Help First – Living Your Company’s Core Values

How can we help“How can we help you?” we asked. We were paying him $5,000 so this may seem odd. Yet this simple question set the tone for our entire relationship hiking up Kilimanjaro.

Freddy was our guide. His answer was very simple: “Just do as I say.”

Here’s how Freddy explained his reply. Doing this climb 20 times each year, he sees many tourists who have done quite a bit of hiking around the world, some in very extreme places. Kili is certainly less extreme than many other high altitude peaks, but there are still dangers. When experienced climbers second-guess the guide or do their own thing, the whole expedition is at risk.

Live by Your Core Values—Everywhere!

At EOS, one of our core values is Help First. Keeping this value in mind as we hiked over the week allowed us to have a great win-win relationship with Freddy and his team. We followed their lead on when we should take breaks, when to slow down (“pole-pole“), when to eat and more. We helped them so they could help us.

The same is true in business. When you help first—whether it’s an employee, a customer or a vendor—you create a win-win situation and a stronger relationship. If you can help them, then they will be more willing (and able) to help you.

When is the last time you asked someone, “How can I help you?”

Core Values Drive Company Culture

Time after time we see that when core values are effectively identified and honestly perpetuated, they provide a set of guiding principles and serve as the rules for organizational culture. These core values drive the behavior that defines your culture. And, as Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

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