Core Values & “We will miss you.”

September 10, 2013 — 1 Comment

CORE main

I hurt my back a year ago and have learned so much since then.

I’ve learned what it’s like to live with chronic pain.

I’ve learned that pain killers are good…and that pain killers are bad.

While on pain killers, apparently, I felt compelled to tell Matt Estrin that I loved him…constantly.

There’s an entire Sunday that I don’t remember. I invited a band to come to Journey only to have them tell me that they came on the Sunday I got out of the hospital. I don’t remember them being here at all. Scary stuff.

I’ve learned how much I took bending and lifting for granted.

I’ve learned how much I really love running and wrestling with my kids.

I’ve learned to trust in the kindness and generosity of others.

I’ve learned that I had a weak core.

Do you know what our “core” is? Core is a big buzzword in fitness. But what is the core? The core is the four muscles of the stomach that wrap like a belt around the midsection. But the core goes way beyond these four abdominal muscles, and includes the muscles of your lower back, your pelvic floor, and your hips. There are over 15 of these muscles, and they even include the diaphragm, a core breathing muscle! When you put all these muscles together, they form the “core” of your body and the “core” of your movement patterns. In other words, if you bend down, pick up a weight and lift it overhead, each of these core muscles becomes involved. If the core muscles are weak, you can’t breathe as deeply, lift as heavily, or move as quickly. (Source for this info: Core)

We had a staff retreat a couple of weeks ago and heard a presentation on Core Values by Patrick Lencioni.  In his presentation (recorded at the Global Leadership Summit) we learned that Core Values are: How we behave.

If we didn’t do these things, we would feel that we’d sold our soul.

Core Values are things we are willing to “get in trouble” for.

Patrick Lencioni works a lot with Fortune 500 companies, including Southwest Airlines. He shared Southwest’s Core Values with us:

Southwest Airline has Three Core Values:

warrior spirit

Work hard

desire to be the best

Be courageous

display a sense of urgency



servant’s heart

follow the golden rule

Adhere to the Basic principles

treat others with respect

put others first

Be egalitarian

demonstrate proactive customer Service

Embrace the SWA family fun-luVing Attitude

have fUn

don’t take yourself too seriously

maintain perspective (balance)

celebrate successes

Enjoy your work

Be a passionate team player

One of their core values is that work should be fun.

Patrick told this story: Years ago when Herb Kelleher was still in charge, a woman was offended by jokes during the safety briefing and wrote Herb. Most companies would have written back and said, “We’re so sorry.” And send a drink coupon or something. Southwest sent her a note that said, “We’ll miss you.”

When somebody asks you to violate a core value, you lovingly recognize that might not be the place for them.

Violating your core values is like selling your soul.  That’s why you don’t have many of them.

Why did they do that? Well, it’s the same reason why, when you ask the person at the Southwest counter how to change your flight, she doesn’t pull out a policy and procedure manual and tell you 100 reasons why she can’t help you, but instead makes it happen. Because, the person behind the counter knows that one of Southwest’s core values is: Demonstrate Proactive Customer Service.

At Journey, we have Four Core Values:

Grace—We will lead with grace.

Truth—We will tell the truth in love.

Freedom—We want people to be free.

Generosity—We love to give.

These are things we are willing to get in trouble for.

What are your organization’s core values?


One response to Core Values & “We will miss you.”


    I have actually experienced “we will miss you” by a pastor I had loved and supported. It was an event that followed other events, kind of like “the straw that broke…”. This pastor has changed so drastically. I myself have said and done things that have violated my core values. It’s the “slippery slope” scenario. The first time you compromise makes it easier the next time. Of course Satan is there to tell you it’s no big deal or that you cannot be forgiven so just give up. A life devoted to prayer and the Word and a deepening relationship with God and fellow Christians will enable us to stand firm. A church with leadership that sets the example will set itself apart in a society that says anything goes.

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