A year or so back my dad hired a builder to have a look at the roof of his house, and one of the first things the chap said was:
“I’m as honest as the day is long.”
Now if somebody feels the need to provide his own character reference immediately on meeting you, there’s a good chance he’s as dodgy as they come. I was recently reminded of this when somebody mentioned company values, which I’ve written about before. Every company has a set of values these days, presumably in the same way every tradesman who turns up at your house, takes a look, and sucks air in through his teeth is honest.
What amuses me, though, is company management see fit to assign these values to themselves. I don’t know whether they all sit around a table and come up with them, or they subcontract the job to a marketing firm, but every outfit ends up with pretty much the same set. A company’s values are therefore more about how the management want others to see them rather than a reflection of what the organisation is actually like.
If they’re going to make values a central part of a company’s image, management should really ask their customers, partners, and employers their opinion of what they might be. Instead they persist in assigning flattering values to themselves. There’s a good reason for this, and my dad’s roofer would probably recognise it.