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  • Writer's pictureErika Clegg

Clarity + Guts + Stamina = Success

Never underestimate the revolution you can bring about by bravely addressing your corporate values. Ironic that they can be seen as the fluffy bit of corporate strategy - they're even largely delivered through 'soft' skills! The truth is that setting and inculcating values through Active Ethos is absolutely not for wimps.

To choose the right focus and language for your values, you're going to have some difficult conversations. You'll need to peel the lid back on areas of the business you need to tackle. Because values are what you work towards: your 'us at our best'. And to know yourself at your best, you have to address your worst.

Drawing up your values set itself requires discipline: single-minded commitment to finding the clearest way to describe your values. A small group of phrases that individually grab people by the short and curlies, and together set out a manifesto for excellence that's unique, relevant and daunting.

In launching your values, you will face resistance. You'll be shining a spotlight and saying 'No more' where people have become complacent, where ambition has softened, where 'it'll do' has set in. To bring people alongside - or, if that fails, part company - is a process that requires steely (albeit personable) diplomacy.

What you'll need most is stamina to deliver this. The same energy to lead and inspire people on day 365 as you had on day one. Because your values come to life through your culture, and your culture is the sum total of behaviours in every bit of your business. Of course you set clear actions and expectations, and nominate Champions to support the process, but make no mistake that your involvement is going to have to be consistent - zealous even - for a long period of time, even through unpredictable and challenging times.

Think of an adventure sailor, who has planned to the nth degree, whose ship is set up meticulously, and whose destination is pinpoint clear: those storms are every bit as real, exhaustion still drags, the mind still plays tricks.

Clarity + Guts + Stamina = Success; and there are no short cuts to that equation.


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