The classic Management by Objectives model has evolved into Management by Mission. Although we lead and manage people with individual objectives, we always complement these with shared objectives informed by a team mission.

There’s a tendency in organizations to show off their mission and values. All it takes is a quick double-click on 99% of corporate websites to confirm this fact.

What’s the purpose of these highlighted values? Do our teams really know how to leverage them?

In sessions with executives and sport coaches, I often hear statements like these:

  • Our team lacks COMMUNICATION  
  • We need more HUMILITY
  • We’re short on ACCOUNTABILITY
  • I want more PROFESSIONALISM  
  • I prefer to SHARE

These sentiments were expressed by people who lead teams like yours. The VALUES they underscore may resonate with you and may even inspire you. However, they will remain empty words if you don’t know how to define the core values that will guide our team. This is the main job of leaders but also of their teams!

Gaining alignment and consensus around these values is key. It will take collectively finding these words that represent us and being capable of defining them really well.

  • Defining Values:

What do team members understand regarding each individual value?

After selecting, choosing and defining these words, there’s no turning back. They will become the principal reference for everyone. There is no middle ground here, you’re either committed to them or you’re not. If you don’t believe in them, forget about them and start over again.

If ACTIONS are added to this agreed-upon selection that the team can implement in their day-to-day, these values will become much more than a mere list of words. In order to assert a specific set of values, your actions will have to back them up.

  • Value-Driven Actions:

What concrete actions will we implement in our team to ensure that our values are really present?

They will become a clear model for teamwork. They will give meaning and singularity to “how to reach our objectives,” serving as a beacon to recalibrate if the team misses the mark. We’ll have a solid foundation and team pillars to guide us on the intense journey toward excellence.

If you lead a team and are able to stimulate thought and debate on the VALUES that set you apart, you will find countless contexts to apply them. Fortunately, the chances of something great stemming from these values won’t depend exclusively on you. It will depend on EVERYONE!

The next challenge: Values in Action!