When our children were young, we made a family mission statement. Mission statements are a little antiquated now, but my wife and I wanted to define the values that we wanted to live by in our family. Some of the values we listed were:
- Our family will support each other in our goals and ambitions.
- Our home will be an environment of safety, love, and respect.
- We will provide unconditional love for each other.
- We will teach respect for people, places, and things.
- We will embrace the value of hard work and leadership.
- We will allow each other to make mistakes and grow from these mistakes,
- but we will encourage each other to reach for higher levels.
- We will have positive friendships.
- Our family will work together, play together, and stay together.
- We will laugh often and savor the good, while fearlessly fighting the bad.
- We will act on life and turn negative situations into positives.
- We will value learning and education.
- Each family member will strive to make a meaningful contribution to humanity.
Our family is far from perfect, but these are some of the values we set out to teach our children. We have the list posted in our entryway, and each member of our family knows what is expected of them. And I’m always amused at the stories our children tell each other and their friend of the funny things that happen in our family as we reinforce these values
Rick Sapio talks about what he calls “value-based decision making.” He also refers to “The Doorman Prinicple,” which is defined as “the deliberate practice of defining a set of values and/or rules to dictate who, or what, is allowed to enter into your life or business.” In our lives and in our businesses, we must have a “value gatekeeper.” In our home, my wife is the value gatekeeper. When she sees one of my sons being rude to his friends, she will call him on it because “We teach respect for people, places, and things.” She insists that our kids do their homework because “We value education.” She does not let riffraff into our home and encourages our children to have positive friendships.
Koral, my executive admin, is the “value gatekeeper” at my office. She keeps the distractions and business snakes out of my life. Koral is responsible for the final interview of every potential hire. She deliberately does an exhaustive interview to ensure the person is in alignment with the twelve values of our organization. If the candidate does not pass this check, they do not get hired no matter how talented they are.