We have three core values in the U.S. Air Force; Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all you do.
Enron, the company bankrupted in a 2001 scandal, had four core values (chiseled into the lobby floor); Integrity, Communication, Respect, and Excellence.
Enron and the Air Force share Integrity and Excellence. What?
What makes a value a real value? The Netflix culture slides sum up value with, “The actual company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go…Actual company values are the behaviors and skills that are valued in fellow employees.”
Who is promoted at your company and why?
Which values do you reward?
Who do you let go and for which lack of value?
How would you describe your real values?
More on culture at the Netflix Culture webpage