Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. Today one non-tech, yet very important topic.
Today I want to talk about values.
The cornerstone question of today’s post is this:
“What does it mean to have some values in your life? What does it mean when a company claims to pursue some values?”
And I would like to think a bit about other staff closely connected to values.
Why? Because I believe values are important.
I started this post something like 2 months ago – and it evolved over time. It is not a very easy topic – I am still not 100% happy with the current state of the post, but anyway – I can always improve it over time.
What inspired me to even think about values?
Quite recently, three months back, we had a visit from our HQ in the USA and a Romania branch. If you guessed that the main topic of their visit was to share company values with us, you guessed right.
It was a bunch of really important people like David Sawatsky, our COO. Scott Varho, our VP of product development, has now a new exciting role connected to company culture and values. Alina Perde, Product development senior manager, and Anca Popescu – Director of global talent acquisition.
And those people came to us, despite COVID, despite the distance, to spend the whole day with us together at Olomouc, Czechia talking about the 3pillarglobal values. I mean, that is pretty impressive, right? And together as one team, we were asking ourselves questions like – What does “quality” mean? What transforms a good team into a great one? And we discussed a lot more topics like that.
Again, How great is that?
To be honest, this quite strongly resonated with me. That moment got me thinking about my values. And about values in general. What exactly are things I believe in? What are those things that are vital in my life? Based on what do I make decisions in everyday life, be it personal or professional? What exactly is my internal compass?
Let’s take a step back and think a little bit about the term “value” itself. Oxford dictionary can give you all the meanings of that term, and I kind of like two – First of all, value (uncountable singular) can mean “the quality of being useful or important”. The second meaning is that (plural) values mean “beliefs about what is right and wrong and what is important in life”.
– The quality of being useful or important.
– Beliefs about what is right and wrong and what is important in life.Oxford dictionary
In my search for a deeper understanding of the term VALUE, I also stumbled upon this video called “Why values matter”.
There is yet another definition of values that resonated with me a lot – values are “situation independent decision helpers”. And I believe this is the root meaning of having values in your life indeed. Values are not about goals, about the milestones you want to reach nor about your dreams. No, values are about the everyday consistency of the path you are walking through life. Values are about the way we want to live, about the way we do stuff.
I never really thought this through. I think I am living according to some values. But when you actually DEFINE what is it, that you believe in, when you see it written down black and white, it can be a powerful and truly transformative moment.
So let’s get back to that visit.
I will write more about my own values later, probably in a separate article, since this one would be too long.
I want to focus on that moment when I believed in our company values. When I realized that I don’t need to be concerned about being a part of a company of 3pillarglobal size.
Don’t get me wrong, I already knew I am at the right place. In Olomouc, we have great people, who are caring for each other. Our leadership – Filip, Petr, and Martin, are trustworthy, honest people you can count on. I never experienced such a company culture in the past.
So the local level – our branch in Olomouc, Czechia – works very well. But 3pillar is quite huge these days already, and it was this upper corporate level I was cautious about. I worked in corporate size enterprises before, and it was always about politics, internal fights, people defending their piece of the kingdom…and there was very little transparency.
Company values were always good for the official brochures and wallpapers in the employee kitchen.
Also in our hallway, some months after we were acquired by 3pillar magically appeared four posters with “Company values”. And I thought something like – “Oh boy, here comes the corporate”. I will be honest with you, I did not even bother to really read it. I have my values and don’t need some fabricated corporate ones, after all. Right?
And it would have had probably stayed like that unless it was for the leadership visit I mentioned.
Every larger company has some “company values”.
But the moment, when you will believe in those is when you see people leading the company actually living according to those values.
We, as humankind love stories. It is written into our DNA, some even say the ability to tell a story is the thing, that differentiates us from animals.
The story is a very efficient tool when it comes to passing information further. So is our own experience. (Btw story is nothing else than the shared experience of someone else.)
We had this 2 hours long workshop with Alina, going through those company values I ignored for weeks on the hallway wall. It was great storytelling, a lot of examples, and then we were assigned some “real life” scenarios, trying to solve these situations according to our company values. After that we discussed it.
You know what? It was easy. I proposed what I would normally do without knowledge of some special company values. And it worked as it should.
Let’s have a look at those 3PillarGlobal values finally (you can find more HERE):
We believe that all people are innately worthwhile and possess unique talents and perspectives that only they can contribute. We treat each and every person with respect and honor their ability to contribute to our collective success.
We embrace the collective power of humanity and actively seek to engage the unique talents and perspectives that others bring to bear. We forge strong bonds of trust that enable us to share openly and work in harmonic concert.
We aspire to transform the world together. We pursue the seemingly impossible with passionate zeal and embrace the types of challenges that have the potential to change society – the way we live, the way we work, and the way we play.
We passionately pursue excellence in order to make ourselves, our teams, and our world a better place. We prioritize progress over perfection, pursue small wins that build momentum, and voraciously consume lessons that propel us forward.
When you realize that you can sign under every one of your company values, probably you are where you were meant to be.
I believe those values are the same our CEO David DeWolf is implementing his whole life. And that’s the reason they resonate through the company so strongly.
A few weeks ago he actually published an article called “HOW WE BUILT 3PILLAR INTO A $100MM+ COMPANY” and I would like to quote one thing I found an important part of that success:
And that quote makes a nice “take-home message”. If you are serious about values, you need to challenge every decision you make with those values in mind.
What can you look forward to next? I am currently reading a Product Mindset book which is another cornerstone of the 3pillar approach, and I will share my thoughts on that afterward.
Also finishing my “How to become a software engineer – hints for career switchers” post, so stay tuned.
(As always any feedback is welcome, just message me on LinkedIn or Instagram)
Programmer, tech enthusiast, and storyteller. Don’t hesitate to contact me 🙂