If there was one key factor that you would focus on to make your relationships great, what would it be? One of the greatest strengths you and your family can bring to your family and community are your values. When translated into behavior, they form a Code of Honor. It is a cornerstone for family and business success.
A Code of Honor
What holds a family together when it faces a crisis? What holds a business together when cash is tight? It is something deep. It shows its face when the pressure is on and when the stakes are high. It shows up when we are put to the test and have to deliver. Blair Singer calls it, a “Code of Honor.”
A Code of Honor is a set of powerful values and beliefs that we are willing to take a stand for and defend. They form the standards whereby we hold ourselves accountable. They are heart and spirit of any successful organization. They are values acted upon, the values that are extended into real, physical behavior.
A Code of Honor affects little things, like “deal direct,” focus on what works, take responsibility, acknowledge and say “Thank You” and the big things, like the Declaration of Independence.
A shared Code of Honor comes from our most deeply held values. It represents our higher motivations and aspirations and it helps us to move forward to accomplish our higher goals. It helps a business accomplish the broader vision that goes beyond the bottom line. Organizations that have lasting success typically honor a higher motivation that enables its members to feel pride and to believe in what they are doing to serve the community.
A Code of Honor defines the “glue” that holds a family or team together, In every family and business, conflict will ALWAYS arise. Conflict can destroy a group or it can pull the group to work together as a team at a higher level.
When “push comes to shove,” individuals can criticize and blame each other or they can choose to take personal responsibility to do what is needed. It is our shared values and personal Code that holds us accountable to do our work.
While values help us define our higher ideals, they also help us acknowledge our humanity. We all have moments when life goes crazy. A set of rules with clearly defined values, developed in the SANE moments, helps us see our way through this craziness to a higher level of functioning.
Your Code of Honor
Every individual, family, and business has a set of values that is deeply meaningful to their lives. It arises from our real experience and our deepest strivings.
Are you committed to being your best? All of us have a greatness waiting to be revealed. The challenge is to find it, develop it, train it and use it to better your life and those around you.
Families also have strengths that are deeply meaningful and that benefit the community. They can be discovered by listening to the challenges that have been overcome, the stories,
and the struggles faced by previous generations.
One way to discover the values that are important in your life is to take “Values in Action” survey at www.authentichappiness.org and have family members take it as well. It will help you identify your signature strengths as well as those in your family. Then check them out and see if they are consistent with your experiences.
Your values and your Code of Honor can bring out the best of yourself, your family, and your team. When you make a conscious decision to create a Code of Honor you set the stage for greatness to emerge. You can facilitate this by playing your strengths and by learning how to form a shared Code. This with be the subject of the next two e-newsletters.
Singer, Blair. The ABC’s of Building a Business Team That Wins. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 2004.