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Define your Core Business Values

If you were asked to define your core business values what would they be? I don’t mean give me a list of five goodie-goodie ethical statements that you plan to put into a marketing brochure – I want you to think about who you really are as a business and what you work toward.

Here’s my short list of core values that I bring to business in 2011:

  1. Business is not about making money, it’s about filling social needs not met by government. A side effect of filling those needs well is that I will make money.
  2. Business is about making enough money… not as much money as humanly possible to grub from the weak and less informed.
  3. Business is about win-win scenarios. People who look for win-lose business deals are far more prone to be sued or fail due to conflict. Every person needs to believe they are better off because of the business deal.
  4. Everybody deserves to be paid for their effort – no spec work, no mates rates and no exploitation.
  5. The environment deserves our respect because there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes from somewhere – resources were consumed.
  6. Strong leadership is about creating leaders not followers… weak leadership is about raising goats.
  7. High quality local products interest me more than anything else in the world… even more than IT and web technologies.
  8. Consumerism is out of hand… most of us don’t need more stuff we need more time and better experiences.
  9. Exclusive globalisation will consume humanity… inclusive globalisation will enrich humanity. Currently we have that inverted.
  10. When confronted by bullying I will walk away the first time every time – it’s called self respect.

You don’t need to share your list but it will obviously change over time as you have a family or enter partnerships or move in and out of different industries. The important thing is that you articulate these core values occasionally so that you can make better decisions about the direction you want to take your life and career.

When you look at business opportunities compare your core values with their core values to see if you’re a good fit. Oh and if it turns out that your own business values are to make money at all costs and to gain advantage through smart dealing then that’s fine… they are YOUR values. The important thing is that you become aware and accept them as your own personal values in business.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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