Today we talked about what we thought was important to our management team. Where we’re at and where we’re going. We’ve booked a fancy hotel and experienced facilitator, pulled out all the stops because it’s important. And I’m not dissing it; getting away, just the 10 or so of us, with expert guidance, is productive.
I mentioned to the group a need to know what our values are. I’m still new and I can’t operate with integrity to the team, can’t be consistent, if I don’t have a grip on what it is we believe we stand for. The presumption, I think, was that I was referring to the overall corporate values, drawn up, no doubt, by the exec at an even swankier conference centre and under the tutelage of an even higher priced corporate management guru.
All good, but not what I need to know. Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you a single one of those agreed corporate values, even though – God knows – I’ve read them often enough. No, what I’m talking about is not some pithy aspirational vaguary which looks good on a poster in the staff rest room; I’m talking about the actual way we – whether explicitly or implicitly – agree to act as a team, toward each other and toward our colleagues:
Here’s my values pack:
1) I won’t bullshit you. To the best of my knowledge I will speak the truth. Yes, I may have to be uncommonly diplomatic to allow for your particular sensitivities, but what you hear from me will be as close to the truth as I know how to tell it.
2) I’ll do my due diligence. I won’t lead you down the garden path just to cover for my own laziness or lack of interest. I won’t tell you something just so you will leave me alone. If there are facts to find, issues to be addressed, I’ll do my best to bring them to light.
3) I won’t try to manipulate you. I’m not into trying to create a coercive atmosphere to get you to do what I want. If there’s something I think I need from you, and it is squarely your remit, then I’ll make my case plain and simple, and ask for your help. If you say no, then the fallout is on your account, not mine.
4) I’ll let you tell me I’m wrong, even if, ultimately, I may well have been right. I’m not so proud as to be above correction or advice. I pledge myself to being hard to offend, and easy to approach. But if you want my ear then come with genuine concerns, not petty grievances. Let’s be adults.
5) Oh, and by the way, if I have a problem with you, I’ll let you know. I won’t criticize you behind your back, or say things about you in your absence that I wouldn’t say with you present.
6) When you are done with this company, or this company is done with you, I want you to look back and know that you were valued as an individual, treated with honesty and integrity, and that we did all we could to promote your best interests, even if that meant disagreeing with you from time to time.
Basically, to steal a page from the Holy Book, I endeavour to do unto others as I would have them do unto me.