Leading by Example: Values at the Core of Employee Performance and Development

At SDI, we partner with organizations to drive productivity and business results by assessing, developing and optimizing the performance of their people.  To be successful with our clients, we first need to lead by example and develop and cultivate the talent of our own people. We often ask ourselves the following question:

How do we find and keep people that create the culture we desire, in order to achieve business results?

This question will inevitably lead to discussions about values at the core of our organization.  And because we understand our people are our greatest investment, we ask ourselves another question:

Are there skills associated with these core values that we can identify, discuss – and dare we say, teach?

For a bunch of consulting and learning professionals that spend a majority of their time focusing on measurable performance and results, defining the soft-skills associated with our own core values proved to be… let’s say, interesting.  Here are some of the core values we landed on… a “wish list” of sorts:


We value honest people that hold themselves personally accountable.  We want our people to always do what is right because it’s more important than doing what is popular.  This is why we encourage asking for help and never see that act as a weakness.


Our people have the ability to see beyond the obvious and derive “clarity from complexity.”  They consistently provide and seek different perspectives and have the ability to keep the big picture in view, even when diving into the details.  Intelligent people pursue growth and learning, yet are willing to share knowledge and experience with our clients and within our own organization.

Communication and Collaboration

We expect our people to work hard and well, within a team, toward a common purpose. They should raise issues, but always with suggested solutions.  Our staff actively listens more than they speak, and works to generate more opportunities to listen. They invite feedback and constructive criticism and are willing to give it as well. We strive to collectively build open and honest relationships…which takes communication, respect and trust.

Common Purpose and Commitment

We strive to align individual members, skills and beliefs toward a common purpose with a “team-first, self-last” attitude. Team success trumps individual success. Everyone needs to be client-focused and show passion, determination and dependability. We hold others and ourselves accountable and consistently increase value for our clients, community and employees.


It’s important to incite confidence, but remain humble.  The confident individual responds decisively with a sense of urgency, yet is patient and thoughtful.  Each team member should be adventurous, curious, creative and open-minded…a self-starter with contagious energy.  They take risks, as required, because taking risks is a good thing.

So after defining values at our core… What’s next?  We understand how difficult it can be to measure and/or quantify these values.  We also know that detailed analytics and planning tools are crucial to guiding the employee/mentor conversation regarding strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and a solid action plan.

Stay tuned as I explore and share more about assessing our core values and in general, defining some of the job roles at SDI Consulting, SDIx and Expectancy Learning, including how we go about defining skills associated with distinct performance levels and ultimately, drive performance management and development for our own employees.

To better understand how Expectancy Learning is connecting performance management with employee development, click here, or contact us with any questions on how to accomplish this for your organization.

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