ENRON had CORE VALUES... you do too

how to design core values and not default...

8 minute read

A life of DESIGN or a life of DEFAULT depends on CORE VALUES.

  • Design vs Default life

  • Actual vs. Aspirational Values

  • How to make decisions faster

  • Creating your Core Values

Step 2 after creating a compelling Vision is to define your CORE VALUES.

If you missed step 1 “Creating a Compelling Vision” check it out here and be sure to subscribe so you never miss a newsletter.

We all have things we value.

Most men live a life of default.

Valuing comfort, convenience and mediocrity.

They settle for the cards they’ve been given and operate from a subconscious programming of apathetic acceptance.

Full of excuses, blame and shame they become sheep allowing circumstance to dictate their life.

These are the type of men that follow the rhythm of someone else’s dream clocking in and checking out and drifting aimlessly into a slow death.

They lack personal vision so they end up living out someone else’s.

These men have values, they have just never identified them.

They value conformity, safety, acceptance, predictability and ease.

They value being told what to do instead of thinking for themselves.

They value going with the flow, passivity and feeling happy instead of fulfillment.

They are driven by what they value and someone else’s vision and typically end up looking back at a lifetime of regret.

Get a job, get married, have kids and spend 40 years working on someone else’s dream with hope to have saved enough to waste the last years of life in retirement.

These are the men that are typically 20 to 40 pounds overweight, $30k to $50k in debt and stuck in a dead end job they hate, going home to a wife and family that doesn’t respect them and just trying to not rock the boat.

They once had a grand vision…

  • To be a respected athlete

  • To build a business

  • To travel and give their families new experiences

  • To make an impact and leave a legacy

But somewhere along the way a voice of doubt and failure creeped in, camped out and convinced them that…

Thats for someone else, not me.

This is the default life.

And these are default values.

If you operate from default you’ll never enjoy the design.

We’ve all seen Core Values plastered on the wall of some corporation.

Enron comes mind.

One of their company core values was integrity.

I think we can both agree they did not value that based on the decisions they made.

They did have values though.

The leadership team valued profit over people and made decisions based on that.

The first step in defining core values is identifying actual values first.

Take a look at your life and assess the decisions and values that got you where you are now.

You have to know where you are before you can choose where you’re going.

This is the GAP between actual and aspirational values.

The way we close the gap is through intentional action.

When I was Fatbeard I had this realization that what I was valuing was creating the life I didn’t want.

I valued comfort, convenience, avoiding accountability and pleasure over purpose.

These values drove my decisions to eat, drink, make excuses and seek pleasurable distractions.

I knew I wanted more — I had a vision of being in great shape and helping others on their personal development journey.

So I asked myself a simple and profound question.

What would I need to value to make my vision become easy and automatic?

Discipline in fitness.

An obvious answer.

But it was aspirational and far from actual.

If I said I valued discipline but was a fat fuck it was no different than Enron saying they valued integrity and stealing peoples money.

I didn’t know how to value discipline because it wasn’t yet a core value — it was an aspirational aspect of an unrealized vision.

So I needed to take new action.

I hired a fitness coach who was an example of disciplined fitness.

He was living out discipline and had the fruit to show it.

He as lean, jacked, ripped and understood what it took to get physical results.

I submitted to his leadership, learned the actions and made myself accountable to the relationship.

I spent almost 12 months working with this coach because I saw this one value as a domino value to everything else I wanted in life.

Over time the value of discipline moved from aspirational to actual and I no longer consider it a Core Value because it’s become a part of who I am.

If you are trying to change your values you need to spend time with Men who are living and walking out the values — everything in masculinity is modeled and whatever you value now you live it because you’ve modeled it.

Why Core Values are Important

We have 1,000’s of decisions to make in a day.

Decision fatigue is a real thing.

Willpower is like a battery and decisions in the morning are typically easier than decisions in the afternoon.

If we don’t have a process for making great decisions we end up defaulting to the easier option…

This is where drifting starts.

Overwhelmed with ok and good choices we rob ourselves of a great and best life.

Core Values help you make decisions faster.

When faced with a fork in the road your vision will give you direction and the core value will help you discern good from best.

A man that values discipline in fitness will choose his morning workout over happy hour after work.

A man that values faith will choose trust in God of fear of man.

A man that values family will prioritize date night and family meetings over 100 hour work weeks.

A man that values ambition will take risks to make his dreams come true over settling for a mediocre job.

Your values define your decisions — so define your values.

Here’s how to create your core values

Once you’ve made your list of actual values find some aspirational values that will make your vision become easy and automatic.

Choose a word that speaks to you.

Then define it in your own words.

Your definition of that core value is the most important first step.

Words have meaning and your meaning will determine your belief and adherence to the value.

  1. Choose the value

  2. Define the meaning

  3. Create a measurable

Remember, action is what separates actual from aspirational so you need a way to measure the action.

You are taking actions now to reinforce your default values, you need to do the same with measurable effort towards your aspirations.

One of my Core Values is ownership.

Def: I am responsible for everything in my life. Owning the Outcome means I plan and prepare for what is important to me.

Measurable: Did I effectively plan and prepare for each segment of my day, meetings, client calls and new initiatives. What do I have control over and what do I need to give up to God? 

I follow a systematic process for reviewing my day and when something doesn’t go the way I want I analyze through the lens of ownership.

What could I have done better?

Ownership as a core value replaced avoidance as a former actual value.

It required effort and consistent action to be an actual value.

When faced with something I want, I don’t wish for it, I don’t wait, I create decisive action taking ownership for what I can control.

To help me remember my Core Values I’ve created an acronym.


God & Go First - Time, talent and treasure God first then I go.

Respect - Earned is respect given and begins with me.

Ownership - I am responsible for everything in my life, I own the outcome.

Win / Win - There is more than enough for me and everyone, I create wins for myself and others.

Kinship - Faith then Family first, to grow the brotherhood and leave a legacy.

Integrity - I have four parts, mind, body, heart and soul, to live in alignment neglecting none.

Nobility - A son of the most high, a noble purpose creates a noble path.

Growth - Whats not growing is dying, to choose growth with deep roots and wide branches for myself and my kin.

I put together a free training worksheet and video to help you establish your Core Values.

Live a life of design — say no to the default and create the vision and values of a High Value Man.

Much love and many blessings,


PS… You can join a weekly live group call with me every Thursday at 10am CST for just $11.11 per month. You’ll get access to a private membership site that has recorded videos and trainings and an opportunity to connect with some High Value Men.

It’s just $11.11 per month.

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