Core Values Shape The Soul of a Company 


by Rand Manasse


Core values shape the business at Zappos.


Change is something that affects every business.


What separates good companies from great companies is the ability to change. Not only do great companies change, they change in the right way.


Let me explain.


Zappos is an example of a great company that is changing with the times. Zappos started out as an online shoe retailer. There was nothing particularly unique about this position. Zappos was not the first company with the idea to sell shoes online. There were and are a handful of companies doing the same thing even today.


Yet over the last decade Zappos has been able to become the biggest seller of shoes online and the company has successful changed into being more than just a shoe retailer. In some instances, changing from a shoe seller to shoes, clothing and more would cause issues within a company.


There was no issue at Zappos as the company grew. The reason for this was the way the company built its team around a set of core values.


There are defined core values at Zappos. None has anything to do with footwear. Core values are more than just what a company does in terms selling. Core values run much deeper.


How Core Values Guide and Shape a Business


The purpose of core values is to keep the team aligned and working toward a common goal even when change occurs. In the case of Zappos, the business may have been founded on the principle of selling shoes online, but the core values of delivering a WOW experience and having exceptional customer service were used as guiding values in business decisions.


Core values are not simply defined by the organization. It is not possible to define a set of core values that you want to have for your company and then work toward those values.



For example, Walt Disney founded his company based on the simple idea that the job of the Disney was to bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. The company started out making short cartoons that would make kids smile. Eventually Disney created feature-length motion pictures. From there the company opened up theme parks and created a television channel.


Throughout its history Disney has changed industries, but the core values have remained the same and those core values shape the business guide and shape the business today.




The next step for your company is to figure out your own core values. Look at yourself and the people in your company.


What defines you as people and as a company?


Core values start with the leadership of the company. Everyone needs to figure out what they are passionate about and what the company can succeed at. From there you will find your core values and once you have an idea you can begin building your team and your company around those core values.


It’s one of the keys to lasting success in business.


In my next discussion I will explore how core values make the choice of the right people in the business that much easier.


As always, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. If you need help in building value into your business, please contact me at 877.341.5200 or


To your success!




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