Having built, acquired, and merged several companies, I can attest to the power of solid core values and the value they truly add to the bottom line—and to the engagement, culture, and general attitude of a workforce.
Core values have real, tangible value to a business, which is why we chose those at Percipio so carefully. I’d argue that they are the root of our success—because they inform every company decision, every hire, and every investment choice.
In this article, I’m going to break down the values that have made Percipio what it is today and follow it with some advice on creating a set of core values that can create the same opportunities, success, and growth for your company.
Some may argue that integrity is not a value by itself but rather honest and faithful adherence to other stated values. At Percipio, we took the stance that integrity should never go without saying—in fact, we place it first in our list as a reminder that without honesty, strong moral principles, and an unwavering commitment to doing what is right for our customers, team, and company, we are not us.
As investors, being able to read the terrain and adjust accordingly is critical. Being adaptable to us isn’t just about seeing what’s ahead—it’s also about quickly discerning the best path and promptly pivoting based on changing conditions. To us at Percipio, this means maintaining loyal relationships, access to a variety of data, and strong cash flow (arguably the best way to keep options open).
Never underestimate the power of attitude—it is the precursor to thought and behavior. Prioritize positivity, and you’ll find innovation, creativity, solutions, collaborations, and a willingness to share. When dealing with investments, even the worst-case scenarios offer something—if only a chance to learn.
Dedication is our way of saying that we focus relentlessly on our clients and customers. When we commit to a company or an investment, we mean we take it on as our own—and this means doing whatever is necessary to get the job done. This means tapping into our other values—as it should!
This value is the external display of our inward emotions—it’s how we present ourselves and what we value to others. We do this out of respect for ourselves, others, and what we are trying to achieve—professionalism allows those values to be received as we intended.
A combination of Positivity and Dedication, Tenacity has a worthy place on our company wall because it’s what allows us to run towards the fire when others sprint away screaming. It’s the “can-do” attitude that isn’t afraid of what we look like in coveralls or what we’ll step in at the cattle yard. It’s the honest accountability that keeps us true to what’s essential.
The truth is, a company’s values have nothing to do with what they write down in their employee handbooks or publish on their website. Words don’t define values; actions, behaviors, and decisions do. You can tell the world whatever you want—your values will speak for themselves.
The question is, what are they saying?
The trick is knowing when your values and behaviors align. You know this when decisions get easier, faster, and better; decisions made in line with your values feel effortless. Those made against them feel off, rushed, uncertain. If you find that your company feels inconsistent, unbalanced, or in all other ways “wobbly,” it’s because you’re either working outside your value set or too many values and personalities are influencing your actions.
What to do if your values are “off.”
When you are not operating within your values, it’s worth your time to evaluate who you are as a company. Start, as always, with your mission. What values or key characteristics are most important to accomplishing what you are setting out to do? Who do you need to be to achieve that result?
The answers to those questions are the values that will define who you are and how you will accomplish your goals.
I encourage you to take a zero-based accounting method with this approach. Don’t start with the values you already have; start with the ones you need. Don’t choose them because they sound good. Choose them because they are vital to your unique path to success.
How to stay on track
If you already have values that tether and support your company, my challenge to you is to prove it.
Find ways to track your adherence to your values with metrics—what data proves your values are supporting your goals?
A few examples:
- If you are driven by customer satisfaction, an NPS score or the lifetime value of a client will keep you in line.
- If adaptability is on your list, you can quantify your response time.
- If you state “excellence,” track all the times you didn’t achieve that state—callbacks, edits, justified poor reviews, missed deadlines are all ways to find out if you’re struggling with that particular value.
In the end, the “value” of your values is in both your articulation, adherence, and accountability to them. You know you’re onto something when living and working by your values costs you something—an investment, a connection, an opportunity, a candidate—but that is a small price for knowing who you are and what you stand for.