Like many of you, I travel often to meet clients and prospects. Each company has its own “DNA”, its identifying characteristics and core values. Most of these come to light within moments of meeting the first employee. In talking with employees, it’s pretty easy to get a feel for how an organization is lead, what is important, how helpful (or not) a person is, how “together” the team is, what their passion is and the values they live by.

Our company is a sales management software company. We create, sell and support sales software such as, sales estimating software. What we do requires a variety of job responsibilities with quite different talent among the team. Given that diversity, we know definitively the kind of people we want on our team.

We sit together as a group and talk about why we do what we do, the core values most important to us, the way we want to operate and the messages we want to leave with our Clients.

We don’t do this once in a while. We talk daily about our core values with respect to events of the day, product direction, how we talk with and service our Clients, our job responsibilities, new hires. All of this is within the “DNA” framework we have spent hours developing and honing for our company.

We live our core values. When working with each other, and in working with our Clients, we tie nearly everything we do to our core values, our quarterly goals, our company “DNA”. Our sales process, internal meetings, even our employee reviews. Think about it, traditionally most people would rate their “annual review” up there with going to the dentist (I actually like my dentist but, you know what I mean!). Why not turn the review process into a productive learning experience built on your top 5 core values? What a way to live and teach your core values!

As sales leaders, tying core values into your emails, team meetings, and day-to-day interactions is key. Lead by example. Live your values and they will become apparent to your sales team, your customers, suppliers and even your family and friends. Imprinting these values on daily activities is educating others and will pay off in big ways for your company.

Our “DNA” is so important to us that our team knows when a person does not belong or something we’re doing needs to change. We talk openly about issues, work together to find the right solution and put it into action. Recognizing that something needs to change is not a “bad” thing. We see it as the natural order – the way it has to be.

We are movers and shakers. We are about success, about positive energy in what we do, about delivering excellence in our products and of ourselves every day. This is serious, challenging and exciting stuff and we want serious, challenge and success minded people on our journey.

When thinking about our corporate culture, our team easily rattles off the core values of critical importance to us. They relate those values to every day experiences in their areas of responsibility. That excites me. When people on your team understand your “DNA” and live your core values – it’s a beautiful thing! It makes your days better, easier, more efficient. A team that is moving together in the same direction, with purpose, vision and clarity is a team that will get it done.

Put it in action. How to get it going:

  1. Write down 5 core values most important to you as a leader.
  2. Poll your team members and ask them to write down the 5 most important core values from their perspective. This can be very revealing!
  3. Create a Core Value list with your team. Make it visible, in a place of prominence.
  4. Commit to 3 – 5 ways you can put your core values in action and start living those actions daily.
  5. Meet as a team and challenge each team member to do the same.
  6. Think of the ways your team can measure the success of living your core values and creating that “DNA” that everyone will recognize as yours.
  7. Celebrate your success together. Once a quarter recognize the successes everyone has achieved. Pick a date and do something special together to celebrate “DNA” achievements.

Leave a comment & tell us a story about how your great “DNA” & core values have made a difference in the success of your company.