.” And, he touched upon leadership: “leaders don’t create followers; they create other leaders.” All good soundbites, but the most telling portion of his remarks was when he spoke about core values.
Many current and former athletes use sports metaphors to make their point, and Still was no different. He compared a business to a football field. A football field, he said, has goals (end zones) and boundaries. They are the two main concerns in the general rules of any game. Try to reach the goal while staying within the boundaries.
Goals and boundaries are equally imperative. Without goals, an organization has little direction or intent. A company’s goals are not always as clearly defined as the goal lines on a football field, but determining and reaching objectives are important for any business.
The key is staying within the boundaries, and those boundaries are created by a set of core values. Those values, Still emphasized, dictate action. The goal may stay the same, but the way in which it is to be reached is shaped by core values.
Implementing Company Core Values Within Your Organization
Many organizations set their core values; however, to some they are purely buzzwords used to promote an ideal that may or may not be practiced. To others, core values are created with excellent intent and genuine belief, yet they often fall by the wayside when the goal becomes the focus more than the values.
A successful organization will continually emphasize its core values. They will mold the culture of the company and promote unity. They will provide the “how” and “why” to a business, when many simply view the “what.”
Lastly a good set of core values is not just a listing of words, no matter how meaningful. A proper core value listing includes defining the core values. For instance, if “commitment” is a core value, it could mean different things to different people. Is it commitment to the customer, employees, community, environment, or something else? Providing a definition for the core values will keep everyone on the same page and in bounds are they move toward the goal.
following company core values is one of the many things Walz Group’s experienced team prides themselves on in effort to reach their goals. For assistance on reaching your financial goals, contact us today to start a conversation.
By Dan Massey, CPA, Principal
Dan Massey brings over 15 years of experience to the firm’s clients. He performs audit services for clients in many industries, focusing on construction, entertainment production, and not-for-profit entities. Before becoming a manager in the firm’s Auditing Division, Dan spent the first part of his career in the Accounting and Consulting Division, providing services to a wide range of clientele. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn