Get All Access for $5/mo

Do Core Values Still Matter Today? Do you think core values still matter today? Find out why it's still relevant in achieving success for your business.

By John Kitchens Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you hear about core values, what comes to mind? In this age where technology is dominant, core values may seem like something from the past. When you develop a business, it can be all about creating new processes and implementing the latest tools, so core values may not seem like they have a place. Perhaps whenever you hear about core values, you think of a company like Nike and its "Just Do It" mentality. Or maybe you think of Google's focus on innovation and customer satisfaction.

These value statements are one of the many core values that we commonly see in the business scene. Although we casually see core values from time to time, we often brush them off as just another business buzzword — thinking that it's another thing on your to-do list that you don't have time for. It can be easy to get wrapped up in hitting targets and ensuring that the day-to-day operations of your business are running smoothly. But what about the bigger picture? What will make your business not just survive, but thrive in the long term?

This is where core values come in. To understand it better, let's take a closer look at what core values mean:

Related: Defining Your Company's Values Will Transform Your Company

What are core values?

Core values are anything but a business gimmick — they are essential to the success of any business. Core values make the biggest difference between successful companies and unsuccessful ones. It's the foundation that sets the business up for success and drives the results that you want to see.

Core values are the guiding principles of an organization. It's more than just words on a wall — it's how you behave. It's who you are at your core. Your company's core values become a foundation and bring influence to everything in your business.

A business that is aligned with its core values is a business that functions like a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows their role, what is expected of them, and they are empowered to act in accordance with the company's core values. This creates a cohesive environment where exponential growth and stability are possible. Here are a few more reasons why core values still matter today:

1. Core values help you make better decisions

In business, we are always faced with tough decisions, and it's hard to identify what's wrong or right when you don't have a decision-making process. Having core values in place helps you create decision-making filters that will simplify the decision-making process. These filters help you to identify whether a certain decision is in line with your goals or not. When you have a clear sense of what your core values are, it becomes easier to identify which opportunities are in line with your business and which aren't. This helps you to avoid chasing after shiny objects that don't fit with your business and instead focus on opportunities that will help you move closer to your goals.

Making decisions in alignment with your core values will not only bring you closer to your desired results but also save you the time and energy that you would've wasted chasing after things that don't matter. This does not only apply in the leadership role. Everyone in the company, from the CEO to the intern, should be aware of the core values and use them as a guide in their decision-making process. Once you have this implemented, you'll see a significant difference in the quality of decisions being made in your business.

Related: How Establishing Core Values Drives Success

2. Core values help you find the right people

People are not your most important asset. The right people are. — Jim Collins

Your people are the biggest investment in your business, and it is important to find the right individuals who can contribute to your growth. When done right, building a team can be one of the most rewarding experiences in business. But it can also be one of the most challenging.

To successfully build the right team, you need to remember two important things: First, always hire and fire by your core values. Core value fit people are those individuals who align with the core values of your business. When you're making decisions about who to bring on to your team, it's important that you evaluate whether or not they fit with the core values of your business. The same goes when you're considering firing someone. There might be people on your team who are skilled and talented, but if they don't share the same core values, they will eventually create disharmony within the team. Differences in core values create a disconnect between the team and will eventually lead to a series of conflicts that affect growth and productivity.

Second, you must keep in mind to only hire the people you admire. These people are most likely to have a similar set of core values as you, and this will make it easier for them to accept your vision. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, of Amazon, is a great example of this. In a letter to shareholders, he revealed that he's always tried to work only with people he admires. This shows us that core values are one of the most important factors to consider when hiring new team members.

3. Core values shape your culture

To look at it simply, culture is just a collection of your people. It is the environment created by the cumulative behavior of the people within your organization. This is why it's so important to identify your core values and surround yourself with like-minded and value-driven individuals that will help you create the right environment. Once you nail the culture, it becomes a safe environment where people can be vulnerable and allow their unique abilities to shine. Having the right people and the right culture creates the conditions where creativity, collaboration and innovation can thrive. This will make it easier to achieve success and stability in your business.

Related: A Set of Core Values Is What Makes Company Culture a Real Thing

4. Core values help you attract your ideal client

Identifying your core values influences the way you show up in the world and how you market your business. It allows you to be clear about who you are, what you stand for and what kind of clients you want to attract. By having a clear understanding of your core values, you can create a detailed client avatar that will give you the ability to filter out the clients that you want to work with. Instead of marketing for "anyone," you can now target your marketing a lot more efficiently based on your client avatar. You can now use your core values to create a unique selling proposition that will make you stand out from your competition and attract your ideal client.

Related: A Case Study in Why Core Values Are Crucially Important

A lot of us may not take core values to heart, but the truth is, core values will always matter. They are the foundation of who we are as individuals and organizations. No matter what era we are in — or what new technology comes along — our fundamental beliefs will always be with us. It's only a matter of choice whether we want to ignore them or whether we want to let them shape us. The decision to live by your core values and let them transform your business and your life starts with you. Are you living your life according to your core values? What steps are you taking toward your growth and success?

John Kitchens

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of John Kitchens Coach

John Kitchens is the most sought-after systems and processes coach for real-estate agents that want to turn their real-estate practice into a business. He is an expert in identifying constraints and honing strategies that lead to clarity and success. www.johnkitchens.coach

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

She Grew Her Side Hustle Sales From $0 to Over $6 Million in Just 6 Months — and an 'Old-School' Mindset Helped Her Do It

Cynthia Sakai, designer and founder of the luxury personal care company evolvetogether, felt compelled to help people during the pandemic.

Science & Technology

Get a Lifetime of Raspberry Pi and Arduino Lessons for $70

For businesses with development teams, this discounted bundle is a must.

Business News

Google's AI Is Now Appearing in Gmail and Docs

AI is being introduced to some of Google's most popular products.

Money & Finance

How to Leverage Credit Cards for Business Growth (the Right Way)

By being aware of the risks and embracing best practices, entrepreneurs can make the most of credit cards.

Business News

'Cannot Stop Crying': Hooters Employees Shocked After Dozens of Restaurants Suddenly Close Without Warning

The chain is the latest fast-casual restaurant to face difficult decisions amid inflation.

Business Solutions

5 Actionable Strategies to Improve Your Brand Reputation

For established brands or emerging franchisors wanting to connect with their base, here's actionable advice for improving industrywide reputation.