The Indispensability of Compelling Core Principles

Posted by Randy Harrod on Jun 11th, 2011

Our goal today is to make a case that real and useful company core principles are indispensable for effective leadership, planning, execution, alignment, and accountability. There’s nothing more vital and foundational for organizations that aim to be an enduring blessing to others!

As those aspiring to reflect Christ and operate according to Biblical truth, we’d all agree that our leadership should clearly reflect Jesus’ example and godly wisdom. God clearly has an ultimate plan and purpose for His creation… and for each of us and our businesses. He sovereignly inspired and superintended the writing of His Living Word, protecting it over 3500 years of rocky human history, to give us a perfect and timeless guide to life and practice. God’s transcendent purpose, plan and principles are unchanging from Genesis through Revelation. Throughout the entire Bible, terms such as purpose (59 mentions), law (642), faithful (157), truth/true (342), covenant (286), and Word (967) are regularly repeated.

Jesus modeled what happens when one couples a crystal clear vision of the future, a strong sense of purpose, and ‘non-negotiable’ core values. The perfect servant leader, He demonstrated the power of unwavering focus, clear communication, and firm commitment to an ultimate vision and mission, as He equipped the small band of disciples who would turn the world upside down in a generation. Jesus said, “Wisdom is proved right by all her children” (Lk 7:35). We may have an innate sense of what we want to accomplish, and even how we want to go about it, but have we taken the steps necessary to capture and communicate these worthy core principles for our business? If so, today’s a day to consider how they might be sharpened and implemented for greater impact. If not, why not make today the launching pad for this vital foundational step in becoming an effective leader?

With these things in mind, our company’s core principles must be:

  • Compelling: to truly shape the actions of the company and its stakeholders.
  • Understood: by all team members, the same way that we understand them.
  • Embraced: or owned by team members as their vision for the business.
  • Reinforced: by being communicated clearly and often in many different ways.

Over the years within C12, we’ve repeatedly heard the benefits of clearly communicating and applying company core principles in our national and regional Leaders Conferences. Each conference seems to feature one or two presentations by CEOs who describe making the shift from a ‘status quo’ culture to a forward-looking, inspired, everyone-on-the-same-page team.

When the CEO and senior staff step up in this way, a couple of things generally seem to happen:

  • Undistinguished historical performance quickly begins trending upward as people pull together to achieve a shared vision, plan and related goals. Recognition and celebration reinforces the momentum.
  • Employees gain confidence and begin to grasp a more integrated sense of what they’re trying to do and how best to do it based on the firm’s core principles. They’re able to celebrate the fruit of their actions. Ministry often flourishes as team members are inspired by a sense of greater purpose and the company begins to be appreciated as a special place to work for more than just a paycheck. Those uncomfortable in such an environment begin looking to exit.

Let’s close today with this simple statement: if your vision and principles don’t really matter by differentiating you in your marketplace, they don’t really exist!

How about yours?