#304: Are Core Values Worthless?


If you ask people to show up every day, and you don't tell them what we're building why it matters where it's going. You are really hurting that person's mental health helping business leaders grow themselves their team and their prophets. This is Andre leadership. Now, here's your host Ken Coleman coming from the music city. This is the broadcast of leaders by leaders four leaders. Thank you so much for joining the conversation are feature conversation this episode with Donald Miller a good friend of ours. But on the program many times, we're going to talk specifically with Donald this time about mission statement and core values, how do they coexist? And then I'm excited. Introducing a Dave and carry way who are going to share their story. What did they do when days father who's essentially the mission? Not just the mission statement when he passed away. How did they handle that transition specifically with mission statement and? Core values when the very soul of the organization pass while you're gonna love this, very practical stuff. And then we got a great resource for you from our friends at Belay it all happens right now, let's get to it. Donald Miller is an author bestselling author speaker. Now, the CEO of story brand a company that is helping tons of businesses clarify their messages, this conversation is as ground level, practical as it gets here. It is my conversation with Donald. This is fun many times. Donald Miller spin our guest. Now, you're in studio. The first time in the studio my right or is the cyclist second. You've been on sodas different. You guys have cleaned it up. Oh, we have looks great. Well, let's good. We probably had Stacy come in and say, Ken, let's go let's tidy up a little bit. But good to have you here. We're gonna talk about several different topics. But one that I'm excited about diving into is its corporate speak. Yeah. I think when I say it everybody conjures up pretty clear image of what this means. But I think you have some very clear and strong opinions on what it really should mean. Let's talk about this idea core value core values, we actually take them serious at Ramsey solutions. You've got them everywhere. Which is what you needed to you to paint on your walls should a core value look like sound like act like well, I want to back up a little bit because core values actually tied to your mission statement. And so let's talk first about the mission statement, I'm not a big believer in the mission statement as it is printed most of the time, which is what gives me, oh, it's a bunch of. You know, we exist to increase the efficiency of the, you know, business, speak, blah, blah, blah. I was in a boardroom recently in architecture firm in downtown Nashville, and we were talking just the C suite. I mean, these are the executives in its Skyros in downtown Nashville. I said, well, you got to you know, if you want to unify your team, you're gonna have to clarify your message. You're gonna have to have some sort of story that people can live into and the CEO said, Don, we spent forty eight hours at a retreat, recently, we came up with our mission statement, we've got it. That's our guiding principle it's painted on the outside of the wall of this conference room. So we've got that covered. And I said, I didn't I wasn't that the retreat. I don't know if they're missing statements. I said your mission statement is not going to work probably kind of a bolt thing to say. But I believe it, and he said, no it is. I mean, everybody in this room. We did forty eight hours coming up with our mission statement. And I was like I don't say anything else don't say anything, and I pointed at the CFO, and I said what's the mission statement? And he didn't know, oh, boy he was at the retreat, of course. And it's painted on the outside wall Watkins, much business speak nobody remembers and then even if they can remember you. Outta your entire team. He stand around the Mississippi. You read it on the side of the wall. Like, nobody remembers it the next day and not only that if they could remember they wouldn't know how to take action on it. And so what we really need in our mission statement of core values. The the first thing is we need very simple language. And here's the other thing that you need instead of stating your mission statement, right? Invite people into a story. And so I turn around I looked at the city of Nashville, you're looking at the skyline, and I said think about something like this, you're architecture from what if your mission statement were the average urban infrastructure causes a low level of anxiety. And most people we exist designed buildings that give people a sense of peace that they wanna walk into and feel comfortable working in. Yeah. I'm just making something up. Right. That's a story. It's a problem that is causing people pain that we as a company fix in order to release them from their pain and have a happy life. So if you actually put that on your wall and. You talk about that. As a team I could probably go to any of your team members. If you've talked to him about maybe four or five times brought it up at every Keno. There's another thing once you get the stuff that you have to repeat it you have to do a propaganda campaign to get people to memorize it's right? But then I actually go to a team member say, hey, why are you guys exists? He would turn on say. Well, you know, most urban skylines. Create a low level of anxiety. And we want to ease that with the kind of buildings that we build good sense of peace, and whatever they're going to around it. But then the other thing that that does want it. It gives me a sense of mission. You know, that's what you want. Right. The mission statement instills a sense of missions, right? When most people's mission statements, instill a sense of confusion. Yes. And so on and so on so we wanted to be extremely memorable one. And we want to invite people into a story and instill a sense of mission or passion into their work life. That's not just good for the bottom line. It's incredibly good for the bottom. It's good for our people's mental health when somebody wakes up Viktor Frankl's work. You know, he's the Vinnie psychologist when some. Many wakes up and has a sense of that they need to get out of bed in order to solve somebody else's problem. It gives them a deep sense of meaning purpose agency in their live, which is associated with mental health. So our mission statement is incredibly important, and it cannot be vague. And it should not include business be let me just give you some practical by not only do we have a mission statement as a company we train the world's greatest business leaders is our mission statement that's pretty easy to understand. We train the world's greatest business leaders. Right. I know what we do. But each department has a mission statement. So we created a department called the hospitality team and hospitality team exists to give gifts to people to make sure that our workshops and conferences are very memorable. We found a guy who's paid three thousand dollars kind of our last works. I've sleeping in his car. And we said on it right hotel room five hundred dollars in cash. We're so glad you're here. That guy's gonna win by the way, if you are your last dollar to grow yourself. I bet on you. But you know, we said we don't. Your money. Right. That's the hospitality team. So we created the hostile team largely out of that story. I, you know, every comes back to be with the mission statement, and it's this business jargon. And I Email her today and said what if it's just the hospitality team exists to help people love and remember their experience with story ran well now instead of create officiency through productivity and Boba anybody who's on the hospitality team knows their job. And I'm talking to a customer, and I know my job is to help them love this experience. And remember it forever. And I will do anything it takes to help them love this experience. And remember it forever. That's why St. language is so important and instills a sense of mission rather than a sense of confusion. It starts with the mission state. Well, let's stay there. I say win until every maybe it's something like this. I hear that. And I hear it's clear it's easy to understand. But it also has a certain amount of lack of boundaries to it. Yeah. It's is that intentional because now she gets the side every team. On that team decides ways. I here's the situation. We're supposed to love and create. You know, what is what is that? Now wondering about budgets, right, and how much these people are going to spend and can you? Well, one thing that you always have to balance is you have to empower your people. I just talked to Lahore Scholtz co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton. He empowered every single person every from the janitor at the Ritz to the whoever's the executive running that particular property every single person can spend two thousand dollars of corporate money on any customer to make them happy. He empowered the entire team. Yes. You can spend your limit is two thousand dollars. Of course, reds has been wildly successful. The most iconic brands in the world, you got to empower your people. So I would know and every and I had this conversation. Look, you know, if overhead creeps up, and you know, what I call the engines on the airplane, the thing that brings in the money shrinks down we have to defunding at this department. You teach people to think that way, and they you can try. Trust them. Well, and to your point here, even though it'd be curious to know, did you talk to Scholtz about how many times or at least a ballpark? How many times it employees actually spent the full two thousand we didn't? But I can't imagine. It was very often. I don't think so it might have been a hundred dollar solution. Yeah. You know, competent night, or whatever sakes. Interesting. All right. So you say that this is a pretty bold statement. We should only have three core values. Yes. That's actually from Qin Blanchard. It's a paper that he wrote. It's a lot of his stuff. But sure geek out on politics Ken wrote a white paper on how to turn around the American government wrote about five years ago, actually, flew out, San Diego guy. We went through the entire white paper. And I asked him questions because he's eighty three. Now, he's alive, and I want this to live forever. That's great. But in that white paper, he talks he repeats some things that he says about organizations he says one people can't remember much more than three or four. So here's a neat thing. I did when we realized we suffered from this problem we had seven or eight core values, you know, they were vague business language, those kinds of things I decided we're gonna string into three. But we're actually a film a little documentary about redoing our mission statement and core values, so when we had our first meeting to talk about this actually had our camera guy communist said, hey, pull people out of the room one at a time and ask them what? Our core value is on camera and one of our team members was able to say one of our core values. That's it. That's how hard it is. So imagine imagine not having a mission statement and not having core values. Right. That would be like me calling. You. Saying, hey, can you want to go on a road trip with me? What's the first question you ask? Or are. We going exactly what your team is doing. You're saying let's go and they're going where. Exactly. Right. And when your mission statement, we exist to be more productive and provide efficient solutions to innovative problems. They're gonna doll chasing his tail. Well, it's like this. It's like Ken. Let's go on a road trip done where to a place where the sun is good and the air is temperate. Yes. And you're going where right, right? That's exactly what we're doing to our teams. And not unlike the whole Viktor Frankl thing if you don't they wake up in the morning, they have a problem, they're solving for other people is akin to mental health is socio mental health. If you ask people to show up every day, and you don't tell them what we're building why it matters where it's going. You are really hurting that person's mental health. They have to sit there for eight hours and work for absolutely no reason, you take somebody. And you say, listen, I'm going to give you eighty five thousand dollars this year say that the most they've ever made thirty five eighty five thousand dollars. Here's where we want. You take this pallet of bricks and Bill. Build a brick wall on that side of the parking lot when you're done, and what you chisel that brick wall down and build it on this side of the parking lot. When you're done wants, you chisel that down and build it back where it used to be you do that for a year, and I'm gonna give you eighty five grand. They'll estimate. Absolutely. It's what they didn't concentration camps. I it's it's. Yeah. Yeah. So we we gotta get our mission statement, that's the negative the positive is when you actually get the mission statement and core values ride you motivate inspire a team you unify team. And you immediately, increase productivity and efficiency. It is the cheapest thing you can do to increase the efficiency and become a lean machine is mission statement and core. Vice that's the importance of the mission statement, so vicious statement is the plot of the story that you were inviting people into where we are going. Why does it matter? What's my role? These are three key questions that you say you got to be for someone to simply understand the answers to those questions within the core values and the Michigan how they work together. That's right. So your mission statement and core values worked together to answer three questions that every employee has. And that is where we going. Why does it matter and what's my role? Right. So mission statement is where we going and probably why it matters. It's going to answer both of those. That's and so after that its core values, which is what? My role, and you know, this is a umbrella version of what's my role. What's my role needs to get down to what am I supposed to do today? But in the core values really are how am I supposed to behave. And so if I hire an actor, if I'm a director of a movie and hire an actor, and I don't give them a script. And I don't tell them. What this character was about? What they're like they're supposed to be. That's a form of torture. Also because we say action, and they don't know what to do. Right. They can't wing it. They need to know what this thing is about. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to behave? Those core values are incredibly important. They should be actionable. So we exist a train the world's greatest business leaders. How are we going to do that? There are three core values. One is be the guide and what we mean by be the guide is an everything that you do help the customer win period. Help them win. Find out what their finish line is. And get them. Their help them get their second is B M vicious. So we want to always say, you know, we're here to win. I mean, we're here to win a Super Bowl and third is B. Positive. That's about it. I mean, I could add a fourth and believe me I want to write. There's so many great core values. I want to add they won't remember the fourth member of the problem. I had the beginning of the year. Remember them. I've got it on video. It's hilarious. So they're going to remember be the guide B, M vicious and be positive and they're actually in rank order, so they cancel each other out. They can cancel each other out if I'm trying to help a customer win, right? But that customer, you know, is they paid three thousand dollars beat my workshop they're sleeping in their car. They have well. The Embiid side to be would say, you know, I don't wanna cop their hotel room or give them some cash because that's not going to help us win. But the am Bishen comes second to be the God. So if I say, my main ambition is to help this guy win, my second one is to be am bishops than I have to say, you know, what helping this person win cancels out my emission, I dislocated on and help them win. That's the most important one. And then the third is be positive. And we actually say, you know, there's a sentence behind each of these positive. We say an almost every situation we see the bright side. And I put the word almost in. Because if a tree falls on top of the office. I don't want somebody walk in and go on some night. There are certain reasons. Yeah. So they have to be in rank order, Ken Blanchard. Talks about Disney parks core values and their their first core value is safety. Right. And then they have courtesy. So if I'm being courteous to a customer, and I hear somebody screaming I need to stop being courteous to this customer and go with the primary value of safety. So really your core values are informing how people should live within the workplace. They're incredibly important. You know, I want to touch on something and then we'll move on. But I want to touch on what I think is a reality. And that some people struggling with looking at their business a lot of small business owners, you know, you know, where audience, well, so let's just pick plumber electrician or some type of trade. Okay. Now you and I can sit there and come up with eight reasons why that company matters tremendously. Yes. But I think some small businessmen and women they have a struggle going as the leader as maybe the owner. How does this matter that much nobody really brags on us somebody talks about us? We sell windows or whatever. It is how do they overcome this idea that well it having hard time coming up with? Why what everybody else doing matter so much? Well, let's talk about just a mission statement for a plumber Michika plumber might be we, you know, I don't know we help fix people's pipes or whatever. But I would actually come with something much better than that. I would say we fix people's plumbing and east attention of having a stranger in their home. Yeah. You should I just that actually motivates very different behavior. Yes. Our dishwasher went out two days ago, and we called six different plumbers. None of them could get to it till Monday. My sister is visiting town. We got dishes pun about any. We have ten people coming over for dinner tonight all family, and we need a dishwasher. So my sister who's a miracle worker found somebody sixty five year old man comes into our house, and my wife immediately falls in love with us guys the sweetest nicest guy, he says, look, it's actually he's brutally on. Honest. He says this is a three dollar part that they're charging us about two hundred fifty dollars for and I have to Mark it up. You can actually get a new dishwasher for about two hundred dollars more than what I'm charging. We can have it installed. It's five hundred bucks to fix this. And I just want to be brutally us. It's actually three dollar problem that because this this this is what we have to charge. He's brutally honest. And my wife said, I'll get the checkbook, you know, because I don't want this being a landfill. You're telling me it's going to last another five years, and it would cost me another two hundred dollars to replace it. And we don't have a dishwasher, and he said, well, I just wanted you to know everything that we know. Right. You think we're calling him again -absolutely? I'm an telling every until store you just entree leadership. That's right. And I don't know what their core values are. But my guess is one of them in that culture. Right. Is honest. That's right. They are honest with the customer, they consider them partners and solving their plumbing problems. Yeah. And we'll go again here is we had a similar story. Big giant planner falls off the front of the house. Middle of winter rips off five pieces of siding, my houses exposed can't get anybody out there. Find a contractor guy comes out makes a point to get it all taken care of quickly. Yeah. He's my wife's favorite guy on the planet. Above me. Yeah. Several levels of a little jealous of this guy, sixty five zero zero dishwasher. Exactly, right. Yeah. And so that's the point is if you're trying to figure out all this romantic language. Don't forget what you've taught me. And that's why updates the question. You're meeting need. It's peace of mind. Yes. What that guy did on my siding thing was not fix something ugly? My neighbors know me, they know we're not the clamp. It's they know I'm going to fix it. It was peace of mind about weathering is it going to water going to get in downside 'cause a ten thousand dollar problems. Offing the problem. That is not the problem, you're solving you're solving the emotions that come with the problem that you're solving pretense. That's you understand that. And you instill that into your core values you provide direction you create a team alignment unity. You give people mental health, and you add value to your products, and that value makes your products worth more. It makes people enjoy them. More talk about the more. Here's the great thing about mission statement in core values, it is completely free to create it and to instill. Absolutely. I mean could cost you some pain on side of wall. Maybe a couple T shirts. Hat coffee, mug, whatever and it will direct your entire team. Okay. One more follow up. Yes. One thing we hear from our tribe. Yeah. People that are in this trade business specifically it's hard to find good help. Yeah. If they don't like me, they don't like my the way we do things can go work for somebody else. It's hard to find good people. Yeah. Lemme ask you based on what you just said. Said yes, when you instill these core values and a tradesman looks at himself as not just a plumber or not just a carpenter or whatever it is electricity. But they align with what you're telling them, and they go wait a second. I've never worked for somebody. Who were I now see myself totally different doesn't that lend itself to not just keeping that talent? But attracting other trading because they go this is this is mission for me just to tradesman. Yes. Mark Miller at Chick-fil-A who you know. Oh, yeah. Marks a great guy. Chick-fil-a spent every year they identify their number one problem, and they create a piece of curriculum around that problem there number one problem, you know, this last year was attracting and retaining top talent. So they spent millions. They went to string finders. They end on research Gallup has not done research. Nobody had done research. Nobody had ever done research on how to track top town. They spent millions of dollars trying to figure out how to do it. And they came up with three things to. Talent look for a better boss a brighter future and a bigger vision. A better boss a brighter future and a bigger vision while so where does your mission statement to things a brighter future? That's a bigger vision. I can't help you with your better boss, you, that's you and me we just have to be better people's, right? And we're part of their talent magnet. Right. So right now Storebrand is blowing up, and I'm discovering that yes, I have to pay people. I have to pay them pretty good salary. And we wanna keep that going and those are all percentages. You're trying to figure that stuff out. But when I heard Mark say that which was weeks ago months ago. Really, I said, okay. Well, I can definitely offer them a better boss of bigger vision and a brighter future. And so I sit down with our mission statement and say, look and forty eight months. Our mission statement is going to be, you know, something akin to the American workforce is not being developed that's unfair. And we're going to give everybody a cost effective way to develop their people. We will develop the entire American. Workforce. When I say that too right now, I'm recruiting a guy who's a major player in an NFL team. I want them on my team is not a player. I'm sorry. Physical player. He's a part of the part of the organization, I'm recruiting him. He flies into town next week. I don't think without that mission statement, and that understanding of we're doing something. Yes. To change the world. That's right. I don't think he's even returning my phone calls. Yeah. Another guy from a prominent family is a CEO of a big organization debating leaving his state because he could easily run for governor. He's now very interested in coming on staff at story. Brent why because we have this sense of mission. Yes. And so it's it's not only unifying your team and giving people mental health your mission statement if it's done, right? If you write some lousy, we exist to create productive innovative artisans solutions to you're not gonna attract anybody. I don't know what that means. But give me a mission. We're gonna go over that hill. That's right. We're gonna take those guys down because they've been tear. Arising this village thrown and I need your help. And they'll come one of our development guys took a fifty thousand dollar pay cut to leave his company and come to our company, you know, developing guys a really expensive. And spells these the best in town. He came I didn't fully realize that I got two calls saying I offered him a hundred thousand dollars more than he was making. You offered him fifty thousand dollars less than what he's was making any went with you. I got that call twice and why mission stay mission. Yeah. Absolutely. He didn't even more money. No. We're going to pay him. We're going to have to pay them to keep them. Yeah. But he might. Hill end up making more you anyway, where you probably smells that to seeing here. Here's what he's saying. I mean, I'll say this you won't say it, I'll say it in this situation. He doesn't need the money, but he's willing to take that cut which is seemingly nuts to most people people. But he believes in the vision and the mission so much. I think he probably believes if this thing always. Opportunities. Didn't do anything for his heart. Somebody guys really pin me down and said tell me how you did it. And I'm like I bought him a burger. I mean, I don't know how I did it. What do you look for some trick? I didn't like Jesus sleazy. The only answer. I had was I guess talked to his heart. And the guy literally was like the point. I didn't think about that. I'm not at all human being. Yeah, he wants to go where you're going. Yeah. Yeah. That's not only just you want to go there. He's gotta take us there. Yes. He gets to lead. Yes. Hinson and get I tell people this on my show, you do that the money will take care now. It's fine. You gotta do what you love that moves your heart. Full enjoy that conversation, again story brand all things Donald Miller. Great way to go is just go to story. Brand check them out online are entre leadership team, by the way is come up with a great great resource that fits into the conversation. We just had how create core values, obviously, Donald Miller gave us a great framework tremendous context for using this resource from entree leadership. Specifically there's five steps for developing and communicating your company's guiding principles. So you're gonna learn how to develop the right core values for your team and implement them. If you want to get it text create core values now, that's all one phrase. No spaces create core values texts that two three three four four four. That's three three four four four or click on the link in the show notes. Well, it does it get any better than a real life. Testimonial. Insulin thing to talk about principles and some of the practical tips, we give you every program. But. But Dave and carry way as I said at the top of the program they had to deal with this and deal with in a situation a huge vacuum. If you will were as father, who's the heart and soul, the founder of the company he passes away. What do you do next specifically around this conversation? Here are David Carey. We were brand new business owners his father had passed away. And so the team members the whole atmosphere was like they're a little bit afraid, right? The godfather has passed away and what happens now so and we were a fearful we had never done this before. And now our whole where his dad was our net before and he had done a great job of stepping back from the driver's seat letting us strive and being there as just the safety nets. We always had him to go to an end ask would we do? Now. What do you think about this decision is this right? And he would smile and nod and reassure us, and and it was wonderful. He was phenomenal was a phenomenal mentor and coach, and he he was gone. We came back. We tried to assess what really is our culture. Yes, we had a culture at that time. But we needed to defy. Fine. It a little more kind of like put flesh on the bones and figure out who are we an at led us to creating a mission statement and coming up with what our core values are our core values, we're not aspirational at all. They really defined who we were already that was already in our DNA, and we needed our team to know. So that coming into our culture, the core values that we initially came up with was four, and then we added three more and the teams reception of those they agreed and not that we were looking for agreement, but they came to us independently and said, these are things that we totally agree with this. Because that's who we are ready. Are that to you guys are ready are that's who we want to be. That's the train. That's the bus that we want to be on. And that's something that we can believe in an live because we've already seen it. Practiced right. The biggest thing I noticed when everyone understood agreed with an adapted to the core values that we had I didn't really see the impact right away outside of our organization. But what I saw inside our organization was that it gave kind of a new heightened sense of purpose and a wind in the sails like we can do this. We can do this. Where before it was kind of like, I don't know if we can do that. That's a big stretch. Now, it was like, yeah, we can do this. And so at this time we were negotiating with a giant customer to try to win some business from them. And they were demanding that we jumped through all of these hoops and goal would be changed every week. And it was just it was laborious and painful and mostly and messy, but our team they really rose to the occasion. And here we are this little tiny David of a corporation. Shen against in a sense. This giant multi billion dollar company, Goliath. They were Goliath and our team was meeting them toe to toe, and they were killing it. Our team was killing it. So they were coming this. Big corporation was coming to the table. Unprepared. Disorganized dish. Shoveled beaten down pressure from their top, you know, two and the art team was coming to the table refreshed invigorated encourage it's like bring it we've got this. We know our product we know who we are. We know what we can deliver. And it was it was phenomenal. Say a special thanks to Dave and carry for sharing their story. We love when we can get some, you know, main street stories of people that have actually had to deal with some of these challenges that you're dealing with. And they came through them on the other side. So great stuff, Dave and carry appreciate you so much. Well, we love our friends at Belay, and what they bring to you our audience specifically nine questions to ask when interviewing a virtual assistant. Now, let's just take the entire conversation. We've had this program. Now, a lot of people want to have a mission statement a lot of people would like to have core values. But the reality is if you're frayed to admit, it don't be lot of you just feel like I don't have time to get to that. I'm too busy being the chief everything officer as my grandad used to say, you're busier than a one arm wallpaper hanger. I mean, it's just crazy. So how can you help with all the load? How about a virtual assistant our friends at Belay are going to help you assess where you're at nine questions to ask when interviewing? Virtual assistant to make sure that you know that you've got the right one. So in this resource blaze compiled, a list of nine questions to ask a candidate to help you get a jump start on your prep work. So the interview does what is supposed to do. And that's get you the right person to help you. So that you could do more of what you need to be doing basically only what you should be doing as the leader. So click on the link in our show notes to get this free resource the Belay resource get it right now by clicking on the link in this episode's show notes. We'll that's going to do it on behalf of the entire entree leadership team. Thank you so much for listening. We'll talk with you again, very soon. Hey, folks, I wanna make you aware that we have other great podcasts from Ramsey solutions. Here's a sample of the Ken Coleman show. According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly seventy percent of Americans are disengaged at work. If you dread going into work every Monday morning, and you're just trying to make it to the weekend. The Ken Coleman show is for you. Everyone has a sweet spot. Your sweet spot is at the intersection of your greatest talent. In greatest passion. We will help you. Discover what it is. You were born to do. And then we'll help you create a plan to make your dream job. A reality you matter, and you have what it takes. Join the conversation on the Ken Coleman show to hear full episodes. Just search Ken Coleman in items or go to Ken Coleman, show dot com.

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