This blog is going to kick off our series on Core Values. Recently much of our writing has been less about “fitness” and more about achieving long term success in fitness and in life. In the past blogs we addressed goals and quitting(you may want to read them first). The next way to continue this discussion is to discuss Core Values. We will start with an overview of our Core Values at Evolution Fitness, then our subsequent blogs will discuss how Core Values play into achieving goals in our everyday lives. Core Values are two words that drive companies and individuals whether they have specifically identified them or not. Unfortunately, they have turned into obligatory statements and generalities. There is nothing general about a core value. They are THE WHY you do what you do, which drives the HOW you do what you do, so you can do the WHAT that you do. Sometimes if you ask a small business what their values are, you will be met with either a stunned look or a general statement of we sell great ________. The same can be said when talking to an individual about their personal values. Try it, ask someone you are close with what their core values are. Some may really know them, but many will pause….. think for a few moments…… and come up with a list, with no understanding of what they truly mean. They may say something like, honesty, family, and friendship. That is a great start, but what does it really mean? How does that show up in your life? Knowing and living your values IS THE KEY to understanding yourself, or your business, and why we make the decisions we do a on daily basis. Have you ever made a big decision in a split second without thinking and it was the absolute best decision? It probably had everything to do with your core values whether you think so or not. Have you ever made a decision that caused stress and had you upset with yourself? The reason for the stress was much likely you made a decision that went against one of your core values.
We see big corporations talk about Core Values and Mission Statements and they may even have them engraved on walls. Some live their values and it shows in everything they do, like Southwest Airlines. Customer Service is one of their core values. It can be witnessed by the friendliness of staff, hilarious on-board announcements, and no bag fees. Southwest creates a customer experience. I am sure there are some instances of less than stellar service, but more often than not they do the right thing. There are other companies like Walmart that have the Mission of “We help people save money so they can live better.” They do great on the first part of, but helping people live better isn’t their forte, at least not if you work for them.
When the core values of Evolution Fitness were put together they represented the WHY, Evolution began in the first place, and why we are in business today. One of the biggest things we have been known for is having an educated staff that offers high quality instruction. If you are going to train with us you will have someone making sure you are doing it right. Recently, we had a client sign up with us because her trainer moved and told her, “Make sure you continue to train, and I want you to go to Evolution because they do it right.” I never met that trainer, but I was honored and I had a deep sense of pride in the knowing that is exactly WHY I started Evolution. It is so deeply rooted in what we do. Even though I personally haven’t taught many of our classes in years, it made me realize the staff holds those values as a part of them.
A few weeks ago I was discussing with a friend how I was instructing our rowing class to clean up their form. I can get fired up about people doing it right and not just turning a training session of mindless exercise. He asked me, “Why are you like that, what makes that so important to you?” Without a pause, I said “That is my standard, that is what Evolution is about. If people want mindless exercise, boot campy circuit training with burpees ’till you drop, they can go waste their money somewhere else. We are the place people come to do it right and have a purpose in their training.” I got charged up when I said it, and I was excited. I know that is a value we MUST embrace and own if we are to have integrity with our business. Without it, I would rather sell knick-knacks at the flea market. Core values ARE YOUR STANDARDS whether you are a person or a business.
EVOLUTION’S CORE VALUES
Every staff meeting at Evolution we go around the group and have the team discuss how our company values have played out in their lives or with their clients. It is inspiring to see when the team discusses their personal goals being achieved or educating themselves either in fitness, or learning new skills that have nothing to do with fitness. We share experiences of member success stories small and big. Our values drive us.