1 Tip to Define Your 2018 Goals


As the year comes to a close many businesses (and individuals) will look back at the year and evaluate what worked (and what didn’t). As you start to plan for the coming year, turn your eyes from the market reports and bottom line and consider for a moment you and your company’s values. Can your employees Identify Your Company’s Core Values? …and are they on board to support them?

Values are the things in your life that you hold most dear. What excites you? What is the true driver behind your business? Money? Freedom? Helping Others? Values should “feel” good and be unique to YOU and your business (not what the media, market reports or your mom told you to value).

What do values have to do with successful outcomes? Psychologists have found that only internal motivations work for long-term goals, such as career achievement or learning new skills.

And knowing your values and actually living them in and out of the boardroom is good for your bottom line. A recent study by Mintel reveals that 56 percent of US consumers stop buying from companies they believe are unethical. What’s more, over one third (35 percent) of consumers stop buying from brands they perceive as unethical even if there is no substitute available and 27 percent stop purchasing even if they think the competitor offers lower quality. Overall, more than three in five consumers feel that ethical issues are becoming more important (63 percent).

Ethics and values can often go hand in hand for consumers and when companies, leaders and individuals are in alignment with their own values and ethics, they can reach goals faster. Your company’s productivity and profitability can be directly traced to the performance of your employees working to achieve individual goals, which in turn, should be directly aligned to support broader company goals and values.

With top-down alignment, communicated throughout the organization, you increase everyone’s ability to cover more ground, faster. It’s the difference between pursuing a path together as one unit as opposed to throwing spaghetti against the wall.

Get Honest. Ask your employees what they think your values and main drivers of the company are. What are your employees’ values? Do they match your list? Check your personal goal – why are you striving for it?

Is it time to re-evaluate?

For your business values consider: Why did you start the company in the first place? When did things feel “easy”? Customers most happy? What were you focused on? These questions can clue you into the real value of your company (at least what values work). For example “saving money” could be a value but did it lose you customers and in the end cost more money?

For personal values consider: When were you happiest in your life? When were you the most proud of yourself? When were you most satisfied? When did you laugh/smile the most? Now consider, where you were, whom you were with and how and why you felt that way? Take a few moments to really explore these memories. These are your values.


Now look back at your calendar for the past 3 months. Where are you or your employees spending the most time? Look at your checkbook – where have you been spending your money? Is you company spending its time, energy and money doing the things that don’t match the company’s values?


Hmmmm, does something need to change?


It’s time to get honest and get intentional. Remember, goals that match values have sustainability.


Do you REALLY know what you want your company to look like? Yes, we all want to be rich, but what is the value behind that? Freedom? Time with family? Growth?

Get good at asking WHY you want something. More revenue could really be about market recognition or allowing you more time to focus elsewhere. Consider the driver behind the action. That is the real value, and with that in mind there is often an easier and more enjoyable way to get “it” done.

Send me your values list – I’d love to continue the conversation. carrie@carrieDclarke.com.

Carrie D Clarke

Carrie D. Clarke, J.D. is lawyer turned business coach and personal strategist. Carrie collaborates with small business owners and executives to increase their profits and accomplish goals by focusing on values, applying evidence-based strategies and enhancing their strengths. Carrie is available for speaking engagements, 1:1 coaching and custom workshops.