Everyone wants to lead. And the world wants more genuine leaders. So why is it that there are so few in government, in industry, and in our personal lives who stand on a clear set of values that they really understand and can live out? Let’s talk about why (and how) we can get clarity on our values.
Values Ain’t Cheap
Values come with a price. You pay every time you sacrifice money, convenience or anything else you give up in order to preserve your values.
- When your employee makes a mistake serving a customer, and you absorb the mistake, making sure your customer doesn’t lose out.
- When you’re competing to bid a job against another contractor who’s trying to underbid you by hiding costs, but you refuse to do it that way.
- When you fired that vengeful employee, even though you knew he might sue because he was making life hard for your team.
But wouldn’t it be a shame if you worked so hard to live out those values, but couldn’t really share them with others because you just don’t know how to talk about them, or even what they are?
The construction industry really needs to see these values lived out clearly. And the companies that know their values are the companies that will weather any hard times and be the ones everyone leans on when they need reliability, courage and focus.
The Practical Side of Values
Your values reflect your character. But it’s sometimes hard to understand what those values are, and then live them out and share them with other people.
They also fuel our resolve. And yet, when we fail to live and speak our values, we devalue all the work and the character that undergirds those values.
It’s not just a matter of your actions, and it’s not just talk. It’s both. Sharing what you believe does two things: it helps people understand who you are and emboldens them to do the same.
You’ve Earned It
You’ve spent a lifetime becoming who you are. We all have strength of character. One of the best things we can do to grow that strength of character is to acknowledge it and celebrate it. This keeps us encouraged and moving forward.
It’s Good for You and Those Around You
The big part of this is being able to share your values. Not only do you get more trust built when you know who you are and can carry yourself with confidence, but you make the world a better place.
When you know your values, you walk with confidence and conviction, making other people wish they had what you have. They see something in you they like and trust. And they want that. This includes clients, competition, and your employees.
How sad would it be if you couldn’t explain your values and share what you have?
The truth is, your whole company benefits when everyone has those same values undergirding everything they do. Each person’s personality sits atop the brand values that tie everyone together.
But how do you get there?
So we looked for a simple, clear process that enabled us to define our brand. The agency’s job is simply to organize the conversation and interpret it. Field verified worked with a branding agency, Resound.
Resound spent a day with us, helping us to move through the process quickly and in an organized way. After that day, they went out and put together everything we talked about and made sense of it, creating a list of values, personality traits, and brand story.
Together, we made the brand real. We defined our values, personality traits, and brand story. Let’s look at each one
The Field Verified team went through exercises that exposed what we think matters most to us. We had conversations about what we do and what we like to think we do. Then we created a list of values and distilled them in a workshop. Here’s what we came up with, along with the definitions.
Depth | ”Always dig deeper”
Our customers know we get it. We care about the job and know our job well enough to understand. We care enough to listen.
Attention to Detail | ”Make decisions with precision”
We enjoy the work we do and take the time necessary to slow down, ask questions, and think. People trust us to make important decisions that protect life and property so every detail matters.
Teamwork | “Build shared goals”
Our teamwork goes deeper than just cooperation. While we foster a strong collaborative workforce inside our company, our team doesn’t just include our own employees. Every client, every jobsite interaction, and every relationship we build adds to the ever-growing web of strong Field Verified teamwork.
Service | “Trust through communication”
We work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients. When they need something, our door isn’t closed. And because of this relationship, we find out about problems earlier because people bring them to us quicker. They know we won’t blow them off. And that trust – the trust that tells them we’re taking them seriously – makes us a partner, not just another contractor.
Character | “Forge legacy through honesty”
We know what’s important and we discipline ourselves to accomplish it. We embody character in the work that we do, keeping consistent integrity through various roadblocks and problems. When things go wrong, our character makes us stand out.
Ownership | “Treat it like it’s yours”
We always act in the best interest of the people and the project. We follow through. This is enabled by a desire from each member of the team to see the job completed, and completed well. We’re closers.
This was even more fun. We talked about our personality traits and what we look like to the outside world. What’s our style? Who are the people we serve best, and who do we get along with most? Here are our personality traits and their definitions.
Typically this defines someone who knows how to solve problems that are non-standard. They use their imaginations to connect their current problem with a solution. They may draw from experience or knowledge they gained as a kid, or in college, or when they were working on their truck a few weeks ago. They are able to put seemingly unrelated things together to come up with a solution.
So for us, being resourceful means pulling from our different experiences to solve problems.
Resourceful people are often seen as clever and creative because of their ability to go outside of a linear approach in order to solve a problem. This means that they are able to forego obsessing over the answer until they have played with the question and explored it. It’s like when Albert Einstein said that if he had ten hours to save the world, he’d use nine hours trying to understand the problem and then one hour solving it.
Relatable typically means that you’re easy to get along with and can find common ground with others.
We agree. And we think it builds trust when people get you and you get them. This comes from caring about what other people think and involving them in the work, even if you’re just asking them for simple directions.
Calmness is normally characterized by either an attitude that doesn’t seem to mind when things go wrong or an unflappability under pressure.
We’re talking about the second one. We care about things, and we think that results matter. But we both foster and hire for the ability to remain calm when others get anxious. Calmness – and sometimes even a sense of humor – helps us stand out while we solve problems.
We’re calm, not because we don’t care, but because we do.
Followability is like leadership, but a little more down-to-earth. It’s a little more practical and a little less visionary.
After all, we’re working with peers on the job sites, and we treat others as equals. Leadership might imply the necessity to lead in all things, where followability really applies to areas where you need people to trust you and follow your lead in a few situations, no matter how they rank compared to you.
Everyone can follow. It’s not too fast and it’s not too slow, but just right.
Reliability might at first seem to extend only to doing what’s in your job description and showing up on time. But this is not a culture that simply checks boxes.
Happy and joyful are typically used as synonyms although some say that “joyful” represents a deeper kind of happiness that grounds itself in thankfulness, humility and a joy to be alive. We’re thankful to have another day to run around and find holes in stuff.
This is the kind of thing we’re talking about; that deep joy.
The brand story summarized our customer’s journey. In this kind of exercise, your customer is your hero, and you are the guide. You help them to be awesome in their story.
So we talked about what life was like before we arrived. We talked about what our customers recognize once we showed up on the scene. Then we talked about what happened when we were able to help them and the results they got. We also discussed what life would be like if we never showed up.
This gave us a real sense of purpose and galvanized us around the idea of the importance of what we do.
“Covered with Verified Integrity”
Every building envelope requires a whole lot of people and parts coming together to make one cohesive barrier between the inside and the outside. But it’s never that easy. Even the smallest gap, leak, or miscalculation can derail an entire operation and destroy reputations. That’s why everyone involved is trying to cover more than just the building.
Through our extensive field testing capabilities, state-of-the-art AAMA-accredited lab, and design consulting services, Field Verified is equipped to ensure the success of every building envelope before, during, and after it’s completion. We don’t rest until every person, system, and building we work with is covered with verified integrity.
The world needs more leaders and companies that stand for something. Companies that know themselves, their values, and their purpose can change people, industries, and entire localities. Your employees benefit when they show up to a healthy work environment where they are rewarded for exhibiting adherence to these values.
- The industry benefits from having the example of a vendor that stands for what they believe in and won’t compromise. Other vendors now have a standard. Clients now have something to measure everyone else against.
- Entire localities can be changed as your values spread within your company. Your values represent a new standard. Customers will put up with nothing less than you and your values, and the entire business scene changes just a little bit because of your influence and your forthright ability to live out your values and explain why they matter.
Even if it wasn’t good for business, it would be worth doing. Because it aligns everyone’s actions and serves as a rubric we can use to measure our company, how we’re doing in our values, and how we can improve.
So be a company that can stand for the values that you hold dear. Inspire others and change your business, your industry, and the world. Because when you do that, you’re seen as a leader. Not because you’re playing some game or because you discovered some gimmick. You become a leader because you are a leader.