A Dog’s Loyalty: Core Values for Your Business


Loyalty is a word that most people would use to describe a dog. It is something that we love the most about our dogs and is an extremely special trait of theirs. We would say loyalty is a core value of a dog; a guiding principle that dictates their behaviour. Core values are the underlying beliefs of an individual or organization. I consider them a vital part of my business in relation to recruiting and growing my team, client relations and strategic planning. They are my soul and they put the heart into my business.

If you have not done so already, you should pick core values that represent you and that also represent your organization. You are the leader of your business, so they must reflect your individual beliefs that you consider important traits in yourself and others. To determine your core values, begin by just writing down a list of as many you can think of. Or you can search online for lists and select the ones that mean the most to you. Core Values List is a great resource for this. Narrow down your list and take your time to ensure you pick the ones that truly represent what you and your business are about.

Once you have determined your core values, they should be predominantly displayed throughout your organization. Share them with your team and implement them into your on-boarding process. They truly do represent what you are about and assist with your team development. For the first few years of my business, the only team I removed were ones that went against dogma’s core values. You cannot teach core values, but you can coach hard skills. We also watch for this when a team member first starts with us. We will end the relationship early if the new team member consistently demonstrates anything that goes against our core values.

If you already have core values, think of ways to integrate them further into your day to day operations and ensure you lead by example and live by them. This is the most important part of them; that as a leader you must truly live by your core values. Remember them and use them to help guide your growth and decisions. I have learned I need to do more with ours and part of that review made me think that we can add some more. Currently, we have five and I would like to extend this to ten. I am going to seek my team’s input on this and have them help me select them and let me know what they think represents us. I’m very excited about this and think it will be an excellent team building exercise. Once we determine this, I am going to put them into a bright graphic format and build them more into everything we do. I will keep you posted on how it goes!

What have you learned from developing your core values? How have you felt it has affected your team? Share your experiences below in the comments!

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Business Owner. Dog Trainer. Pitbull Mom. Half of a Dynamic Duo. Speaker. Vegan. Board Member. Mentor. Positive Thinker. Inspired to Make Change. I own two dog training facilities, as well as an academy for dog trainers. I have learned many lessons being a young female entrepreneur with a unique business. Most people did not take me seriously ('Awww, you play with puppies!') and no one wanted to help fund a service based business. So, I have put a lot of my own blood, sweat and tears into building this amazing company, Dogma, that I am proud to be the founder of. Dog training and dogs have taught me so many lessons in my personal and professional life; improving communication, living in the moment, managing people, and being a leader. I've struggled to make ends meet, lost friends, went through a divorce, battled with CRA, and wouldn't change it for the world! I've also met so many new and wonderful people, lead an amazing team of vibrant young women, am making an impact on dogs in my community and found my soul mate. Being an entrepreneur is only for the crazy and passionate ones. Through gaining success I have learned how it creates many people who want to bring you down. I hope this blog will help build a community of support. It can be lonely at the top, and it doesn't have to be.

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