Our Core Values
Core values play an interesting role in any organization,community, or any group or people, like a family, for instance. There are the values we aspire to, and then there are the actual values we live by. Rarely, does anyone live value free and when they violate something that matters to them, they’ll be aware of it at some level or another.
At FamilyWorks we have identified five Core Values that we feel are helpful in producing mature youth and strong family relationships. As you consider being a part of this community, we recommend that you don’t gloss over these five values. At first glance you may say to yourself, “These are all good.” But instead, we invite you to consider the impact they would have on you and your family if they were values you actually tried to live by.
We feel strongly about these values, and because we do, they are talked about a lot. They are not placed on a shelf in our organization collecting dust. They are woven into the curriculum we use, and help guide the us in every action we do. These values are not isolated heart felt principles that happen to resonate with us, rather, they are inter-connected with each other, and play an indispensable role in producing the outcomes we are aiming at to strengthen families.
Below you will find the title of each Core Value and brief description:
(Being answerable to trustworthy others for my own personal integrity.)
“May integrity and uprightness protect me.” Psalm 25:21
At the heart of this Core Value is a presupposition that believes, individuals who are seeking to be more resilient in life are also open to the idea of self-improvement.
If you remember, the vision of FamilyWorks is to see all families engaging in an ongoing Conversation that gets them thinking about how to have resilient relationships. Also, in the mission, it stated, “…to walk in partnership with families…”. With this in mind, there are two ways to interpret accountability:
- One way is to see it as “Big Brother” with people watching and being critical about your business. That is NOT the way we view accountability!
- The other way, is to view it, is as a means to see your “Blind Spots” in life. Accountability is always initiated by you, because you’re looking for ways to see what you are having a hard time seeing. FamilyWorks is simply a collection of people, who have a common goal with you, (Resilient Family Relationships), and can offer different perspectives on areas of your life that matter most to you. Think of it as building trust with others in order to get meaningful feedback that benefits your efforts in life.
(Caring for yourself as a whole person – spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.)
“Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything” 1 Corinthians 6:12
One of the factors that contributes to making people and their relationships vulnerable is failure to stay in balance. The simple wear and tear of life will eventually throw the strongest of people out of balance. We live in a restless society and this restlessness is reflected in the culture. Cultural creations like, Fast Food and High Speed Internet are examples of our need to get more done with less time.
These cultural influences are impacting our lives and families everyday. As a result, our life fuel tanks are often running on empty; our lives are boiling to the point of dry; and our families are struggling to keep up. The Core Value of Balance helps us to live our lives so they don’t wobble so much.
(To give ability to; to enable or permit)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: ‘Who, being in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but instead made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:3-7
The heart of this Core Value can be summed up in the following phrase: “Good leadership, begets leaders.” Basically, the objective of sustainable leadership hinges on its ability to cultivate more leaders. This kind of leadership is servant oriented and its primary role is to build up the capacity of others. An empowering leader’s heart for others, enables the leader to see the hidden potential or assets of those they are leading. Leaders work to help the assets of others become fully realized in the people they are leading.
(The connection between people and the influence it has on the outcomes of those relationships.)
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:12
The meaning of interdependence it is easy to misinterpret how we use it in the context of a FamilyWorks environment. For example, a child finally learns to tie their own shoes and as a result, the child has moved from a Dependent status to an Independent status. In that context, it is a positive behavior and should be. But, as a Core Value in the context of a FamilyWorks environment, a proper appreciation of Interdependence is encouraged, while Independence and Dependence are discouraged because they produce relational problems.
How does it produce relational problems? Imagine if a basketball team were literally connected to some ropes, like a spider web or something. As long as the players move and act together, the ropes won’t interfere. But, suppose one or two of the players decides to do their only thing. They still desire to play hard and want to win, but they just pass the ball to themselves and ignore the others. When they act in this Independent way it causes all kinds of problems. Another scenario would be one or two players don’t have a good understanding of the team’s game plan. As a result, every time they’re on the floor they don’t know what to do. In this case, they are acting in a Dependent manner and are not contributing to success of the team’s mission.
The Core Value of Interdependence stresses the importance of being present in the key relationships of your life. If you are on a team with other people, like sports, at work, in school, in a group or club, and most importantly your family, then you don’t want to drift away to do your own thing or disengage! By valuing Interdependence you become more sensitive or aware that what you do or don’t do impacts other people ALL the time.
(The power to accomplish something; strategic advantage)
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16b
Of all the Core Values, Leverage is the most abstract, making it hard to understand and apply to our lives. When understood, it has the potential to be the most life transforming of all the others. The reason this Value is so powerful is, if applied well, it can unlock the other Core Values to be more effective for a person.
In its simplest form Leverage is a concept which is easy enough to understand. A jack that is used to change a flat tire on a car is a good example. The lever of the jack allows a person, who could never in their own strength, lift the car in order to take the flat tire off and replace it with a new one. The reason a jack can do this is that it uses the right amount of torque added with a lever action in an optimal location. This combination strategically allows the weight of the car to not be a limiting factor in the process of changing the tire.
Good leaders like this Core Value because once they learn to translate this concept into solving problems in their lives it gives them a strategic advantage. For example, a woman had been trying to quit smoking for years, but the weight of her urge to smoke was heavy. After several sincere efforts to quit she began to believe she just didn’t have the will power to quit. Then one day she notice a recurring pattern. She had a friend who was her smoking buddy, and she always seemed to offer her a cigarette at a moment she really wanted one. She talked to her friend about her sense of defeat around the matter. Her friend said, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier, I’ve been wanting to quit too. We could support each other in our efforts.” That crucial conversation was the Leverage she needed to turn the tide. Not only did she find the Leverage she needed, but she and her friend Empowered each other with Accountability, and greater life Balance was achieved by getting the bad habit in check!