Hey, you – the leader! Know your guiding values!

I came across a document I wrote on January 1, 2008, expounding on my three guiding values. I was immediately curious to read it, wondering if it still resonated within me.

The answer? YES!!!

Isn’t it incredible that guiding values live inside us regardless of the changes of life, new chapters, same chapters, good times, hard times, in seasons of plenty and in seasons of need?

Business is exactly the same. In business, it’s referred to as the mission statement – why we do what we do. What do you want your company to be known for? And please do not say money!

Check out what a seasoned mission statement looks like:

NIKE: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

STARBUCKS: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”

WHOLE FOODS: “With great courage, integrity and love – we embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities, and our planet can flourish. All the while, celebrating the sheer love and joy of food.”

Pay attention to this next phrase: A leader’s guiding values carry more influence than a company’s mission statement.

As a leader, as the decision-maker, as the company’s burden bearer – before you incorporate a mission statement for your business – please formulate your personal guiding values. The DNA of your company depends on it. The more you live out your guiding values, the healthier your mission statement will be.

A mission statement is the non-negotiable reputation, the first impression, and the legacy a company leaves behind. The mission statement is the connecting point where everyone who signs up to play on your team identifies, relates and resonates with the company’s declaration.

Before you ask anyone to sign up to a company’s mission statement, do you know your own guiding values?

Know why you do what you do; why you’re unwavering in core principles and why you won’t allow circumstances to compromise who you are. That’s powerful stuff!

After re-reading my guiding values, I found myself coming into alignment again in a fresh way. I also realized I need to be reading these guiding values on a consistent basis. It’s like giving myself my very own pep talk!

Here’s the bottom line: the reason I need guiding values to remain in the forefront of my life is because I know that when I walk these out great things happen…to those around me. Guiding values are principles you live that positively impact others.

Commit to your guiding values regularly, intentionally and confidently. Remain steadfast in how you live your life and impact the people around you.

– Karen Thrall

*also published on www.karenthrall.com

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