Principles, Not Personalities in Business and at Work

A values-based strategic plan (values, vision, mission) is not only a key decision-making tool for any organization, it also establishes the principles or guidelines by which an organization will relate to its customers, employees, vendors, leadership team and other stakeholder groups key to the ongoing success of the organization.

Earlier in my career, I worked in the HR function of an organization where as part of the performance review process, we were evaluated not only on our individual and company performance to our established goals, we were also evaluated on how much we walked the talk of our company’s stated values in the process of accomplishing our goals. In other words, you couldn’t be a jerk in the process of accomplishing your goals.

If Respect is a established organizational value, then addressing issues such as:

  • Sales Managers who yell at Customer Service Reps;
  • Customer Service Reps who don’t provide needed information to Clients;
  • The Shipping Manager who misses the Sales Manager’s deadline;
  • The Sales Manager who reams out the Shipping Manager at the daily Staff Meeting;

is not just about everyone getting along (or not) in the workplace sandbox: it’s about commitment to the organization’s principle value of Respect, and holding everyone involved objectively accountable thereof. Subsequent coaching conversations revert back to the organizational value of Respect, rather than giving subjective opinions and labels that get the organization and the individuals involved nowhere. 

The focus is on the principle of Respect, rather than the food fights among any of the involved personalities. So if the Sales Manager, for example, can’t stop yelling at their team mates after repeated coaching on the principle of Respect, it creates a decision point – a choice for all involved, especially the Sales Manager – e.g., either modifying behavior and choices, or not – to ultimately determine job and cultural fit.

How will you marshal (and/or establish and communicate) the stated values of your organization to focus on principles (not personalities) to drive success in your organization in business and work?






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