June 2014

Book Review — The Core Values Compass

By Donald L. Laurie
Chief Executive
Oyster International
Co-author of the Harvard Business Review Classic, "The Work of Leadership"

This is a well thought out, insightful and important book on values. It links the work of leadership directly to values articulated and leadership behavior. The 'story' is authentic with a good measure of the kind of tension that exists in 'results oriented' companies that espouse values but reward results that are often in conflict with values. The narrative makes clear some difficult choices when high performers model behaviors that are self-promoting and inconsistent with core values. The message is clear and explicit; it provides useful examples of leading subordinates and those in positions of authority.

A real benefit of the book is the description of 'Value Days' — an approach that will be useful for a leader and his team to identify behaviors that are in alignment with the Core Values, explore examples of where these are modeled on a daily basis or not. The Core Values Compass does a nice job linking the business mission to a personal leadership philosophy and core values.

Experienced and new leaders need to be clear about the Core Values that guide everyday choices/decisions and behaviors. This little book is a must read and a reminder of principles that are central to effective leadership.