My Personal Core Values
14 Jan 2020 — 0 Comments — — Estimated reading time: 4 minutes read
About two months ago, I started to draft my own personal core values. Since I had joined SapientNitro in 2013 and learned about company value systems, I have been obsessed about those core values or codes of ethics.
The Core Values of companies like SapientNitro, ThoughtWorks or Atlassian have inspired me throughout my career. These systems help me to understand how a company sees itself. And it helps me to decide: do I want to work for (or with) this company.
But what about myself? I have my values, but I have never made them explicit. Some weeks before I started with my own draft, Kathryn Hing posted about a workshop they had at idagio. They had Quinn Keast over for Workshop about personal Codes of Ethics. Reading this post inspired me to create explicit personal core values for myself.
As I already knew a direction — it was not the first time I was thinking about things like that — where my personal core values could go, I took my notebook, some pens and just started drafting.
After this first step I came up with five headlines (I like the number five) for my core values:
- Be open, honest and fair
- Appreciate leadership
- Take ownership
- Act professional, responsible and sustainable
- Have fun
When I posted this list and showed it to friends, I got very positive feedback about it. And my internal and the external view seemed to match. Especially »Have fun« nailed it. Questions like, why is »Have fun« the last item or a photo response of me distributing beer (obviously Kölsch) at one early UXcamp Europe came up.
sowas in diese Richtung? pic.twitter.com/VSAN8lE2Gw— Henning Grote (@Rerun_van_Pelt) November 13, 2019
Having fun is also reflected in the Kölsch Test (you can also call Gin & Tonic Test, or Drinks Test or however you like): Would I want to have a Kölsch with the person I’m talking to when doing it in my free time and paying myself. It is very important for me to answer this question with a yes in a job interview for example. At nexum, we had our very informal Kegelclub (sorry, but this is so very German) 9 nexikaner that met very regularly.
So after I knew, that my path should be right, I continued to define my values. I tried to jot down what each of those five values means to me in concrete actions or smaller values.
Be open, honest and fair
- Conversations are key.
- Honesty over politeness.
- Listen to people around.
- Give and take feedback.
- Don’t take critique personal.
- Respect others.
- Take care of the feelings of others.
- Treat everyone equally.
- Don’t try to hide information.
- No hidden agendas!
- Be brave and open for opportunities.
- Everyone can be a leader, it depends on the context.
- Lead and let others lead.
- Strive for excellence. Strive for the best possible outcome.
- Fail fast and learn fast.
- Offer support whenever needed
- Develop yourself and foster development of others.
- Own your work: do it, present it, talk about it.
- Don’t claim ownership for others‹ work.
- Shine through your work and let others shine through theirs.
- Do not hide behind others.
- Be or become an expert in subjects that interest you.
Act professional, responsible and sustainable
- Treat others with respect.
- Deliver the things you promise.
- Trust others and be trustworthy.
- If things don’t work out as expected, raise your voice.
- Build solutions that work in an ever-changing environment.
- Better done than prfect.
- Try to use as little resources as possible.
- Be a team player.
- Don’t blame others.
- Embrace diversity.
- Work is not boring.
- Create an enjoyable environment.
- Don’t be and don’t take things too serious.
- Make jokes.