Setting Values HURTS

I work for a company big on acronyms.  Hence, I chose to create one to help me remember the values we are trying to establish.

The keywords are Health, Uniqueness, ReThink, Together, Simplicity.

I will share my thoughts on these in the coming weeks but, today, I give my reasons for the mnemonic.

I believe building a values-based culture is painful.  Especially when we are trying to change the overall culture of a team, department, or company.  Here are some of my reasons.

Battling Old Habits

The company’s population may be so used to the way things are, that they can’t fathom them changing any time soon.  And since humans are creatures of habit, it’s just easier to keep doing the same.

It takes diligent, intentional, and purposeful action to get the people acting and thinking differently.

Connecting with the Naysayers

Every change brings its toll of energy vampires.  In maximize the speed of acceptance, a leader needs to first connect with the people.  This is easier with the early adopters or the undecided but it takes 3 times more energy to find common ground with the naysayers.

A leader needs to break barriers, find common goals, listen to concerns, and find ways to get the pessimists thinking forward.  And even then, there may be some that will refuse getting on the bus.

Setting the Example

John Maxwell likes to say “people buy into the leader before buy-in to the vision.”  The same happens with values and any leadership concept.  “Let me see you do it; then I’ll think about doing it” is the motto of many.

A leader must lead by example.  This means, a leader gives up the right to take a break or ask for leniency on leadership matters.  A leader must put up or shut up; no excuses.

These activities are hard work.  It’s painful.  Like a blacksmith working with iron: the high heat, constant hammering, sore muscles, and a master piece as a result.



2 thoughts on “Setting Values HURTS

Add yours

  1. Another company acronym… this is probably the first that I really love. Your point is well stated as I continually look for a commitment to the well-being we profess to commit to. I see the commitment to rethink, to embrace diversity/uniqueness, to simplify and to strengthen teams. However the commitment to visibly demonstrate healthy living (walking, taking lunch breaks, being active, allowing/driving activities) is simply not there. Not only is it not there, there is almost a disdain felt with the statements of “not having time” “too much to do” and “too much nonsence” are quick to the lips. It is very difficult to encourage folks when leaders don’t walk the talk of our own STATED vision. Thank you for your thoughts.

What is your experience with this concept?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: