Values in Leadership

Today’s blog is around values; do you have a set of values, if so, what are they?

More importantly do you live them, do all of your employees abide by them and how are they implemented in your company?

Finally do you hire, fire and select your customers based on your values? These are all big questions.

But before I talk more about values, I want to explain that I filmed the video for this blog while I was at a water park in West Wales having a beautiful family holiday before I started my Everest climb. That’s why I am wearing a Pink Peppa Pig top!

So I recently spoke at a Future 50 event to the 50 highest growing companies in the UK selected by the government. I was very blessed that following speaking to the CEO’s last year I was invited back this year to speak to the HR Directors. These are people who are responsible for running talent programmes, working with £10 million plus in revenues and scaling people and teams like you wouldn’t believe.

The main topic for the event was that of values and we covered some pretty tough questions including:
• ‘How do I have difficult conversations with people?’
• ‘How do I get rid of people in the company that shouldn’t really be there and don’t fit any more but are really good at their jobs?’
• ‘How do I get the best talent out there and retain them for the long term?’


Values are at the core of what we do and something that differentiates our business to many others. At BGI values are a sack-able offence and are our competitive advantage. Often people say ‘Really Deri do you mean that?’ and yes I do, I really mean it’s a sack-able offence to not live and breathe our company values, if you are working with us.

Now when I was speaking at the Future 50 event, the big thing that was expressed was that a lot of companies did have values, but everyone within the company had lost the meaning of these and they had just become BS values that sit in a frame on the wall meaning nothing to anyone. You know the ones I mean – think of a reception wall with five or six words sitting in a frame claiming to be the ‘company values’. Nobody lives them or breathes them and, perhaps more destructively, people don’t actually believe in them. That’s when values and cultures have gone bad. So it was so refreshing to see top HR professionals focusing and understanding the importance of true values in the work place. To me the term ‘HR professional’ is out-dated, they are all about attracting, retaining and developing talent, and then moving talent on when the time’s right.

What I really want you to think about is do you have values right now? If so are you really living them, do you truly believe in them and does everyone in your company live and breathe them? If not you have some work to do and it’s called ‘Culture’. If you don’t have a set of values it’s time to get started, look at the book ‘BGI Strategy on a Page’; there’s a whole chapter on values and the four questions you need to be asking, the first question is ‘who have you fired and why?’ If you want to fire somebody, or there are people in the business who have pissed you off this is often a good place to start as often it’s down to values, and them not having the same value set as the company.

So get to work, get the book and let’s get your values defined and set. If you’ve got people around you holding similar values and customers with similar values – I promise you – it’s a beautiful business and a beautiful life.


My experience is that as SMEs grow and the management structure becomes more complex, values can get lost. Lots of reasons of course, but when you're lower down the ranks and not benefitting from the training bestowed on managers it's sometimes hard to relate company values to the role you play within the company. Those companies that develop (continually) a system that communicates values contextually not only have a business that is focused on core values but one where all staff are empowered and committed.

Well said!! Values are totally important! on so many levels. ALL relationships … professional and personal! Thanks for intro ducting mine to me.. ;-)


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