Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Identify Your Core Values

Erika September 12, 2022
How to weed out your core values:

First, remove anything that is a “permission to play value.”  

Permission to play values are values that merely restate the rules of the game, that abide by play.  They are not different; they are not in any way unique.  

Sports is a great analogy here.  So, consider basketball.  The rules of the game are clear, and everybody lives by them: traveling, shot clocks, scoring, three points versus two points, fouls… you play by these rules or you don’t play the game.

In business, these are things like: integrity, customer service, honesty, teamwork.  They are the basics to making your business work as a business.

Core values determine who plays on your team.  Is it a team that works together and passes the ball?  Or is it a team of superstars who are just great at what they do but don’t work together?  How do they work as a team?  How do they support each other?  

These are core values.  And they have consequences.  A lot of people claim “transparency” as a core value.  
Ray Dalio lives transparency: at his company, every communication, conversation, and meeting is made available to everyone in the company.  If you can’t live with that kind of transparency, you can’t work at Bridgewater.

Your core values define how you work.  They will likely turn people away even as they attract the right people.

If you start searching for company values you will find that a lot of big companies talk about permission to play values.  Why?  Because they can.  In truth, they haven’t given values much thought.  Large enterprises often publish permission to play values as their values.  These are meaningless and everyone knows they are meaningless.  

The core values exist they just aren’t expressed.  

Enron was built on integrity, publicly.  However, at Enron the core values were to work hard, play hard, and do something around doing what you had to do to deliver on your targets even if it meant lying, cheating, and fraud.  

They didn’t write that on their website and most corporate giants don’t, but the values are there nonetheless.