Are Your Values Adding Value?

A wise leader of any organization will spend significant time thinking through and carefully crafting organizational values. He understands as the team lives out these prescribed behaviors the organization is more likely to accomplish its mission.  While listing Core Values is a common practice, unfortunately living out core values is not.  In many cases organizational values are posted on a wall and forgotten or ignored.  In other cases the values are defined but no one is sure how they integrate into the daily life of the organization.  As a result the values lack the power and influence they’re intended to have.  So how do know if your values are adding value?

Here are four indicators that may help you find out.

Everyday language: You know your values are adding value when they become the common language that team members are using on a day-to-day basis. Keywords or phrases from your defined values are showing up in everyday conversations, meetings and in the way that others describe your organization. These words or phrases become insider language that your people understand and use to help move your organization towards the mission.  If you’re values are not showing up in everyday language it’s likely they’re not adding value.

Decision Making: Values can add a great clarity to your decision-making. Every decision you face has multiple options and the option you choose will either keep you on or get you off mission. Your values (I actually prefer to call them Core Behaviors) are a set of a pre-decided ways that you and your organization will behave.  Therefore if a decision doesn’t align with one or all of your values then you need to find an option that will.  These pre-decided behaviors are intended to keep you on mission.  If you’re not referring to your values in the midst of decision making then they’re not adding value.

Changed Behavior– Not everyone you bring into your organization automatically reflects your values.  That’s okay at the beginning but a clearly established set of values that are communicated regularly will overtime shape the behaviors of the individuals on your team.  This will bring greater alignment to the way people behave, think and make decisions in your organization.  If your values are not shaping the behaviors and decisions of individual team members they are not having their intended impact.

Clear Reputation – It doesn’t take too many touches for people outside your organization to quickly discern what you value.  Whether we like it or not what we value is highly visible.  This is why one of the leader’s greatest responsibilities is to manage and shape the corporate culture of his or her organization.  We do this by modeling and teaching the values/behaviors we expect.  When team members live out the values in daily activity others quickly pick up on “how we behave around here”.   And it’s those day-to-day expressions of our values that establish the reputation of our organization.  What is your church or company known for?  If you’re unhappy with the answer to that question then your values are not adding value.

What next steps do you need to take to ensure that your values are adding value?


Would you like to learn more about developing Values for your organization? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mac Lake

Mac Lake

I am the Chief Launch Officer of The Launch Network, a new church planting network based out of West Ridge Church in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. My role is to get The Launch Network up and running, networking with churches and planters to establish healthy church starts across the U.S. and the world. Our goal is to plant 1000 churches in the next 10 years. My passion is growing leaders for the local church. Every time I hear Bill Hybels say “The local church is the hope of the world” my heart comes out of my chest and it increases my sense of urgency for developing leaders who produce leaders.

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9 Posts Every Leader & Pastor Should Read | JoshuaReich.org — 02/05/16 3:50 am

[…] Are your Values Adding Value? by Mac Lake […]

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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