On this project, I was being taught as a member of the team. I was observing and learning the Managing By Values process specific to how succession leadership was handled inside of the context of values. Here I was learning the unique attributes of family leadership versus corporate leadership. Primarily, learning how to create values that were behaviorally based and how to cascade them so they became actionable at every level. The values were used as decision-making guidelines, not words on a wall.

What I learned and applied later to some of the worlds’ leading organizations is that values first need to be just the critical few. Most organizations have to many. They need to be behaviorally described and prioritized. That enables an organization to truly use values as the boss.

Meaning, the values make the decisions, not the “boss”. When an organization gets to a level of clarity with their values so they can be a daily decision making guide, it feeds on discretionary energy and allows everyone to be excellent in a way that is not ambiguous.

Without those two things (behaviorally described and prioritized) I would argue values are almost meaningless and in many ways detrimental. This enables everyone in the organization and all key stakeholders outside the organization to know exactly what you stand for, what behaviorally is expected and also what you will not tolerate.

The P3 model in my experience clearly shows that what leaders reward and what leaders tolerate is what gets focused on.