Core Values what works for us & where to start

A Little About Us

TETON Sports is headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT and ran by our focused leader Scott Holmes. Our team consists of only 20 individuals but it gets even more unique from there. Most of our team works from home, opening their laptops at the time of their choosing, with the minority working at our HQ with standard M-F hours. And until recently, more women worked at TETON Sports than men. As of today, we’re at a 50/50 gender split.

When you dive into TETON though, you’ll find more that makes us different from other corporate environments than just our demographics, and we’re proud of that.

As you step into our HQ, perhaps to pick up a local order, you’ll walk into our showroom – sleeping bags, tents and backpacks are on display to test and feel. If you look around a little extra you just may find a hidden bouldering wall. Take a right and you’ll enter our conference room, where we hold monthly tribe meetings. On our whiteboard ideas, concepts, and visions are recorded, erased and drafted up again.

But the constant on that whiteboard, on the top left hand corner, is our list of twelve core values. Written by Scott in the early years of TETON, and adopted by the company around that same time, they represent values that were constant in Scott’s business experience. Today, new employees are hired in part based on compatibility with the core values. Current employees are asked to study them in their teams and to seek to better apply them in their work and interactions with co-workers.

TETON Sport’s Core Values

1- Do It Right

2- Leave Nothing to Chance

3- Do More with Less

4- Win/Win/Win

5- Collaborate

6- Initiative

7- Freedom/Independence

8- Loyalty

9- Always Learning, Never Learned

10- Data Integrity/Accuracy

11- Empathy

12- Result Focused S.A.M Cycle

A Snippet: Collaboration

Let’s look at the core value of collaboration for a minute as an example of what these core values represent to us. If you’re a blogger, collaboration is likely a word that is bounced around daily as you communicate with brands. It’s seen frequently in Instagram bios. Maybe we’ve even had the chance to collaborate with you. But are we, in these interactions, truly collaborating?

Scott in his most recent interview, reminded us during our February tribe meeting, that collaboration has many positive consequences. It can get multiple eyes on a decision that we may be feeling unsure about. It can allow us to see the world through many different perspectives, not limiting ourselves to only how we see things. Through collaboration, we can let others in to create the best possible results.

We were also reminded that collaboration at face value may not seem to be efficient at all, but that we will do well to remember that often we’ll be expending energy somewhere – whether we choose to collaborate or not. We can choose to use energy to complain to a friend or spouse about a specific situation, or we can use the same energy to send off an email or pick up the phone to start a conversation with those that are directly involved.

This explanation of energy helped to balance some of our Tim Ferriss /efficiency focused minds. When we each choose to live the TETON Sports core value of collaboration, we are all better because of it.

Company Focus

Now that snippet of what the vision of collaboration between employees, vendors and factories at TETON Sports looks like to us only scratches the surface, but we hope it allows you to begin to picture some of the conversations we’re having in our company this year as we focus on understanding and implementing better each core value. We're excited about the changes we’re seeing already, and want to end by sharing how we think this can help you in your families, small and / or large business.

How To Start

We believe one of the easiest places to start would be drafting up a list of your own core values. From there you can meet with others in organizations or companies that you lead to begin to draft up organization/brand specific core values. It's important to differentiate between the two.

Prompts to consider as you begin:

  • What values were important to you as a child?
  • What principals have always been true and/or seem that they would hold true if you lived another 100 years?
  • Can you think about value driven disagreements that you've had with others -- what values or ideals do you find yourself often taking the side of?
  • Think of times in your life when you felt like you were really thriving -- what values were prioritized in your life that you may have forgotten about?

Once you’ve drafted up a list of core values, use them to guide you through everyday life decisions. You may not get your list right at first – but as you continue to put your drafted list of core values to the test by basing decisions off of them, we know that you’ll have a final draft before you know it.

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