13 Examples of Core Business Values That Guide Decisions

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Peter Shallard
CEO | Commit Action |

Another leadership retreat concludes with colorful new mission statements filling whiteboards. But a year later, those words fade, overtaken by cobwebs as internal friction flares again.

In these scenarios, leaders overlook a crucial ingredient for sustainable growth: properly defined core values ingrained intrinsically company-wide.

While flashy slogans briefly inspire teams, authentic values woven into culture, systems, and customer experiences distinguish the best businesses over time.

Core values reflect a company’s deepest motivations beyond raw revenue. They codify “why we do what we do” - the guiding light steering decisions at every level through storm and calm seas alike.

This article will cover exactly why properly defined values prove so vital for growth-oriented organizations and how to embed them fully:

  • What core values are and how do they embed intrinsic motivations

  • The power of core ingrained values

  • Real-life examples of purpose-led companies living shared values

  • A  blueprint for discovering and defining your authentic values

example of core values in business.webp

What Are Core Business Values?

Core values reflect a company's deepest motivations that guide decisions at every level. They encapsulate the driving forces - the intrinsic "why" fueling the organization's purpose beyond profit pursuits alone. 

You can think of values like a moral compass that:

  • Points organizations towards actions aligned with their highest intentions

  • Anchors companies to foundational motivations amidst rapid scaling or economic instability

  • Provides a fixed True North to navigate stormy seas

  • Helps leaders make choices reflecting motivations and desired culture

  • Manifests through aligned behaviors reinforcing tenets like trust and innovation

  • Embeds virtues so intrinsically they become second nature no matter how massive an organization grows

Ingrained values promote intrinsic joy and purpose without chasing accolades. For conscious businesses, motivations matter as much as the bottom line.

Therefore, purpose-led companies recognize that real achievement means:

  • Staying grounded to core motivations

  • Serving the customer mission right up until the last day, whenever that may come

  • Upholding virtues greater than convenient short-term gains

With this framing in mind, let’s explore why clearly defined and lived values prove so key for conscious businesses pursuing sustainable growth.

Read also: Do you want to elevate your business with targeted personal growth? Learn how to set impactful personal development goals for work, and start your journey toward enhanced professional success.

Why Clearly Defined Values Are Key For Business?

The best companies don’t just espouse values, they ingrain them intrinsically across four key dimensions:

1. Talent Attraction & Retention

core values in business.webpImagine you're a talented performer evaluating a new job offer. Beyond salary and perks, you'll examine if a company's motivations resonate with your values. Do their principles mirror yours?

It can be tempting to use convenient shortcuts when you’re scaling your business. But conscious leaders realize the best teams unite around motivations centered on meaning, not myopic profit pursuits alone.

When you take the time to clearly define and repeatedly convey authentic values, you attract and retain standout contributors who intrinsically share beliefs anchored deeply over decades. 

Real achievement means grounding cultures in motivations beyond temporary gains threatening trust.

2. Customer Loyalty & Advocacy

What happens when you consistently communicate ingrained values over the years through content and experiences? You actively nurture communities of loyal customers and advocate no pricing change could deter.

Rather than chasing transactions, you forge visceral connections through shared beliefs that compound exponentially. That's the intrinsic momentum conscious leaders unlock when embedding motivations beyond profits across customer journeys.

By anchoring to values versus optics over time, purpose-led brands gather tribes around commonly held principles. When done right, you build an unstoppable movement.

3. Leadership & Change Management

list of business core values.webpDuring periods of rapid scaling or economic instability, your values embed continuity of purpose into critical decisions when convenient shortcuts may tempt you.

The principles that shape choices across all levels anchor leadership to priorities beyond temporary gains that could compromise integrity or trust.

Values provide reliable pillars for gracefully navigating organizational growing pains, leadership changes, or market adversity. 

Hence, businesses grounded in their “True North” make decisions from a place of wisdom.

4. Joy & Meaning

The best places to work in the world don’t compel engagement through gimmicks or perks alone. While that helps, the real community requires motivations centered around meaning beyond financial gain.

When teams unite through values-focused cultures, they enjoy achievements intrinsically and take pride in excelling through challenges collectively. 

Shared principles seed deeper connections and nourish souls in ways transactional jobs never could.

In summary, ingrained values attract talent, earn customer loyalty, and steady leadership, and boost meaning when embedded completely. 

Read also: Facing a tough decision with your business idea? Discover how to know when to quit or stick to your business idea and make informed choices for your entrepreneurial journey.

13 Examples of Core Business Values Powering Growth

examples of business core values.webpLet’s explore 13 real-world examples of brands bringing shared values to life in compelling ways:

1. Trust: Zappos

Zappos builds phenomenal loyalty by resolving customer issues immediately without approvals or red tape. This allows frontline teams to provide exceptional reactive service demonstrating trust in staff to do the right thing.

2. Innovation: Apple

Continually redefining entire categories, Apple embeds simplicity and design-focused thinking intrinsically across teams and processes. This value radiates how they conceive products, interact with customers, and push technical boundaries.

3. Community: Toms

Toms links every consumer purchase directly to giving back through customizable social impact funds. This ingrained value seeds incredible customer advocacy and loyalty undeterred by pricing or convenience.

4. Sustainability: Patagonia

Far beyond materials used, Patagonia’s environmental activism philosophy permeates internal operations, supply chains, and customer dialogues. They bring sustainability values to life by aligning profit with purpose.

5. Authenticity: Southwest Airlines

Southwest unapologetically infuses humor and levity across all customer and employee touchpoints. Staying authentic to their personalities strengthens their loyalty despite competitors' cloning operations.

6. Quality: Mercedes

Obsessively focused on precision and durable craftsmanship for longevity and resale value, Mercedes rejects trends that compromise integrity. Rigorous quality assurance processes embed this motivation.

7. Boldness: Red Bull

RedBull doesn’t just sell beverages, it funds adventuresome extreme sports and events focused on possibilities. Their bold ethos embodies calculated risks and promotes hunger for exploration content.

8. Agility: Netflix

Amidst massive industry upheavals, Netflix displayed relentless customer-centric agility by repeatedly evolving its business model to match shifting preferences, cementing leadership through values.

9. Happiness: Ben & Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry’s delightfully integrates humor and eccentricity while championing worthwhile social and environmental causes. Their product experiences provide quirky joy with a deeper purpose.

10. Transparency: Buffer

To cultivate trust and feedback, Buffer opened their salaries and equity formulas to the entire staff. This radical transparency boosted the context for priorities across roles and levels.

11. Inclusion: Microsoft

Far beyond checking boxes, Microsoft actively hires and champions accessibility in designing life-changing assistive technologies for disabled communities. For them, real impact matters over optics.

12. Learning: Google

Central to innovation, Google nurtures growth mindsets company-wide by embedding iteration, candor, and skill-building intrinsically. They believe failure leads to resilience and wisdom.

13. Empowerment: Wistia

Wistia’s “Do the Right Thing” value seeds incredible employee loyalty and retention. Everyone has the authority to take empowered actions aligned with customer success, with no red tape stopping them.

Similarly, Commit Action empowers its clients to focus on high-priority work that moves the business ahead by keeping them accountable with the help of a science-backed productivity ritual.

How To Define Your Authentic Core Values?

A company's true values already exist within its positive cultural moments. Here are the steps to follow to uncover them for clarity:

1. Reflect On Founding Stories

what are core values of a business.webpAs a leader, transport yourself back to those pivotal early experiences that originally shaped your vision as a conscious business pioneer. What originally sparked this purpose-led journey?

Tune into the raw motivations fueling those initial late-night conversations hatching a solution for the world. Before business considerations clouded the pure “why,” what sparked this calling? 

Reconnecting with founding stories helps excavate the authentic values woven into your organization’s DNA.

2. Analyze Decisions Demonstrating Values

Next, carefully analyze past decisions and leadership moments exemplifying values in action during adversity. 

When exactly did choices reflect values guiding teams towards integrity over convenient short-term payouts?

Consider a time when you sacrificed growth to uphold tenets like trust or sustainability. The truest values emerge when tested most. 

Analyze these crucible moments.

3. Distill Values Essence From Cultural Moments

examples core values business.webpWhen specifically has your organization’s culture felt distinctly vibrant, meaningful, and aligned? 

What moments brought teams peak joy and fulfillment beyond targets achieved or accolades received?

Transport yourself back to those standout moments when everything just clicked; the atmosphere buzzed with energy as collaborators brought their best, authentic selves. 

What enabled those pinnacles? Isolate the essence of words like trust, transparency, and purpose permeating there.

4. Relate Values to Experiences

Now ponder which parts of the customer and employee journey elicit particular loyalty, satisfaction, and engagement. 

When do they feel unwavering devotion to your brand, recommending it to others?

Think of testimonials from customers describing those moments transforming them into evangelists. The values shining there bond external communities.

5. Audit Alignment Across Operations

business core values.webpFinally, take an honest inventory assessing how current systems and rituals reflect stated values. 

Where specifically do leaders and teams still act disconnected from adopted motivations? 

Identify the gaps causing misalignment through an operational audit.

Defining authentic values requires tracing the intrinsic motivations that sparked this journey originally, not just aspirations. But bringing them to life demands consistency leveraging them in decisions both big and small.

Otherwise, they remain nice wall plaques, not guiding forces embedding meaning across customer and team experiences that compound over the years. 

Similarly, the coaches at Commit Action hold their clients accountable and ensure they act consistently on their short and long-term goals.

Make Values Stick With Commit Action Coaching

You've learned what constitutes authentic core business values, and why ingraining those central ethical pillars across leadership, culture, customer experiences, and decisions fuels sustainable growth for conscious companies over decades.

The key is not just espousing values, but intrinsically weaving motivations beyond profits into every layer of the organization consistently over time.

However, while uncovering your authentic values requires courageous self-reflection, consistently living them day-to-day and ingraining them into customer and employee experiences demands steadfast commitment over the years.

That’s why partnering with an expert accountability coach makes all the difference.

At Commit Action, we don't just help clients set aspirational values - through weekly planning sessions, we embed personalized rituals and structures promoting repeated alignment to the high-value work most critical for sustainable growth.

Our science-backed methodology combines analytical expertise with personal commitment through 1-on-1 coaching. We help entrepreneurs and executives maximize productivity, prioritization, and purpose week-to-week through:

  • Weekly Planning Sessions: Evaluate productivity and strategize priority tactics with your dedicated coach.

  • Check-In Calls: Recalibrate approaches, analyze metrics, and discuss opportunities for optimization.

  • Ongoing Support: Build motivational momentum with regular text and email follow-ups.

  • Proven Framework: Implement our research-backed rituals designed by top universities.

  • Accountability Tracking: Review outcomes and metrics to spotlight areas for growth.

Learn more about our accountability coaching program to accelerate your entrepreneurial goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the winning hearts everyday strategy?

The "winning hearts everyday" strategy refers to a business philosophy of building strong emotional connections and nurturing relationships with customers and employees daily through authenticity, transparency, and consistently upholding core ethical values in every interaction.

2. What are three examples of core ethical values?

The three examples of core ethical values are:

  • Integrity: Being honest, fair, and adhering to moral principles

  • Accountability: Taking ownership and responsibility for decisions and outcomes

  • Respect: Valuing all people and perspectives through openness and inclusiveness

3. What is a company’s core value of quality?

A company that upholds quality as a core value is obsessively focused on precision, excellence, and creating exceptional products or services built to last through painstaking craftsmanship and durability. Customer experiences also reflect this motivation.

4. How do you demonstrate core values in business?

Businesses demonstrate core values through aligned behaviors like leadership decisions upholding integrity over convenience, customer touchpoints conveying motivations authentically, and processes/rituals intrinsically embedding virtues like innovation and transparency.

5. How many core values should a business have?

Restraint is wise when defining core values as too many of them can lead to overwhelm. Hence, anywhere between 3-6 core values is enough to unite teams and attract talent.

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