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.

“Praise, Passion, 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 Greatness Camps, “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.

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. For example, “P” in praise stands for “passion”. “R” stands for “relationship”, “A” stands for accountability, and so forth.

The 7 Core Values of Success

1. Praise

Praise means lifting people up, calling out the best in them. It also refers to an attitude of praise, gratitude, and celebration of people.

2. Passion

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

Relationships are the currency with which you build a successful life. The quality of a person’s relationships determines the level of their success. It’s been wisely said, “Show me your Friends and I’ll show you, your future“. Our relationships create and shape our future. We value choosing and building purpose-driven relationships. We prioritize quality and depth over quantity. We value choosing and building relationships that will enable each of us to reach our full potentials in life and enjoy the journey of life to the fullest.

4. Accountability

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

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

Servanthood is serving others, working hard every day at what you do, and putting the interests of others first.

7. Excellence

Excellence is getting really good at what you do and becoming the best at it. Excellence is not to be confused with perfectionism. Excellence comes when a person focuses on their gifts and talents and becomes good at them. Excellence means producing work that has a wow factor. It is creating what Seth Godin would call a purple cow.

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 with that is that you may end up wasting your life.