Values, Not Just a Decoration! #WisdomWednesday #LipstickOnAPig #Leadership #Values

Enron is the poster child of espousing tremendous corporate values with words that were displayed in public places like on websites, reception areas and on conference room walls but were ignored behind closed doors by a select few.  In all fairness, the overwhelming vast majority of the people working at Enron were highly ethical and devoted to work, family, and community and many I call my friends to this day.

Values are often defined by organizations in good times as the organization is just forming, growing or changing in a positive way.  And while values are created in good times, they are tested in difficult times.  They should not be feel good words, phrases or sentences that become decoration, but they should guide, ground and direct each individuals behaviors and actions. 

As a leader, this week look at your organizational values from a different, more critical lens.  Do I see those values guiding decisions at all levels.  Are they grounding us to always do what is right no matter what, and finally do they direct our actions and activities every interaction, every day?

Just for a moment imagine if the un-imaginable happened.  Your organization is challenged in some way publicly by the media, or a government agency challenges some business practice of yours, or an unpredicted and very severe business downturn happened. Can your organization not only survive but thrive because our values are strong, lived by every individual daily and while created in good times stood the test in bad times?  So what do you value?