Chapter Three

What do you stand for?

What are your core values?

When you began your business, you may have said to yourself, “I am not going to be like…(fill in the blank).” or “I want to do it my way because…(fill in the blank) is not ok with me.” There was a desire to do things differently because something didn’t sit right with you. Those feelings that didn’t sit right with you are your values.

Your core values are your company’s standards of behaviour.

It’s core principles that guide everything you do in your automotive brand.

Your core values help you make business decisions.

Guide how you market your automotive brand.

They lay the groundwork for the services and products you provide.

They guide who you align with and how you manage the ups and downs of your business.

To begin building an automotive brand, you must define your core values.

They will set the first foundational stone towards creating your automotive brand.

James Clear ( had created a great list to get you started. Within this list, you should choose no more than five core values for your company. If you don’t see a value on this list, add your own.

Authenticity / Achievement / Adventure / Authority / Autonomy / Balance / Beauty / Boldness / Compassion / Challenge / Citizenship / Community / Competency / Contribution / Creativity / Curiosity / Determination / Fairness / Faith / Fame / Friendships / Fun / Growth / Happiness / Honesty / Humor / Influence / Inner / Harmony / Justice / Kindness / Knowledge / Leadership / Learning / Love / Loyalty / Meaningful Work / Openness / Optimism / Peace / Pleasure / Poise / Popularity / Recognition / Religion / Reputation / Respect / Responsibility / Security / Self-Respect / Service / Spirituality / Stability / Success / Status / Trustworthiness / Wealth / Wisdom

I know it may seem challenging to narrow down to 5 values, but here’s why this is a good idea. First, you and your staff will remember them. Secondly, it makes it easier to act consistently when faced with a business problem or opportunity.

It is vital that once you narrow down to your top 3 to 5 values, you analyze them in greater detail.

They need to feel right. Otherwise, they become superficial statements that create apathy in your company. They need to be accurate and important to you.

Ask yourself:

  • Does this value guide your business decisions?
  • Does this value influence who you work with and who you hire?
  • When you build relationships with organizations, dealers, manufacturers, distributors or community partners, do you use this value to guide your decision?

How important is this value?
If an opportunity arises that goes against your value, are you willing to make an exception? If that is the case, this value is not important to your business.

Are you proud of this value?
When you say it out loud, does this value make you proud? Are you willing to tattoo it on your body or display it proudly for the world to see?

Does this value have historical significance?
Is this value one of the reasons why you started your automotive business?

There is a good chance none of them have any values displayed on their website. If they did, theirs don’t matter to you and your people. Don’t get caught in a pissing match.

Craft some sentences.

After analyzing your list of values, you can now create a few sentences or more describing what these values mean to you and your automotive business. If you want to add some wordsmithing, maybe you can rename them into more meaningful unique words. Or just cut the BS and be straight to the point. It’s up to you.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.

Now before you go looking at your competitors, stop. There is a good chance none of them have any values displayed on their website. If they did, theirs don’t matter to you and your people. Don’t get caught in a pissing match. Talk with your staff if you are having difficulties coming up with your 3 to 5 values list. This could be a great team-building exercise that reinforces your company culture.

Stay away from the boring words everyone uses – differentiate yourself. Yes, you are honest. Of course, quality is important. These words – honesty, quality, trusted, family-orientated, go without saying. Everyone uses these words. Differentiate your business. What is unique to your company and no one else?

Once you have your values established, you can develop your company’s Intent statement. Which we will talk about in the next chapter.

Continue reading the next chapter

What's your intent?
Read Chapter 4