Three Core Values Great Employees and Employers Must Have

Success stems, in part, from the values, wants and needs that are interwoven within individuals and an organization, and the ways in which the individuals and the organizations resolve the many differences and conflicts that are an ongoing part of every organization in these diverse pursuits.

Of course, one must be able to attract and retain the “best and brightest” people into an organization in order to succeed. But, this is just the beginning. Purposes, missions and goals that stimulate and encourage people and organizations too are essential. Within each of these areas, there are differences and conflicts.

For example, just in the issue of goals with a group, there are at least four areas of potential conflict:

  • The personal goals of the individual within the group,
  • The goals of the individual for the group and its goals,
  • The goals of the group itself within the corporation, and
  • The goals of the group for the corporation and its goals.

Moreover, none of these goals are static — rather, they are quite dynamic. So, they must be continually monitored, modified and mobilized. One need only mention these four different possibilities, and various imaginings of differences and conflicts can be quickly conjured into almost anyone’s imagination.

If these potential conflicts are not successfully managed or harmonized into a proper and productive alignment, dissonance almost always develops. With dissonance, the energy of an organization dissipates, while the power of synergy is reduced. Needless to say, these are difficult challenges. Moreover, because of the dynamism involved among human beings, organizations and markets, these problems are never permanently solved.

Core Values

What core value traits can help organizations to optimize the most useful yield of their “best and brightest”? Experience has consistently taught and surfaced three traits — over and over, year after year:

  • Character,
  • Competence, and
  • Commitment.

It requires character to act on our beliefs, competence to achieve goals, and commitment to see them through.

These core values drive productivity, resulting in profitability and sustainability for the benefit of Cincom and our customers.

How best to describe them?


  • Ethical integrity and a fundamental spirituality,
  • An emphasis on seeking solutions, not casting blame,
  • An open environment where honest communications are encouraged and honest differences of opinion are allowed, and
  • A commitment to managing on the basis of sound principles.
  • Doing the “right thing” in a professional manner is a demand we make of ourselves.


  • An entrepreneurial spirit that relentlessly seeks to innovate within bureaucratic structures,
  • Creativity,
  • Decisiveness,
  • Initiative for self-growth,
  • Leadership that encourages small work groups,
  • A continuous seeking of the optimal balance between flexibility and control, and
  • A truly disciplined organization that continues to learn and consistently applies the best methods to achieve goals.


  • Commitment to one’s group, the company and to one’s fellow citizens,
  • Missionary zeal in representing the company and its products,
  • Responsibility and personal empowerment,
  • Encouraging people to grow and empowering them to do so, and
  • Our promise to do what has been asked and our pledge to provide whatever assistance that is required to meet our shared commitment.

To be successful, persons and organizations must act with character, competence and commitment in a harmoniously orchestrated environment that energizes all and synergizes everything. As an employee or employer, these core value traits are essential minimums.

Tom Nies, CEO of Cincom Sysyetms, Inc., is the longest active-serving CEO in the computer industry, and is recognized with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as one of the “pioneers of the software industry” by the Smithsonian Institute.

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