Guest Post

Values-Based Nerve

by Mark Fernandes

The great thing about having rock solid core values is that you have them to fall back on in challenging times. At Luck Stone, our four values are: Leadership, Integrity, Commitment and Creativity.

These values are irreducible and complete, applying to all of our associates. You'll note that our core values don't include "nerve" explicitly, but they inform a philosophy of going against the grain, not accepting the status quo and pushing beyond the limits of what is expected and accepted — all of which point to nerve.

Over the last 12 months, in the peak of the worst housing recession in history, our Charles Luck business opened its third multi-million dollar design studio. We introduced 50 new products to our served markets and launched a completely reinvented website as Phase One of a five year digital strategy play. Plus, we initiated a global distribution program. All of this during a bleak economic time.

We feel like we are walking the talk and it goes back to our values. Because our values are at the root of how we operate, we naturally rely on them to guide our actions in tough times. Take a leadership role. Exhibit integrity at every turn. Commit and follow through. Seek innovative solutions.

Interestingly, as conditions have continued to worsen, the interest and participation in our events, initiatives and programs has increased exponentially. The belief (strategic intent) that during slow times marketing messages have better resonance is clearly playing out; traffic to our website has more than doubled during this period. Possibly more compelling is a consistent bit of feedback we are receiving from all our markets regarding the fact (belief) that we are not succumbing to the current conditions, which is serving as a piece of "inspiration" to the marketplace. There's no reason to "succumb" when your values are there to bolster you. As a result, you'll likely find that your nerve has been residing amongst your business' values all along.

Mark Fernandes is the President of the Design Recreation Division and Chief Leadership Officer (CLO) at Luck Stone.

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