If you ask my two elementary school aged boys, “what are our core values?” They will tell you our family’s 7 core values without hesitation.
“Passion, Praise, Relationship, Accountability, Innovation, Servanthood, and Excellence.”
If you ask all the orphans in our orphan care organization in Cameroon, “what are our core values?” They will rehearse the same 7 core values to you without missing a beat. If you ask staff members in our orphan care organization, they will tell you the same core values. If you ask students at Austin Bible Institute, “what are our core values?” They will tell you the same thing. If you ask participants of my Success Camp, “What are our core values?”, you know what they will say.
For the past decade, I have been a student of leadership and have had the privilege to lead thousands of people and coach and mentor many different people from different walks of life. One thing I’ve seen in every successful person and organization that I’ve studied is that culture (both personal and corporate) is crucial to success. Our culture defines and shapes everything we do. Core values shape our culture, our brand, and everything about our strategy. By shaping our culture, they influence everything we do. They help us choose how to live and also help us measure our success.
Several years ago, after studying hundreds of books, journal articles, blog posts, and other resources on leadership and effective culture building, I came up with 7 core values of success that I am using to guide my personal life, my family, my work, and every profit and nonprofit organization that I lead. In order to make them easy to remember, I created an acronym, PRAISE, that embodies them all. The first core value is “praise”, and the remaining six start with the letters of the word PRAISE.
1. Praise means lifting people up, calling out the best in them.
2. Passion refers to a person’s greatest love, their greatest fascination in life. Our goal is to inspire and empower people to pursue their greatest love.
3. Relationships are the currency with which you build a successful life. We help people build the deep connections that will take them to success.
4. Accountability is the quality or state of being accountable. It’s the obligation or willingness to account for one’s actions, take responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for resources entrusted to us. Accountability helps us to focus, push ourselves, and endure until we succeed. We are accountable for the time, talent, and treasure that has been entrusted to us.
5. Innovation is coming up with an idea or invention and turning it into a product or service that creates value for which people are willing to pay.
6. Servanthood is serving others, working hard every day at what you do, and putting the interests of others first.
7. Excellence is getting really good at what you do and becoming the best at it.
When you study every successful person in history, you will see an expression of all of these core values in their lives. These core values have done amazing things in my life in helping me grow personally and professionally. They are producing a lot of fruit in our family and organizations. Feel free to use them to build a better life for yourself and your family. If we are not intentional about our values and the culture we want to create for ourselves and our loved ones, others would create one for you. Hollywood movies, television, facebook, and other channels will give you a culture to live by. The only problem is that you may end up wasting your life.