Every team has values, shared beliefs and convictions that guide their decisions and ultimately determine success or failure. For some teams, values are super clear so decisions are easier and more is accomplished with less time and resources. When values are vague, time and resources are misspent and often wasted.

Big Idea If our team is not celebrating the values, our teams will be ineffective or toxic. If our team knows and embraces the values, a lot will get done with less.

Most people on our teams celebrate the shared values. They will strive for unity and are not content with mediocre. They cheer for others who hit the mark and there is a sense of shared responsibility for the group’s well-being. They are honest with their struggles, true with their friendship and gracious when sincere efforts fail. Values are discussed, debated and agreed upon regularly. Promote these people.

Some on our team are just tolerating the values. They are not rebels, but they are certainly not disciples. They seem like devotees in meetings, but when given the opportunity, they take shortcuts. They are indifferent when goals are not met and are not that concerned about budgets and such. They tend to get by with “average” and are working for a paycheck, to maintain status quo and nothing more. ¬†They are generally peaceful, but seldom passionate which means innovation and proactive problem-solving are both rare. Spend more time with these people.

The third group obliterates the values. They are either immature or just riding on the wrong bus altogether. They’re always in the center of some drama and strife and seem like Pigpen, the Peanuts character who was always traveling in his own private dust storm. They have been taught, and taught, and taught, but they do not agree with your values and never will. If they do not admire the team’s values, they do not need to be on the team. Fire these people.

Most teams can agree on values if we slow down and ask more questions. Give your team room to debate and adopt the values. Make them clear and easy to understand. Allow the introverts to process and the extroverts to argue out loud.¬† Create a culture of honest debate and allow everyone to participate. Coach those who want to grow, and don’t feel awful when disagreeable people choose to go elsewhere. Great teams are built on great values. That’s worth celebrating.


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