Identify Personal Core Values

Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.” ~ Tony Hsieh

In Lewis Carroll’s timeless Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice seeks advice from the Cheshire Cat on where she should go next:

“The Cheshire Cat: Where are you going?

Alice: Which way should I go?

The Cheshire Cat: That depends on where you are going.

Alice: I don’t know.

The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Companies invest a lot of thought, energy, and development into their futures, and creating a mission statement or purpose as well as defining core values are crucial milestones within that process. Both can set the company’s tone by projecting a vision and establishing the foundation it will take to get there. Without a clear road map, a company’s direction can feel aimless and stagnate.

As Zappos has grown and evolved, so has its purpose. Today ours is “to inspire the world by showing it’s possible to simultaneously deliver happiness to customers, employees, community, vendors and shareholders in a long-term, sustainable way.” That’s a mouthful! Supporting this vision are our 10 Core Values which are the framework of the Zappos culture. Of the importance of core values, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has said, “One of the really interesting things I found from the research is that it actually doesn’t matter what your values are, what matters is that you have them and that you align the organization around them. And the power actually comes from the alignment not from the actual values . . . We’re not out there telling people [that they should adopt the Zappos values] and culture because that would actually probably not work in most cases. Our message is more ‘you should figure out what your values are and then align the entire organization around them.” But what about personal core values? If core values are pivotal to a company’s conception, can pinpointing individual ones help guide one’s career? Can creating your own help you tune into the right job?