When we first started Slopes Marketing, we wanted to create a company with a clear vision and strong core values. How could we expect our employees to buy-in to a company with no direction or purpose? Having worked at companies like that, we were determined to be different.

The First Attempt (2018)

There were only three of us at the time we created our first Slope Essentials. So it didn’t take us too long to bounce ideas around and voice our opinions of things we believed in. Our diverse personal backgrounds, opinions, experiences and beliefs helped us create a set of 11 core values we truly treasured.

Challenge the status quo

Think things through – be Purposeful, Realistic, Organized & Focused

Be proactive and resourceful

Accountability fosters performance

Feel encouraged to have fun (with a pinch of goofiness)

Seek opportunities to awe clients and members of the pack

Treat everyone you encounter with respect

Vulnerability nurtures personal and professional growth

No arrogance – approach change and feedback with humility

Demonstrate integrity to develop trust with the pack and clients

Just be yourself and use authentic communication

Now… we weren’t perfect. There were many times when we violated our own Slope Essentials. But just knowing our values and constantly reminding ourselves about them helped us strive to be better each day. We created these values… so we felt obligated and honored to keep them as best we could.

The First Anniversary (2019)

At the end of our first year as a company, we had an additional full-time employee, part-time employee and two apprentices. Tallin and I realized a lot changed since our first Slope Essentials were created.

Rather than deciding what our core values would be and forcing our employees to follow them… we asked for their input. It was a long and rigorous debate.

“Get rid of that one!”

“Add this phrase!”

“Well let me tell you why it matters!”

“That doesn’t even make sense!”

“Writing things down isn’t a value!”

You get the picture. Lots of discussion, lots of disagreements, lots of strong beliefs. But at the end of the day… only 11 could stand. At first there was no reason or significance behind the number 11. But we decided to dedicate the first month of the year to re-creating our Slope Essentials. The remaining 11 months would focus on a specific value, which we would train on throughout the month.

The input and collaboration from our team was inspiring. I could tell our team really felt passionately about these core values and I knew they would follow them. And I couldn’t have been happier with the end result:

Green = New Value | Red = Deleted Value | Blue = Modified Value | Black = No Change

  1. We are united as a team to accelerate personal and professional growth
    • Teamwork is going to be critical to grow as a company. We need to work together to help each other develop our personal skill sets and the financial revenue of the company.
  1. We think things through – we are purposeful, realistic, organized and focused
  1. We solve problems by being proactive and resourceful
    • We added problem solving so that we don’t become a burden to the pack. We do our very best to figure things out, which helps us learn new skills and strengthen the company.
  1. We are reliable and sincere to develop trust with the pack
    • We replaced integrity with reliability and sincerity. When we are sincere, we are striving to be honest in a helpful, constructive and genuine manner. And when we are reliable (hitting deadlines, managing our time, writing things down, etc.), we show others we can be trusted.
    1. Our passion and creativity make us eager to learn
      • We value the hunger to learn and develop. Passion and creativity often drives this hunger as we continue to ascend to new heights.
    1. We always seek opportunities to AWE the pack
    1. We have fun (with a pinch of goofiness) while still being efficient
      • We added efficiency. Although having fun is important, we need to make sure we get all of our work done. As long as we are being efficient, we can develop a culture of fun.
    1. No arrogance – we approach change and feedback with humility
    1. We listen and treat everyone with respect
      • We added listening. I think this is at the core of being ‘present’. Adrian and Christine weren’t good listeners, which resulted in poor performance, miscommunication and disrespect. By listening, we show the person speaking that we are hungry to learn and we respect what they have to say.
    1. We are empowered to have different opinions, backgrounds and beliefs
      • We want to embrace differences and encourage a dialogue to come to the best solutions possible. When we treat each other with respect, despite our differences, we can connect and grow together. Embracing all forms of diversity helps us treat each other as human beings as we develop patience, kindness, openness, understanding, and respect.
    1. We promote genuine positivity and authentic communication
      • We added genuine positivity to remind us that we can have bad days or be upset, which is okay. We don’t have to pretend to be positive. But by making a conscious effort to be positive and authentic, we can overcome challenges and struggles while still being ourselves. This means that we are not judgmental of others and we help them through hard times.
    • Challenge the status quo
    • Accountability fosters performance

    Green = New Value | Red = Deleted Value | Blue = Modified Value | Black = No Change

    Did you notice the change in how these Slope Essentials were written? The first attempt almost sounded like commands, you will do this, or you can’t do that. Our new values are written almost as affirmations. As we read them and discuss them as a team, we are reaffirming our desire to live at a higher standard.

    Key Takeaways

    All right now anonymous reader… now what? You read all of this cool story about the Slope Essentials, what did it inspire you to do? Maybe it’s time for you to create a set of personal core values to live by. Or maybe it’s time to get feedback from your team to encourage employees to invest in your company’s success. Regardless of what it is, I encourage you to DO something as a result of reading this post. Reading isn’t enough. You need to be willing to make changes after you feel inspired, motivated, thought-provoked or challenged.

    We look forward to continually evolving as a company. We don’t want to have a stagnant set of core beliefs. We will always include the thoughts and opinions of everyone in our company, regardless of how big we become!