Every single business book that you’ve read as an entrepreneur or CEO most likely had two key components in it: vision and values.

But how do you actually come up with core values for your company?

And how can you come up with those values so they’re not just cute phrases on your website that nobody has memorized (not even you), but powerful statements that are a way of being for your entire company?

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Coming Up With Your Core Values

In just a moment, I’m going to share three tips you can use to come up with core values your team not only remembers, but that they fully embody and take with them into every interaction.

First, though, after helping several hundred businesses come up with their core values through our Vivid Vision Process™, we’ve consistently seen entrepreneurs and CEOs make the same mistakes that I’d like to share with you now, so you can avoid them:

Mistake #1 – You Have Too Many Values

Your core values are a representation of you and the vision you have for your company, and you want your team to fully show up in those values. But if you have too many core values, your team won’t be able to remember them, and you may not be able to either. 

Mistake #2 – Your Values Aren’t Action-Driven

You want your values to inspire people to take action, so they can fully represent your company. If it’s not clear how your values translate into real-world action, then they’re just words that sound good on your website.

Mistake #3 – Your Values Aren’t Aligned With Your Vision

Since your values should result in action, you also want them to align with your vision. That way, everyone’s moving towards a common goal for the company. But if your values “kinda-sorta” align with your vision, then you’ll probably get “kinda-sorta” results.

3 Ways To Create Core Values For Your Vivid Vision That Your Team Memorizes And Shows Up In

One of the most powerful questions a business coach asked me was: 

“Jennifer, if all your team had was your vision and core values, would they be able to execute on that vision in a way that would make you proud as a leader if those were the only two things that they received?”

That’s what you really want to ask yourself when coming up with your core values, because they should inspire your team to execute on your vision in a way that’s consistent with what you believe. 

And here are three tips you can use to come up with your company’s core values:

Tip #1 – Narrow Down To Five Values Or Less

Remember, if you have too many values, your team won’t be able to memorize and fully embody them. It gets confusing, and the values don’t become as impactful. 

Take our values at Conscious Copy for example:

  • Expansive Growth: We hold the vision, not the circumstance. 
  • Compassionate Honesty: We communicate with compassion and respect for others. 
  • Aligned Action: We grow with positive and focused momentum. 
  • Full Ownership: We live on the solution side of situations. 
  • Fun & Joy: We generate fun and joy on the journey.

Or one of our clients, an ad agency:

  • Proactive Accountability: We are responsible for our words, actions, and the results we get together and for our clients.
  • Constant Expansion: We work to improve ourselves, help each other grow, and consistently come up with new ideas to expand our clients’ businesses.
  • Straightforward Honesty: We give our clients an accurate picture of where their business is, where it could go, and the best way to make it happen; we’re compassionate, but we cut to the chase.

Tip #2 – Make Sure Your Values Are Decision-Driven

What this means is that when your team members or employees are making important decisions, and they have nobody else to ask for opinions, they should be able to tune into your core values and make the right call.

For example, at Conscious Copy one of our Core Values is “Compassionate Honesty,” and there have been so many times where our team members have said they didn’t know what decision to make in an on-the-spot situation, but when they tuned into our value of Compassionate Honesty, they knew exactly how to show up.

Another example is one of our clients, a financial management company, and their action-driven value Make The Complex Simple, which is easy to remember, and any team member can put it into action when making a decision.

Tip #3 – Make Sure They’re Short, Memorable, And Are Tied To Results

Your values should be short, so your team memorizes them, but you also want to make sure they align with not only your vision, but your company’s SOPs and KPIs. Once you’ve done this, you can start off meetings by sharing the core values, or open annual retreats and quarterly planning sessions with them. This way your values are totally congruent with the heart and soul of your company.

For example, our value Aligned Action means we grow with positive and focused momentum, so we keep a positive mindset as we stay focused on the goals we set for the company, and our value Full Ownership means each one of us takes full ownership of our responsibilities and solutions.

Turn Your Company Vision Into A Reality

A business that knows where it’s going is more likely to get there, and your core values are a huge part of making that happen.

If you’re an entrepreneur or CEO who wants to create really compelling core values and a really compelling Vivid Vision, you can walk through our step-by-step process here.

And if you want expert guidance when it comes to creating a Vivid Vision for your company, so you can:

  • Set yourself apart from your competitors when hiring new team members, by inspiring them to want to come work with you. 
  • Gain clarity when scaling up, and feel confident that the entire company is aligned with where you’re headed before pivots and/or rapid growth.
  • Give your internal team a clear picture of where you’re headed, so they can see themselves as part of the results and stay motivated.
  • Show up as a confident leader for the company, knowing everyone is enrolled in the same vision you have in your mind.
  • Bring customers, vendors, and key partners on board and inspire them to grow along with your shared vision for the future… 

…you can sign up for a complimentary Vision Clarity Call, where we’ll help you clarify your vision, so you can get your team on board, and get back to turning it into a reality.