Mark It Down

A few short months ago, my team and I went through a process of refining our values. 

There are certain things that we want people to experience as we collaborate with them on various projects, dive in with them on working groups, and as we relate to them in various settings and channels of communication. In our refining process, we wanted everyone on the team to pitch in and for us to arrive at something that could guide us and give us a strategic and relational starting point.

We also wanted to put a stake in the ground to remind us of who we are as a team.

As for values in general, here are a few things that they are not.  They’re not our vision- that’s bigger.  Vision is what stirs our hearts and motivates us to push out- even when it's difficult.  Our values are also not the things that we are actually doing.  Values are more of the flavor that seasons our efforts. What we want people to know they can expect from us in how we do things.   They're how we want others to experience us.  Sort of like our personality as team.

In our handful of discussions around this, we wanted there to be a limited number of values so that they could be memorable and easily communicated.  Once we felt we'd arrived on them, we asked these questions:
  • Can everything we do flow out of these values? 
  • Are they memorable? 
  • Are we committed to living these out as we talk with field staff around the region, work thru our initiatives and processes, and collaborate with strategic partners in the region and around the US?
Since landing on four key values, there have been a number of times when we've run things through that grid.  On several occasions, I've asked myself and others.. "Does that line up with what we decided are our values?"  It has forced us to re-visit some things, but that's OK.  We know who we are.  And now we have a stake in the ground that reminds us of who we are as a team.  As people are added to the team, I anticipate the need to have a conversation around these values, and ask for their input as well.  They'll need to sign off on them, too.

So, what are the values that you and your team hold high?  Are they clearly defined?  Did everyone on the team have a chance to speak into them?  Can everyone on the team remember and communicate them effectively? 

I have the privilege of directing Leadership Development for the Red River Region of Cru.  If it would be helpful to see what we came up with, shoot me an e-mail and I'd be glad to send them along. ShawnMcGrath15@gmail.com