Wow! Where does the time go? I can hardly believe it is already February 2012. It has been too long since I last posted, but I guess I hit a mental hurdle that needed to be crossed. I have been excited to share with you and get feedback in regard to many different items, thoughts and life lessons.

Although I have been side tracked over the past couple of months, one thing is for certain, I want to live a purpose-filled life. I greatly admire those people that have a steely fire in their eyes. It is those steely eyes that speak to me. Those eyes communicate without words needing to be spoken. Those steely eyes convey to me that their owner has a purpose and a focus. 

Over a year ago, as I was re-reading “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner, I  started my own journey of self reflection. I believe it was about mid way through the book that the authors talk about the importance of a leader owning a set of core values. I challenged myself to write down and document what I believed to be my core values. I then documented what I aspire to become and finally set out to ask others what they believe my core values to be. The process was interesting and full of self discovery and affirmation.

Taking into account the three sources of information, I then cross referenced the lists and intentionally wrote out a set of core values. My intention is to proudly share my core values and live in such a way others will testify to my authenticity.

I would love to hear your thoughts about your own core values. What do you hope others see in you?

Let’s start by defining/explaining core values. The heart of an organization, business and/or individual are its values. These identified values form the foundation on which work is performed and how we conduct ourselves carrying out that work. There is a vast amount of potential values, yet some are so important that throughout the changes in family, jobs, government, politics, and technology, they are still the core values to which we will abide. 

Core values are unwaivering. Core values champion our work, how we interact with each other and which strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. Basically, core values are the fundamental elements of how we go about our work. They are the practices we use in everything we do.

Operating without core values is like hiking deep in the woods without a compass. Without sounding too harsh, you simply drift along. I have never been much of a drifter, but I have gone through periods of drift.

The following set of bullet points, defining core values, is taken from Core values:

  • Govern personal relationships 
  • Guide business processes 
  • Clarify who we are 
  • Articulate what we stand for 
  • Help explain why we do business the way we do 
  • Guide us on how to teach
  • Inform us on how to reward 
  • Guide us in making decisions 
  • Underpin the whole organization 
  • Require no external justification
  • Essential tenets 

I have grown to depend on my core values to guide me in my decision making process. The moment I am not in line with my core values I find it more difficult to sleep at night. So, here are my core values and hence those of Candyss and Associates. Although I do not expect everyone on my team to have the same core values as me, I absolutely expect them to be guided by his/her own core values and to be able to explain them to me. So, here they are. I have listed my core values and have taken the opportunity to show how you might see me  exhibiting these values:

  • Foster trusting and authentic relationships: Through a commitment to creating win-win partnerships.

  • Be dependable: Remain available and follow through with the work promised

  • Be predictable: Provide quality services. 

  • Show genuine interest and curiosity: Ask sincere questions to gain understanding of each client’s individuals needs and intent. 

  • Approach conversations with sincerity: Listen to others before offering advice and/or making recommendations.

  • Empower others: Find ways to help clients build skill, competency and expertise. 

  • Create win-win opportunities: Look for outcomes that will benefit all representatives in a process. 

  • Honor all commitments: Do what we say we are going to do. 

  • Work hard – Play Hard: Give 100 percent effort, enjoy the folks we work with and do not overlook the time to celebrate successes. 

  • Cultivate business relationships not business transactions: Pick up work and volunteer experiences that we are passionate about and enjoy the people rather than earning a pay check. 

  • Celebrate successes….no matter how great or small: Never overlook an opportunity to reward self and others for a job well done. 

  • Go beyond expectations: Follow the motto 100% and then some. Keep expectations low and then always deliver more than is expected. 

  • Never leave doubt of our passion: Be passionate about every opportunity we choose to be involved. 

  • Get things done: Do not put off to tomorrow what can be accomplished today! 

  • Find opportunities to be both a student and a teacher: We learn just as much from the clients we work with as they learn from us. 

  • Take the time to show appreciation: Always show gratitude for opportunities and for those that help us to achieve the objective. 

  • Be honest: Admit when we are unable to complete a task or when our competencies and skills are not the best fit for a job. 

What are your core values? If you do not yet have a defined set of values, do you plan to start?
One of the things I love about working with the military is each branch’s explicit set of values.  So, I will leave you with their values.  They all remind me of the type and caliber of person I desire to be.  

Marine Corps: Honor, Courage and Commitment

Airforce: Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do

Coast Guard: 
- Honor: Integrity is our standard. We demonstrate uncompromising ethical conduct and moral behavior in all of our personal actions. We are loyal and accountable to the public trust.; 

- Respect: We value our diverse workforce. We treat each other with fairness, dignity and compassion. We encourage individual opportunity and growth. We encourage creativity through empowerment. We work as a team.; 

- Devotion to Duty: We are professionals, military and civilian, who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to the successful achievement of our organizational goals. We exist to serve. We serve with pride.

Army: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage