On my way to work I received an email from my boss asking me to come to his office at 9:30.  That was it, just come to my office, no topic, no agenda, no end time, no details.  To be honest with you, I don’t like those emails!.  I was discussing this email with a friend of mine and he made a profound statement, “Aren’t you glad you don’t have to worry about those meetings!”  I thought to myself, not worry, you have got to be kidding.  Calmly, I asked him about his statement.  He mentioned the core values that I live by, the ones I have written on the top of the whiteboard in my office, honesty, integrity, unity, and transparency.  He said that as long as you live by those, you should never fear a call from the boss.

He was right, and after we were done talking I did feel much better.  I reviewed my behavior and my decision making processes and went into the meeting with confidence.  The meeting turned out fine and we had a good discussion.  When I first got to my position, one of the first things I did after I hired my leadership team was to collaborate with them on a mission and vision statement for the department and then create a set of core values that we all agreed would be the foundation for how we work.  The aforementioned values are what we came up with and I meet with every new employee and contractor, usually in a group, and usually while they have been here for a month or less, and I go over the core values with them in the presence of their department directors.  I provide them with behavioral examples of each core value then I tell them that I will hold them accountable to these core values.  Instead of stopping there, I ask them, and give them permission to hold me accountable to them as well.  No one should operate outside of these values.  There are obviously some things I will not be able to share with them at a corporate level, but that does not mean I have to be dishonest with them either.

The implementation of these core values have put us all on a level playing field, we all know the rules.  If these are adhered to, you should not fear going to the boss’s office for any reason.  I know that I never have to fear it again.

Bill Rieger

Twitter: @pvbrieger

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