Defining Core Principles
Two years ago we wrote the Fervor manifesto. Similar to what most companies term their core values, our manifesto outlined the guiding principles for how we operated—both internally and externally. Our company was evolving, and we needed to define both who we were and who we wanted to be going forward. The manifesto allowed us to put our heart on paper and communicate our shared vision for who we are as an organization.
The manifesto paved the way for conversations with people outside our organization, from client partners to prospective team members. Armed with a common language, every member of our team could share who we are and how we work. Although some pieces of our manifesto were common to other organizations (“We roll up our sleeves and get the job done”), others were more unique (“We’re not afraid to say no.”).
The heart of the Fervor manifesto still rings true today, but we’ve decided it’s time for a new iteration for two reasons: First, we’ve grown exponentially. Most of our current staff wasn’t even here when we wrote the manifesto! As a team, we’re getting better at what we do and how we do it. Secondly, we’ve decided to scale the manifesto back a bit, to provide a more succinct set of values that can easily be shared with others. We’re taking a page from Gino Wickman’s book, Traction, which advocates for core principles to be simple, memorable and brief. He recommends no more than three to seven total—our original manifesto included ten.
Our new values, Fervor’s Core Principles, now speak for our entire team because they were part of the creation process.
Fervor’s Core Principles:
Rooted in relationship, we authentically care about our team and our client partners.
We proactively identify needs so we can help our teammates and clients flourish.
Everyone fulfills their roles with excellence. Excellence doesn’t always mean perfect, but it does mean owning the task before you.
Fervor was founded on biblical principles that have provided us with solid footing since day one.
We’re not in the marketing business, we’re in the people business.
Living Out Core Principles
In my role as Chief of Staff, the core principles help me strengthen our team in multiple ways. I not only work with them to dig in and get the job done, I also support them to ensure we serve our client partners well. The best way to do that is by establishing collaborative relationships. Our clients depend on us to be marketing experts, but they can also rely on us to work transparently, communicate thoroughly, and operate with an ownership mentality.
At the heart of our core principles is the health and wellbeing of our team. We don’t just talk about winning inside first, we live it out. The most important role I play is growing and developing our team. To do that, it’s critical for them to feel safe sharing what’s going on in their lives. I listen and encourage when things are difficult, and we celebrate together when there’s a win. I always put the team ahead of the work. They are our most valuable resource, and not just because of their skill and brilliance. But because they are like family to me.
Maintaining core principles and a healthy company culture as we grow is hard. But difficulty won’t deter me from making that my number one goal. We will continue to hire well, constantly re-evaluate, and provide our team the space and confidence to share the things they see that we (as leadership) don’t. That continued transparency has carried us through hard times and allowed us to live out our core principles daily.
Do you connect with our core principles? We want to work with like-minded people. Let’s set up a coffee date!