I have seen companies of all shapes and sizes roll out "core values" of their company put in place by a CEO, Board of Directors, Leadership Team or Owner, but they don't define the people who do the work.

What company doesn't value honesty? Or integrity? To say you have something doesn't mean you have it. If someone lies about a project internally, and your core values are honesty, is that person fired? What if a manager's view of integrity is different than the CEO's?

My point is, core values are great to have, but are they measurable? Or are they just a marketing tool?

I have rolled out to my company what I, my Executive Leadership Team, and our employees value. Each of these are measurable on an individual basis, and if our Executive Team values this in our employees, and our employees have these things, our clients will get the service and quality they deserve. They are:

1. No Bullsh*t. Be real. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be honest with yourself, your manager and your teammates. If you make a mistake, own it. Don't make excuses, and don't accept excuses. Hold your teammates accountable. Realize that the only way to grow is through honest, constructive feedback. Ask for it, and give it in return.

2. Common sense. Stop and think. If something could upset someone, internally or externally...don't do it. Chances are if you have hesitations that something is wrong, than more times than not it is. Try to find solutions before asking your peers. Use good judgement. Move quickly and think about what the ramifications will be of your actions.

3. Speed. Good ideas that move too slow fail just as often as bad ideas do. If you aren't moving quickly you will lose to competitors, internal ones and external. You aren't the only competent person.

4. Laughter. Don't take life or yourself too seriously. Enjoy the people you work with. Build real relationships and have fun. I always say, the day I stop having fun is the day I stop doing what I do.

5. Work ethic. There has to be days you arethe first one in the office and the last one out.Out work and out hustle your peers. Don't make excuses for why you aren't the best. Invest in your career and invest in yourself. Be curious. Be competitive. Come in everyday and grind it out. Don't complain; come up with solutions. Put your head down and work. Create plans, and execute them.

6. Manners. Say, "Good Morning," and "Goodnight." Be polite and nice. You don't have to love everyone you work with, but you have to treat everyone kindly.

7. Teamwork. Help out the people around you. Tackle projects as a unit, crush goals and celebrate milestones together. If your teammates know you will volunteer to help them, they will volunteer to help you.

8. Transparent communication. OVER communicate with everyone, your manager, teammates and direct reports. Talk openly about things. Get everyone on the same page and grow business together. If you update people before they ask for updates, you are leading by example and you will gain buy-in from your teammates and managers.

9. Positive attitude. Attitude is a choice you make every single day, and there's no room for a lousy one. Be positive. Want to help others. Encourage and motivate. Be a leader within your team. Be determined to win the day every day, and start getting excited about Mondays: TGIM, not TGIF.

When I interview candidates, at the end of the conversation, I will ask them the basic question of, "Why should we hire you (assuming you're interested)?" So often what I hear back is, "I'm hard-working, great attitude, quick learner..." I respond by telling them that's good, because everyone else I interview says they are lazy, negative and slow to learn. Share with me something unique that everyone doesn't say.

Core values for a company have become as canned as interview responses to the age-old questions. It's time to get real.

The new wave of marketing is "big data." Analytics. Well there is another tidal wave coming. It's called the NMB. No More Bullsh*t.

Tell people what you expect of them and make sure it can be observed and measurable. Combine that with the data and you have a true culture.

Published on: Nov 12, 2015