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What We Want to Be Known For
We’re All In!
R ecently, my whole team at ReachOut IT did a company- wide core value exercise together. As a company, we’re growing very quickly, and we wanted core values that would help everyone know who we are and what we aim to accomplish, and it was crucial to have everyone give their input. The idea for the exercise came from an event I went to in October. Whenever I go to an event, I take a notebook with me so I can take notes. It’s a great feeling when you leave one of these events with a notebook full of fantastic ideas. I always event, where we were asked, “What are you known for?” It was a soul-searching question, making me think about everything I’ve done and what I’ve always wanted to do. I jotted down a simple phrase, “I’m all in.” I put everything into anything that I start. Back when I worked a corporate job around 10 years ago, I would come across an idea that I would get fired up over, and then another and another. I had a friend tell me, “Rick, you’re passionate about everything you go after. No matter what feel very productive. This particular event was a personal development
you do, you’re always all in.” Everyone knows me for that — I’m always all in, pouring every ounce of myself into what's in front of me. After this experience, I came up with the core value exercise for the entirety of ReachOut IT to participate in. We created three tiers — how we help our clients, how we help our company, and how we help ourselves. We took large Post-it notes and wrote a good side and a bad side on three of them, much like a pros- and-cons list, then passed them around to each person in the company. First, I asked my team, “What are some things that you want our clients to say about us?” Using single words or short phrases, they came up with “knowledgeable,” “efficient,” “prompt,” and “worth it.” Then they came up with a few things that we don’t want our clients to say about us, such as “rude,” “slow,” “inexperienced,” “expensive,” “not providing value,” and "being the negative comparison to other people or companies." I leveled it up and asked “How about our office culture? How do our people benefit from the great things about working here?” I got responses of feeling valued, supported, inspired, positive, and having a fun office culture. What they don’t want to see is too much negativity, being underutilized, not being fulfilled, no interest from management, lack of resources, and no diversity. We took it one step further and looked at ourselves, asking, “What do you want people to say about you?” and the ideas that came out were being mentally and
physically fit, motivating, financially stable, honest, and ethical. What they didn’t want was to be viewed as lazy, dramatic, arrogant, indecisive, two-faced, and incompetent. The whole experience blew my mind! These were things that each person wanted or didn’t want to see at ReachOut IT— it was absolutely fantastic! I took all of these answers from each team member and came up with commonalities between them. Then, on a fourth sticky note, I wrote down eight core values: Reliance, Fulfilled, True, Inspirational, Culture, Healthy, Caring, and Invaluable. The best part of this exercise was that it wasn’t extracted out of my head alone, but through everyone who wants to see something in themselves, the office, and the experience we deliver to our clients every day. It's incredible. Next year, I’m planning to host a couple of events to delve deep into this exercise for entrepreneurs. No matter what size your business is, this will help you pull out what you want to be known for. I hope it will provide essential resources to other companies to help determine their own company values.
I took all of these answers
from each team member and came up with commonalities between them. Then, on a fourth sticky note, I wrote down eight core values: Reliance, Fulfilled, True, Inspirational, Culture, Healthy, Caring, and Invaluable.
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