I have been reading Carly Fiorina’s book, Tough Choices. She basically tells her story and makes some great leadership observations along the way. Today I read a chapter called “Adopt and Go”. She talked a bunch about the merger between HP and Compaq and the need to come up with a new identity for the new, combined company. Since I have been on a values kick, I wanted to quote her perspective on the need for values in an organization.
“Values are signposts to guide people’s behavior when the rules aren’t clear and the supervisor isn’t present. Goals and metrics are what gets done; values are how those things get done.”
“Values are aspirational; not everyone in the organization lives up to them every day. Yet there’s a difference between falling short of an aspiration…and willful violation of bedrock principles.”
That’s what I’m saying. The further away from leadership you get, the more difficult it is to know how to operate and what really matters. Values are a way to take the guesswork out; to help people further down make decisions that line up with what the organization is about.
If you are looking for a good read, Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina gets a thumbs up from me.