Core Values: What is Missing?

What is missing from your Core Values Statement today? Hint: it is a small but powerful three letter word that begins with ‘G’ and ends with ‘d’. (Even non-believers should be able to guess this one). The answer for most businesses today is that God is missing from their core values.

In Philippians 4:13, the Bible tells us that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

However, as business leaders, we are told very early in our careers to avoid three topics in the workplace – religion, politics (although this topic has clearly worn out the airwaves of late) and money. (Ever stop to wonder who made up these B.S. rules?) As a nation, we have become so fixated on being PC with various special interest groups to a point where we have allowed our own values and beliefs to be compromised.

Core Values

We hear a lot of talk today about transparency and the need for businesses to be more open with regard to how they communicate and share information both internally and externally. However, we can’t talk about transparency and not openly share our values and beliefs. They are what shape our character and the culture of our organizations. Consider this … If the core values for our businesses run counter to our beliefs, then are we not guilty of talking out both sides of our mouths?

Core Values versus Beliefs, should there be a difference? Core values and beliefs are interdependent and provide context for our experiences, and connect those experiences to our values. Our values are determined by what is important to us, and are the basis for our behavior, motivation and action. While beliefs are assumptions we hold to be true, based on our learned experiences and the world around us.

Most of the websites I have perused for for-profit businesses say a lot of the right things in terms of their Core Values Statements. You will see words like Integrity … Commitment … Respect … Excellence … Innovation … Leadership … Teamwork … Honesty … Trust … Accountability … Service highlighted in those statements. However, references to God and/or Biblical principles are noticeably absent.

Hobby Lobby, and several of my clients’ companies, are the only for-profit businesses I have found in my limited research that put God front and center in their Core Values Statements. In fact, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles” is the first of several of Hobby Lobby’s organizational imperatives.

Our forefathers never intended for us to remove God and the church from society, quite the opposite is true. While we often hear the term “the Separation of Church and State” it is not found in the U.S. Constitution or any other founding legislation for that matter. Christians are raised to believe that everything we have comes from God, and we are merely trustees of it. If everything is a gift from God, then how can God not be central to everything we do in our personal and professional lives?

“Put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” –Proverbs 3:6

What does the Bible mean when it says we should put God first? Click on the following link to find a number of Bible passages that should help you get a deeper understanding of what this means in the spiritual sense

On July 30 of this year we celebrated the 60th year anniversary of the legislation signed by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower that formally made “In God We Trust” our national motto. I find it comical that even those who choose to put profits ahead of all things and worship at the altar of the ‘Money Tree’ still have God right there with them. All U.S. currency has the words “In God We Trust” prominently displayed on it.

I encourage coaching clients to review their Vision, Mission and Core Values Statements at least annually, to make sure they are still consistent with the direction of the business. If yours is a faith-based organization, I would suggest you go through this same exercise with your team, and endeavor to make God and Biblical principles an integral part of your company’s updated core values as well.

Whether you are enjoying great success or struggling at this point in your life, it’s time to get God out of the back room, and place him at the forefront of everything we do where He so deservedly belongs. Just my thoughts.



COPYRIGHT © 2016 John Carroll