SUCCESS FOR EVERYONE

                       Success for Everyone.

Success for anyone has multiple explanations. Different people look at their success differently. If you have worked for over fifty years in the human services areas of various businesses, educational and political fields like I have done, you have the capacity to measure and provide some valid explanations for the success of people in their respective organisations.

Many wise people have asked some very valid questions on this topic. Is there a power that can reveal hidden veins of riches and uncover treasures of which we never dreamed? Is there a force that we can call upon to give health, happiness and spiritual enlightenment? When we talk of a power or a force we look at our success spiritually but it can be considered generally as well. We know fully well that all our success in life does not altogether depend and impinge on our ability and training because it also depends on our determination to grasp the existing or arising opportunities that are presented to us.

Those of us who have had meaningful interactions in business, social and political life can categorically say that opportunities come by creation and not by chance. If we are ready to create opportunities for us then our paths of success become smooth, controllable and manageable. Since we have created them, we can earn the benefits out of them and use them to our best advantage.

If we are determined to use all the available outward means as well as all our natural abilities to overcome and manage every obstacle that come in our path we will then gradually utilise and develop the unlimited potential that lies within us to succeed in any aspect of life. We just have to think positively and generate our will-power. These internal human gifts will make us see all our successes revealed for us.

We alone are totally responsible for all our actions, words, thoughts and deeds. It is believed that we demonstrate our success or failure according to our daily activities. If our mind is always looking in the negative direction then an occasional positive thought is definitely not enough to give us the success that we envisage. However, if we set our minds to think well and ponder rightly then we will definitely be able to plan our future properly and find our goals and objectives even if we face multiple dark spots in our life.

This power of positive thinking can be achieved by everyone through constant effort and proper practice but it requires volition or will power. We need to establish mechanical as well as conscious will and be determined to be constructive in all our efforts and endeavours. If we search hard within us we will find the needed talents and strengths to combat any weaknesses and shortcomings. If we take advantage of all the opportunities that knock at our door then we will be able to devote our entire energy to mastering one thing at a time and move towards success step by step.

Almost all successful people have tried to attempt simple tasks first and then as their confidence strengthens they have become more dynamic and aimed for more difficult accomplishments. Those successful people neither scattered their energies nor left something half done to begin any new venture. They have often made wise selections and refused to submit to failure. This led them to success for them. We can learn a lot from many of such examples.

Dr Ram Lakhan Prasad.

Motivation is inspiration

                                  Motivation is Inspiration

In my view the most powerful motivating force is the recognition of one’s peers. When we look carefully around our organisation we will probably notice dramatic differences in the energy and enthusiasm our people bring to their respective jobs and work places.

The best of these workers perform their respective tasks harder and longer to meet their responsibilities and duties of either building sales, serving customers or making the work place safer and more productive. So recognising them publicly with tangible, personalized and custom rewards encourages their continued efforts and motivates fellow employees to strive for the same achievements and rewards.

It is unfortunate that not all our workers are adequately enthusiastic about the work they are assigned to perform. This is not what a modern commercial enterprise expects from the work force. These kinds of individuals need to be inspired to move with the rest of the team members.

There are a few schools of thought on the issue of motivating the unmotivated workers of our workforce. Some are possible, some are difficult and almost all can be looked at professionally. So even if we have some workers who are not able to meet the challenges facing them, we can do a lot to inspire them to do peak performance.

The one that sounds very positive is that every member of our workforce can be additionally encouraged and inspired to do better to reach the expected peak performance. I know that many successful managers have been successfully motivating the employees by giving them a clear sense of direction rather than just being preoccupied with paperwork and procedures.

Then there is another view that no matter how hard we try there are some people who have slipped into our team who cannot be motivated and should be put out of the system. This is unfortunate but sadly enough there are work places where such views are still maintained.

Of course, another view is that an eager or enthusiastic worker does not need to be pushed beyond his or her limits, hence does not need to be motivated. He or she is inspired enough to perform the duties assigned quite well with least or no supervision. These are the top performers with appropriate knowledge, information and skills. Shall I say that this should be part of our human nature.

From time to time I have had similar views on motivation but as work places and workforce have been changing so have my opinions and views seen some modifications and transformation. Now I am a liberal thinker on this issue.

I am a firm believer of listening to our people because wherever I have worked I found that the successes we achieved in productivity have come from the employees who are actually doing the work. They assisted us in developing ideas for doing the jobs faster and more economically.

However, now my views on this subject are somewhat different. I believe that motivation is similar to inspiration. It is a personal choice of a person to be motivated or not to be motivated. It must initially emerge from within a person. It is epidemic. It is self-generated and yet we have able training personnel who prepare appropriate prescriptions to tackle the issue.

If a leader is able to provide personal inspiration and has been successful in creating an inspiring work environment then this innovation can easily bring out the best in the employees by inspiring them to emulate their leader. Thus the inspired workers will be in a position to perform at their individual and collective potential.

It makes sense to me that the most powerful motivation of the employees comes from their internal inspiration and they are willing and eager to do peak performance for their equally inspired leader of an inspirational setting. Such should be the case at all work places that are following the revolutionary leaders and inspirational work environments and practices.

It is therefore the belief of some leaders to detect those uninspired and unmotivated employees early in the induction process and replace them with more suitable choices, otherwise our efforts to inspire and motivate the other members of the workforce will go in vain.

So our first task is to find out if our workers are ready and willing to be motivated. This is where I do not agree that we cannot motivate the unmotivated. At least we can give it a try and keep trying until we see tangible success.

Now the question is ‘Can our leaders give up that easily?’ and stop motivating the unmotivated. When we assess the time, effort and money that went in the recruitment process of such unmotivated people we cannot justify our stance to get rid of them so quickly and easily. So let us look at how we can motivate or inspire the uninspired and unmotivated.

I have already said that when we think of motivating the unmotivated a lot depends on the imagination of the leader. I wish to emphasise this point here once again.

If we have these types of lethargic and unwilling workers then naturally we are frustrated and would like to do something positive to inspire them to perform better for our mutual benefits. We cannot give up on the uninspired and only concentrate on the inspired workers because there are ways and strategies that we can employ to motivate all our people whether they are good, bad or ugly performers.

Each worker is an individual and has different attributes therefore needs a variety of prescriptions to get the best result. Our investment in our human resource does not justify us to forget the uninspired workers of our workforce.

Firstly, the degree and types of workers differ and we have to select and group them so that we can develop different strategies and prescriptions for each type. According to some training consultants they can be commanders, drifters, attackers, pleasers, performers, avoiders and analytical. If there are so many types of people in our workforce we cannot afford to implement one prescription for all of them.

We have to take these as their talents, strengths or weaknesses and try to take the opportunity to build on these attributes or short comings. We have to design methods to put the right people in the right place. This match making of employees and their jobs has given a lot of benefits to many modern business enterprises as well as other private and public organisations.

Secondly, we have to find out what would motivate these different types of workers. Since many of our workers nowadays look for rightful rewards for the good work they have been doing, it will pay us a lot of dividends if we rewarded their positive contributions through our sincere, authentic and genuine compliments rather than harping on criticism.

We can do two things to achieve this objective. Let us stop criticizing, condemning and complaining and start doing something positive to make all our workers become top performers. Let us reward the good ones more rather than reprimanding the bad ones.

Thirdly, we need to develop different methods for each of the groups before we take any action. Some employees need praise for the good work they are doing because they begin to feel that their participation and contribution are valued. I believe that when we tap into the strengths of the employees and allow them to do more of what they are naturally adept at, people become more inspired to show their talents, strengths and achievements.

Therefore, I believe that if the workers are doing well enough then some simple words of encouragement and praise go a long way to make them happy and when they are happy they get inspired to contribute more.

For an inspired leader all these suggestions are easy, inexpensive and definitely very motivational, hence worth giving them a try.

I still believe that there is merit in old prescription to inspire your workers where you

  • hire your workers rightly,
  • provide them clear objectives,
  • manage by wandering around (MBWA),
  • be transparent with all company financial information,
  • set realistic benchmarks for incentives to entice staff,
  • build and maintain trust, and
  • treat your workers like real people.

Many people have asked to explain how could we perform all these important tasks. These are some of my thoughts on this aspect:

  • Take time to vet all candidates properly and hire people who are qualified and fit for the job and the cooperate culture;
  • Take time to inform workers what needs to be done by what deadline because vagueness bashes motivation;
  • Take time to constantly visit various work places because employees do what we inspect and not so much of what we expect;
  • Take time and effort to share company finances because this is one of the positive steps towards inspiring workers;
  • Take time to ensure that your incentive programs for staff are right ways to entice them rather than make them inactive and lethargic;
  • Take time to increase trust by showing empathy for the concerns of workers and listen to them to make decisions because workers do things for leaders they believe in; and
  • Take time to treat all your workers as real people by respecting their personal aspirations and desires to inspire them to excel.

These are some of the strategies and prescriptions I would employ to inspire my workforce whether they are already motivated or need motivation to present themselves with top performance.

If I were active in the workforce, I would let the managers of the future focus more on teamwork to build the pride of the people we manage in achieving success at our work place. I am of the opinion that If we regard our workers more as part of our inspired team rather than only individuals, we would certainly be on the right path to inspiring our workforce to help us take our enterprise to a new height.

Ram Lakhan Prasad,   February, 2014.

 

 

 

 

MOVING AHEAD IN THE CORPORATE WORLD

Moving Ahead in the Corporate World

I have been thinking about the new profile of an achiever in the working world and have made multiple attempts to finalise the issue but every time an additional aspect finds its way into that important statement. However, this time I am determined to complete this task somehow even if the idea sounds very basic and ordinary. 

It is an accepted fact in our commercial and industrial world that today’s work place is a lot more exhilarating, demanding, challenging and customer-driven than ever before so there is no doubt in my mind that the people who are in the workforce and want to get ahead and to rise to the top have to be high achievers.

I wish to go back to the basics of human qualities as means and methods of achievement. These may sound and look obvious but often a reminder creates a miracle to change and adjust our attitude.

My high school teacher gave me a description of a high achiever as an individual who is fully committed to team work, is always prepared to take risk, is a balanced thinker, is a continuous skill builder and is ready and eager to produce good results at all times. He told me a few specific things that make us high achievers like quality, skill, attitude and inspiration.

Ever since then, I have been adding my own thoughts to the profile of a high achiever for the business world. Whether we are working in high-tech or low-tech, in service sectors or manufacturing areas, and whether we are accountants, sales persons, plant operators, engineers, market researchers or managers, and supervisors, and whether we are Chiefs or just ordinary Indians, clerks or switchboard operators, we need to look at and check our essential biography or profile as an achiever if we want to move ahead successfully in this tough and competitive world.

In my many years of working as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, examiner and human resource practitioner I have heard members of corporations not only talking about their missions, strategies and objectives but they have been generating reams of written material, lectures, reports and memos spelling out what they wanted their people to know about their plans and policies.

Sometimes all these just end up being words piled upon words, with blame games pointing at failed associates. So what should be done? We need actions and attitudes that we can clearly measure and that can help us get there with ease and understanding. In order to achieve our goal we need specific means, behaviour benchmarks and design-oriented quality that tell us that we are on the right path and are fully engaged in the correct processes.

Let me pose a few relevant questions. Are we more entrepreneurial than we were this time a year ago? Just how much value have we added to ourselves in the past three months? Have we mastered decision making? These and similar other questions call us to move towards the global drift and do some skill building and renewal because everyday our work is becoming more demanding than ever.

My suggestion is that we in the business world should learn to sharpen our executive, individual and corporate instincts and seriously view and adjust our own biography or profile if we want to move ahead. Who are we? Where are we? What are we doing? How are we performing our duties? When are we changing?

As I said in the beginning, now I will look at various basic and simple human qualities and attitudes that we can add to our profile and become high achievers as time moves on. 

Our smiles and frowns convey very vital attitude about our work life and are important aspects of the high achievers. Our genuine and authentic smile is an encourager that quietly says, “Go ahead and tell me. Go ahead, do it. I believe in you. I am counting on your ability to do better.” A high achiever has to have the right kind of smile and be a spendthrift in this aspect.

On the other hand, frown, although it is appropriate in some instances, does a lot of damage because it depicts an attitude of an intimidator or discourager. So while the smile of a high achiever conveys an upbeat attitude about performance, our frowns may project the opposite, so let us take stock and adjust our disposition.

Then there is merit in a good handshake. My wife spoke at a wedding in Vancouver once and said that hand-in-hand contact is an expression of encounter, involvement and the good beginning of intimacy but it requires firmness. A weak handshake can show that we are moving away from people whereas a very firm handshake cannot be taken as persuasive but dominating. A high achiever gradually learns to resolve and adjust the handshake style accordingly to convey friendliness toward others and make them feel friendly toward self.

Many prominent workers have found that it pays to accept their weaknesses and character flaws. So it is often wise to accept that we have made a mistake and have learnt something from that error. If we do not acknowledge our limitations, we most certainly will doubt our strengths.

I know that a high achiever by trying to make the visitors and subordinates feel comfortable gets better results through involvement and by the degree of warmth that is displayed for the people who are part of the workforce. So it is better to resolve that it is worth our time and concentration to make our colleagues and visitors feel at ease at all times by teaming up with warmth because this basic human quality of warmth inspires and attracts.

Then a high achiever has to be an excellent listener because an impatient listener almost always misses the message. If you learn to give time then you are saving time and you respond appropriately at all times to exchange all your information well. This is critical for good performance at any work place.

One good point to remember here is that the word silent when reframed can become listen. So it is wise to be silent when we want to listen well and get everything that a speaker says and intends to say. An achiever anywhere is the one who is a careful listener.

My grandfather made me study poems from early Indian poets and one of his efforts is still fresh in my mind.

Guru Govind Dono Khade Kaake Lagoon Paaye
Balihari Guru Aapne, Govind Diyo Bataaye. –Kabir Das

If my Guru and God were to stand in front of me, to whom should I bow first? Well, I choose you my teacher or my mentor because if he or she hadn’t been there I would have never known what God is.

I have always felt that achievers who are eager to learn and seek to be taught by masters of their crafts have always benefited tremendously in any position. An important aspect of learning from any mentor is that you will be criticised, face demands and maybe at times stressed but you have to take the initiative to find that teacher (that mentor) and convince him or her that you are a promising learner.

I have in my many years of work experience found that serious seekers definitely find gold and their quest assures enlarged perspectives and a lot more options for better achievement. So I have been promoting the maxim ‘get a mentor and prosper’ over the years.

If we have any convictions then we ought to have the courage to implement them but my understanding in this idea is that the peak performers have to dig deeper sources than their brains for calling up the needed courage to proceed. A long time ago I was told that fear has many eyes and courage has only one. I find that emotions are not always subject to reason but they are definitely always subject to action.

If we are among those performers who believe that they are authentic and not what they wish they were but what they really are then they can easily realize that their authenticity is what can generate superior exhilarating performance. However, to fully understand what we really are requires a lot of courage.

My point here is simply to believe in ourselves and let all the colleagues do the same. Then whatever convictions you have at your work place could be implemented with courage and competence.

An achiever who is a positive thinker must have the stamina to act positively. This will assist us to create a variety of opportunities to develop mental capacity to seek and find workable, beneficial and appropriate options. Our positive attitude will encourage us as well as our colleagues to stop supporting all hopeless causes and reject all forms of defeat when we face tough projects and other problems.

We as achievers then not only can cultivate the needed attitude of positive thinking by discovering a workable, beneficial and proper options but encourage ourselves and our workers to act on them and keep on moving with added vigour and enthusiasm.

I think I have started the ball rolling for anyone to develop a more distinct profile of an achiever. A peak performer at any work place has to understand that we all are ignorant in some field and no one can profess to possess knowledge about everything. This feeling is the starting point to extend our knowledge.

Let us not claim to know something we do not and ask our colleagues to enlighten us. This action of an achiever will act like a two edged sword. This will enhance your knowledge and make the other person happy to share the knowledge he or she has developed over the years.

The modern complex work culture demands that we share our knowledge and learn to accomplish through collaboration and joint efforts. Any worker, executive, manager or leader who is ready and eager to tread on this vital path of admitting ignorance would be able to promote the concept of sharing  knowledge, skill and all other vital information needed to establish peak performance.

I know that a lot more can be expressed on this important issue by people who relate better to their work place and workers, have a higher purpose and want to improve the lot of mankind and the workforce. We can definitely make our jobs more meaningful by thinking about all the people who are going to benefit from our quality performance.

The more we are able to realize how important we are to the work place and how lucky and fortunate we are to be in the work force, the better would be our profile of an achiever.

This important realization will enable every enlightened executive, every practising manager and every enthusiastic worker to keep revising the requirements of an achiever.

I firmly believe that we have the rationale to continue to sharpen our innate instinct to be an effective, enthusiastic and efficient performer at our respective work places to serve the community with distinction.

Ram Lakhan Prasad

NATURE OF OUR WORKPLACE AND WORKFORCE IS CHANGING

NATURE OF OUR WORKPLACE AND WORKFORCE IS CHANGING.

I have been seriously looking at various questions that come to my mind when I think of the changing nature of our workplaces and workforce.

These include:

  • what do we want at our workplaces ? 
  • Do we want to have more responsible, functional and adaptable workforce ?  
  • Do we want to be more in charge?
  •  generate greater productivity?
  •  establish our rightful authority?
  • make our organisation more profitable with fewer workers?
  • be more firm with our people?
  •  motivate and inspire all our people?
  •  get our workers to see things our way?
  •  ensure peak performance from every one?
  • have greater control over things?
  • bring about even greater change?
  • generate peace, prosperity and harmony at our workplace by meeting the ever increasing challenges?

If these are some of our goals at our commercial and industrial enterprises then we are moving towards assertiveness but there is an irony in some of  the objectives mentioned  above.

Our new and successful managers have to be different from the mediocre and average supervisors of places, products and people (three Ps) and possess some other important and vital managerial and organisational skills and techniques. Our three Ps have changed to CPs, DPs and EPs ie Changed Places, Different Products and Effective People. So it is time for us to change as well.

The new managers cannot only be either controlling and acting as bosses or as remote authoritative figures or be a rugged individualists who decide things unilaterally and command the troops. My humble  belief is that the neo managers should work with and through their peers, subordinates, superiors and their troops to negotiate workable and feasible solutions that produce better results and are more acceptable and satisfactory for everyone.

Believing that our workforce as well as our work places are changing, we will increasingly notice corresponding modification in our values as well as expectations. These in turn bring attitudinal reformation. Our individual achievements lead us to group performance because emphasis is being placed on building a collaborative work environment in which authority and decision making are shared for harmonious workforce and modified work places. 

These introductory remarks lead us to the issue of leadership style. So the older hierarchical forms of organisation and the value system have to find relative adjustments and a new mode of managing the workforce and the work place has to gradually emerge to bring about greater success.

We therefore need a new breed of manager who still has to plan, organize, control, implement and evaluate but the style has to be modified from traditional management of direct and aggressive style to more teamwork and group decision making. The days of all- or-nothing outcome and expecting a clear win or lose situation have to be re-looked at seriously by every modern manager.

The new style of managing our workforce and work places has to be based on synthesizing, intuitive and qualitative thinking. Our new breed of manager has to exercise power flexibly according to context, with consideration for the various relationships involved. A serious look at the whole picture rather than a specific task has to be done.

When the new breed of manager learns to share all the internal resources and establishes apt interdependent relationships of support then the workforce and the work place become more attuned to the subtleties of human interaction. We then become  better equipped to deal with the overwhelming challenges and changes that are now occurring and will continue to occur in our society and in our respective organisations.

Leadership in the future has to change from control to influence, from planning as prediction to planning as learning and from scientific management to entrepreneurship.

Planning as learning requires a tolerance for error and has multiple interpretations. Entrepreneurship requires responding to changes with openness, flexibility and intuition rather than relying on rigid or abstract principles of control.

So the entrepreneurial manager has to quickly learn to respond like a skilled captain of a ship on the open sea. When the weather is calm, the captain runs the vessel ‘by the book’ but when events are turbulent, the new leader is ready and prepared to develop new strategies for all unexpected twists and turns.

Therefore, in my view the key to success as a new manager lies not only in control, authority and power but in a new form of assertive management that is demanding influence, collaboration and free and open communication.

My final point is that there are no magic formulas and no specific rule books for the new manager. The best guide for the new leader at our fast changing workforce and work places will be the leader himself or herself and their own motivation, training, judgement, ingenuity, imagination and flexibility. Our willingness to change is vital.

The vital question that many economists and quality control personnel have been asking nowadays is ‘whether we can be more productive and profitable with fewer workers at our respective workplaces?’. The rightful and appropriate solutions to this aspect of workplace reform can be discussed by our current active business leaders because no textbook approach would fit every situation.

Surely then, the nature of our workplace and our workforce is changing and it is good to notice that our new breed of business leaders have been looking at various ways and means of adapting to the transformation. I have a lot of faith in the growing abilities and vast experiences of our modern leaders to meet the increasing changes.

Dr Ram Lakhan Prasad.  January, 2014.

Living Our Core Values

Living Our Core Values

We enlightened human beings love to live with our core values if we truly believe in the progress of humanity. Our core human values are the foundation of our truly successful business or family life. Let us look at some of the core values that could assist us to better our human existence.

Confusion is the worst dilemma that we humans possess when the time comes for our advancement. Therefore, it is advisable to gain real clarity about who we are and what we stand for because to get what we really want, we must know who we truly are.

Do I sound confusing? Let me explain further. Self-knowledge is invaluable to anyone who is seriously intent on choosing the right life or business path. If we do not fully know ourselves, we will be led into making ill-advised decisions about our life and work from which it would be difficult or impossible to get out.

Some questions that could assist us in knowing “Who we are?” can be:  

Am I in the right job?

What type of person are you?

What do you value?

Are you aware of your future?

Let us find out why sound core values are the foundation of a truly successful life.

1. Gain Real Clarity about who you are and what you stand for. To get what you truly want, you must be who you truly are.

2. Better Use of Time. You make better choices about where you spend your time—your most valuable asset. There's no way to get any more of it. To live an ideal life, you must learn to choose carefully as to how you invest your time. Your core values should be your guide.

3. Core Values Means More Income. Being true to your core values affects your bottom line. It's a lot easier to earn money when you're doing what you love in accordance with your core values.

4. Purpose and Passion. Knowing and being true to what really matters to you means having more passion in your purpose and more purpose in your passion. The congruity makes it happen.

5. Inspiration. Understanding and living from your core values opens the door to more inspiration in your life. And we can all use more of that.

6. Motivation. Living in accordance with our core values keeps you motivated. It's motivation from within rather than motivation plastered on from the outside.

7. Overcoming Discouragement. We all experience challenges and we all get discouraged from time to time. But when we know what our most important values are and are dedicated to making them live and breathe in our life, we become more resilient.

8. Stay On Track. Our values are like our moral compass. They keep us headed toward our true north. And when we get off course, we notice sooner. They help us get back on track more easily.

9. Easier Choice of Goals. Choosing which goals we set and go after is easier when we're clear on our most important values. We can do anything we want, but we can't do everything. It's incumbent upon us to choose wisely. And that's easier when our values are front and centre all the time.

10. Better Decisions. Being clear on our core values makes every decision we make easier. Weighing the pros and cons of any decision is simply less painful and less complicated.

In short, discovering, defining and living our core values allows us to get more of the right things done and enjoy the journey more.

Let’s start with 20 examples of core values with brief description of each. This would be followed by examples of Business Core Values of Top companies that influence our online existence.

 1.  Accountability- Responsibility of our actions that influence the lives of our customers and fellow workers.

2.      Balance- Maintaining Healthy life and work balance for workers.  

 

3.      Collaboration-Collaborating within and outside the company to give the best.  

4.      Commitment-Commitment to roll great product, service and other initiatives that impact lives both within and outside the organization.

5.      Community- A sense of responsibility and contribution to society that define our existence.

6.      Consistency-Be consistent in offering the best for wonderful experience.

7.      Diversity- Respecting the diversity and giving the best of the composition.

8.      Efficiency- Being efficient and effective in our approach to give best solution each time.

9.      Empowerment- Empowering the employees to take initiative and give the best.

10. Fun- Having fun and celebrating small successes in our journey to achieve big.

11. Innovation- To come out with new creative ideas that have the potential to change the world.

12. Integrity-To act with honesty and integrity without compromising the truth.

13. Leadership- The courage to lead from front and shape future.

14. Ownership- Taking ownership of the company and customer success.

15. Passion-Putting the heart and mind in the work to get the best.

16. Quality-Giving the best and unmatched results for all round satisfaction.

17. Respect-Giving due respect to self and others and maintain the environment of team work and growth.

18. Risk Taking- Encouraging self and others to take risk for a bright future.

19. Safety- Ensuring the safety of people and making sure to give them trouble free experience.

20. Service Excellence- Giving the best and world class service and achieving excellence each passing day.

Examples of Core Values

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. The core values are the guiding principles that dictate behaviour and action. Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong; they can help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals; and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide. There are many different types of core values and many different examples of core values depending upon the context. 

Core Values About Life

Often, when you hear someone discuss why they fell in love with a spouse, they will mention that they have the same values. In this case, they are often talking about core values, or internal beliefs that dictate how life is to be lived. 

Some examples of core values people might have about life include:

  • A belief, or lack thereof, in God and/or an affiliation with a religious institution
  • A belief in being a good steward of resources and in exercising frugality
  • A belief that family is of fundamental importance
  • A belief that honesty is always the best policy and that trust has to be earned
  • A belief in maintaining a healthy work/life balance

Parents also try to instil these types of positive core values in children.

Of course, core values don't always have to be positive. Some people may be driven by self-interest or greed, and these are core values too if they dictate the way the people live their lives. 

Corporate Core Values

Companies can have core values as well. These are the guiding principles that help to define how the corporation would behave. They are usually expressed in the corporation's mission statement.

Some examples of core values for a company might include:

  • A commitment to sustainability and to acting in an environmentally friendly way. Companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's have environmental sustainability as a core value. 
  • A commitment to innovation and excellence. Apple Computer is perhaps best known for having a commitment to innovation as a core value. This is embodied by their "Think Different" motto. 
  • A commitment to doing good for the whole. Google, for example, believes in making a great search engine and building a great company without being evil. 

As you can see, many of the core values that companies have are similar to those that individuals might choose as guiding principles as well.

Companies may also have negative core values as well. Companies that are solely motivated by profit, such as tobacco companies who lied to their customers about the dangers of smoking, may have been driven by core values of self-interest and an overly strong profit motive. 

Some Types of Core Values

There are countless types of core values, as you can see, so you will need to choose the ones that are right for you or your organization.

Here are some examples of core values from which you may wish to choose:

  • Dependable
  • Reliable
  • Loyal
  • Committed
  • Open-minded
  • Consistent
  • Honest
  • Efficient
  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • Humorous
  • Fun-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Motivated
  • Positive
  • Optimistic
  • Inspiring
  • Passionate
  • Respectful
  • Athletic
  • Fit
  • Courageous
  • Educated
  • Respected
  • Loving 
  • Nurturing

Identifying Core Values

While some people or companies might expressly publish their core values, often the best way to identify these values is to look at how they act and behave. A core value is only a true core value if it has an active influence and if the people or company manage to live by it, at least most of the time.