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Build Startups With Influential Values

One of the most fun parts of a startup is building the vision and culture.

I remember one of my business school professors preaching companies with purposes addressing the needs of the world. He had a successful company built on the company’s ethos within organizations as a rallying cry for employees. 

Purpose give us the WHY of the company, while values give us the WHO of the company and its people. These influential values, as BrightHouse calls them, aren’t the simplistic, broad words like “teamwork” and “community”. These words are generic — loosely applicable to any company or group. Thus, they drive little loyalty amongst an organization’s people.

Instead, my former professor demonstrated the importance of influential values that an organization’s people would live by. BrightHouse cites influential values drive 65% more employee loyalty and greater returns to the company -- 1,681% returns vs. 118% of the S&P over a 15-year span.

I’m a firm believer in my former professor’s message, and I was excited to develop Body Boss’s mission and values. I included these elements in Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success, too, to share our greater vision. 

So recently, I was pleased to hear a friend share with me how the values in the book resonated with her, and helped her form the values of her company.

Here were Body Boss’s values:
  • Set the benchmark. Be the leader in the work we do and the lives we live. Never settle – always strive for greatness. 
  • Work smarter, not just harder. Couple intelligent decisions with smarter actions to produce the best outcomes we can all be proud of.
  • Spot others. Motivate and support the community around us and be ready even when never asked.
  • Hold ourselves accountable. Play a fair game and live with the utmost integrity to ourselves and our team.
  • Have fun even with hard work. Every set, every rep is a challenge that consistently pushes us. Enjoy the challenges and reap the benefits of hard work.
  • Admire the mirror. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, and know you can improve as much as you push yourself.
I admit the values can read a bit cheesy, but that’s the fun of it! We were excited and happy about the values. They were specific to our company and our company’s ethos. They were values we rallied around.

What are the values of your company? How do you and your colleagues align with those values? Do they give you greater meaning and engagement?

Side note: so far, the book has had great feedback amongst people all over — from consulting to startups from wantrepreneurs to corporate employees, and from early entrepreneurs to more seasoned. It’s been great to hear how different chapters of the book have resonated on so many different levels.

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