“They Truly Have Become a Guiding Force:” Core Values in Action at Madden’s on Gull Lake Resort

Core Values in Action

Within the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), core values are a critical element of your vision for your company. They’re also a crucial component of your Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO), the EOS tool that gets your grand vision for your company out of your head and onto a single sheet of paper.

There’s a reason your core values are the first section of your V/TO. These principles become the guiding force for your company. When they’re clear, they can define your culture. They can guide your critical decisions. They can even attract like-minded people to your organization who will help you build a healthy and cohesive team.

In contrast, poorly defined core values can hinder the growth of your organization. They make it more difficult to see which members of your team deserve to be rewarded and which should be let go. They can also make it easier for you to get distracted by new opportunities by forgetting what really drives your business.

If you’re struggling with your core values—or you’re just curious whether you’re using them to their greatest potential in your organization—I thought you’d find it useful to hear how one of my clients, Madden’s on Gull Lake, a golf and family resort in Minnesota, uses their core values.

This quote comes from Ben Thuringer, the Chief Operating Officer of Madden’s:

"EOS took our core values and put them on steroids. Now we can say with confidence that our group of leaders not only knows our core values, but they live in our hearts as well.

"Our core values are what we’re surrounded by every single day, what we make decisions on every single day and what we challenge each other on every single day as well.

"One of our core values is accountability—and we hold ourselves accountable to our core values on a daily basis. It’s great to see coworkers calling each other out on core values as they’re making decisions. We’re seeing this banter happening now between them.

"[Our core values] truly have become a guiding force for us, which I think is pretty unique. A lot of organizations have core values, but where do those core values live within the individuals? Are they extremely purposeful and does every word within them matter?

"That’s where we were able to get with our core values through the EOS process, which was big for us."

I can personally attest to the fact that the team at Madden’s is truly living out their core value of accountability.

In fact, they challenge each other on a regular basis. If someone on the leadership team were to walk up to another leader in the hallway and ask, "What are our core values?" he or she needs to be able to recite the core values, what they mean and why they’re important to Madden’s. That’s true accountability.

For Madden’s, core values aren’t not just a poster on the wall. Instead, the team is living those values and using them to drive the decisions to create the Madden’s experience. It’s extraordinary to watch.

If you’d like to discover more about core values, I invite you to listen to Episode #11 of the Growing Leaders, Growing Companies podcast. In the podcast, I’ll show you how to start to uncover the core values that will define you as an organization.

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