Article by Lucas Wilson.
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to engage a company to help with some coaching in our newly created Property Management department. At the time, I didn’t realise it would involve coaching me as the office’s leader, and it delved a lot deeper into setting the mission, values and purpose of our overall real estate business, and me as an individual.
I had read some of author Simon Sinek’s material previously, and several books about purpose, values, and the importance of discovering your “why”. But never had I really been held accountable to follow through on some of the exploratory exercises to really find out these things about myself. The process involved listing people I most admired, what I admire about them and why, thinking back to important memories and events from growing up, what aspects made them important, how I would like to be remembered, what makes me feel proud, and a whole lot of questions like these which took me quite deep within.
From these exercises I narrowed down to my five core values, which were to become our business core values as I needed to be the driver of this, which were only going to be meaningful for the business if there was complete “buy-in” from our whole team. Fortunately there absolutely has been. We previously had business values and mission statements on our office walls over the years, but really whilst they read well, they had essentially been pinched from elsewhere without the internal work to come up with what was truly important and meaningful to our “core”.
From our core values, as a team we came up with a “guiding principle” for each – as well as a list of “supporting behaviours” to be encouraged across all of our roles within the office.
Our core values at Wilsons, and their guiding principles, in no particular order, are:
- Integrity – “Doing the right thing”
- Loyalty – “Have each other’s, and our clients’ backs”
- Contribution – “Be generous – look for what you can GIVE to a situation, rather than what you can GET from it”
- Growth – “Continuous and never-ending improvement”
- Positivity – “Solutions not problems”
The process of meaningfully coming up with and articulating these values, together with the embracing of them from our entire team, has been one of the best things we have ever done as a business. It has defined our office culture – everything from our hiring decisions to all of our daily activities and work behaviours, can be assessed constantly using our values as the reference point.
Each of our team then wrote out a mission statement for the office, from which we refined into a combination of everyone’s words to arrive at our Mission Statement:
“By putting clients’ interests ahead of our own, we provide the best real estate service available. As a team we bring loyalty, positivity, and solutions. We continually improve, and contribute to our wider community.”
One way within the office of constantly reinforcing our mission statement, core values, and overall purpose is with our quarterly “MVP” (Mission, Values, Purpose) Award. Over the course of each quarter, team members constantly recognise each other via our group chat when they catch teammates embodying our values and note the supporting behaviours being lived out, with votes collated and a sought after prize awarded at our quarterly get-together.
I couldn’t be prouder of our entire team at Wilsons, and the way they embrace our mission, values, and purpose.