The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
336: How to Define Your Company Values
Aug 17, 2018
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to define your company values as a startup.

All companies have core values. They are the rules of for how your startup is going to achieve your mission and vision. A startup’s core values set expectations for the company and tells your employees how to behave appropriately in every situation.

Tune in to this week’s episode to hear Steli and Hiten thoughts on what core values mean, the importance of having them, how to define your core values and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:43 Why this topic was chosen.

01:53 Why it’s important to define what your company’s values are.

02:43 How to define your company values.

03:00 Why you should hire people that value the same things as you.

03:32 What happens when you hire people with different values.

04:15 Why self-awareness is important.

05:30 Why your core values need to be defined.

05:39 How to approach this the very first time.

08:50 The most important value at Close.

3 Key Points:

If you’re a founder or a CEO of a company, there are values that exist.
The values of an organization are the beliefs employees have about work and in working at the company for the customer that you’re working for.
Your behavior is communicating to everybody what you value.

[0:00:00]

Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.

 

[0:00:02]

Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.

 

[0:00:04]

Steli Efti: And in today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about how to define your company values as a start up and we're going to do that in a very short period of time, because one of the core values of this podcast is that we don't like wasting time, right?

 

[0:00:20]

Hiten Shah: Yeah, brevity . I like that.

 

[0:00:23]

Steli Efti: So we've been emailed a few times this week from different people on this specific topic, the one on like, "How do I write down the values? How do I define them? How do I communicate them? How do we do this in the best way possible?" So we thought it would be fun to quickly chat about this and give people a little bit of guidance.

 

[0:00:41]

Hiten Shah: Absolutely. This one's a really important one and I'm going to start by saying a problem that happens is when you don't define your values. If you're a founder, CEO, or even a manager of a company, or you started it and you have more than you involved, even if it's just a co-founder, there are values that exist already. Even as an individual, values exist, but in an organization, the values are essentially the beliefs that people have about work and working at the company, for the customer that you're working for. What I see commonly is this one thing that really resonates with me and I bug people about when I hear it, "These people on my team are not doing what would do. These people on my team are not doing the right thing." Well, have you defined what the right thing is? "No, but they should know." What do mean they should know? How are they going to be in your head and know what you should do? Basically, most of the time, 99% of the time, those people have not defined values and essentially made the company understand them, had people involved in the creation of those values, and those values permeate once they're created. That's all it takes, but if they don't exist, then they're all implicit, they're all sitting there in everyone's heads and people probably don't have the exact words to think about them. I'll say one more thing before ... I'm sure you've got a lot of thoughts on this, is you know the values are working when people are repeating them inside the company.

 

[0:02:14]

Steli Efti: I love it. Yes. See one of the reasons why ...

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