How Your Core Values Relate to Thanksgiving

Fall Cornucopia -- Rosslyn (VA) November 2012

As we move into the holiday season, it’s a good time to reflect upon what values drive you -- as an individual, and as a businessperson. Common ones I hear often from clients include faith, family, integrity and freedom.

Our values are reflected in our company through its culture. Every business has its own unique culture. You can build your culture intentionally by declaring and living and behaving against a set of core values or you can find it built for you, with a set of behaviors that your employees interpret as defining your values.

If your culture doesn’t reflect your core values, it’s time to change it so that it better represents what’s important to you. If it does, congratulations! Now, how can you institutionalize those so that they exist beyond your time with the company? Those core values need to be reflected in your succession plan and in the leaders to whom you entrust your business and your legacy.

I recently had a conversation with a former owner who had sold his business but was still employed there in a leadership role. He was so frustrated. “They eliminated the culture,” he told me. “I worked so hard to build a culture into this organization, and now there’s none. Gone”

I replied, “Oh, believe me – there IS a culture in the business…It’s just not the one you invested 30 years building.”

So in this season of Thanksgiving, a time for giving thanks, take some time to acknowledge and recognize the employees, customers and vendors who have demonstrated the values you hold dear, who have helped you build your business, and who have built a business culture that reflects what matters most to you.

Thank You! for being a meaningful part of my life this year, and for inviting me to be a meaningful part of yours. May 2017 bring you and yours much joy, good health and continued prosperity.