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The Coworking Life: Why Core Values are Important

It has been pretty busy around the Groundwork! BETA Space these days, but Dena and I finally set aside some time to define our core values.

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Dena and I have been friends since middle school and we know that we care about a lot of the same things; that’s how we got into this whole business together in the first place. Even though we have a shared background and common ideas, defining our values as Groundwork! is an important step.

I first came across the concept of core values as a marketing director at a company called Bridge. At first it seemed like corporate types adding a bunch of warm and fuzzy buzz words to their website to look good. But I was brand new to management and discovering how challenging it was, and the company core values actually saved me.

You see, the core values gave me something upon which to base my actions. They helped me to explain difficult decisions to employees, and they gave me a way to respectfully call out my superiors on things that didn’t seem right to me. It turns out that having a defined set of values is crucial for staying on track in the fast-moving word of running a business.

As a Forrest Yoga teacher trainee, I did extensive reading and writing about ethics for yoga teachers. And as a Zen Buddhist, I spent a year studying the precepts before I took my vows in 2012. Both of these processes helped me to reflect on my current life and actions, where I want to go, and how I want to get there. As a yoga teacher and Zen student I am constantly revisiting my ethics and precepts, and as co-founder of Groundwork, I plan to hold myself to the same standards.

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Values also help bring teams together. I enjoy some of the deepest, most rewarding friendships of my life in the Zen Buddhist community, and I have no doubt that this comes in part from the fact that we share a strong base of values.

In order to come up with the Groundwork! values, Dena and I each spent time reflecting on our own personal values. We shared those with each other, and then brainstormed common values that made sense in the context of Groundwork. You can read our final set of values here.

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What about you? Do you follow a set of values, ethics, or vows in your personal or professional life? How do they effect your daily life?

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