My Personal Core Values

25 Jan 2020 0 Comments , Estimated reading time: 9 minutes read

Some weeks 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. 

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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. 

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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, this was reflec­ted in our Kegel­club 9 nexikaner. 

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!

Appreciate leadership

  • 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.
  • Offer sup­port whenev­er needed
  • Devel­op your­self and foster devel­op­ment of others.

Take ownership

  • Own your work: do it, present it, talk about it.
  • Don’t claim own­er­ship for oth­er people’s 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 a chan­ging environment.
  • Try to use as little resources as possible.
  • Be a teamplayer.
  • Don’t blame others.
  • Embrace diversity.
  • Impro­vise.

Have fun

  • Work is not boring.
  • Cre­ate an enjoy­able environment.
  • Don’t be and don’t take things too serious.
  • Make jokes.

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