True Core Values
A few weeks ago I listened to a great interview Chris LoCurto did with Patrick Lencioni about his new book, The Advantage. Over the course of the conversation Lencioni shared the story of how one of his clients, Southwest Airlines, dealt with an upset customer. One of Southwest’s core values is having a sense of humor, which explains why traveling with them is so pleasant. The customer in question sent a letter to the company’s CEO complaining that a flight attendant’s humorous rendition of the pre-flight safety briefing was not taken “seriously enough” for their liking. The CEO’s response? ”We’ll miss you.” Lencioni then said something profound:
When you have a true core value, you are willing to be punished for it.
Yeah, go ahead and re-read that one.
Several years ago I was sitting in a new attender meeting at a church in the Atlanta area where the Senior Pastor was sharing about the church. When he finished sharing about who the church was, what it was up to, and why they did things the way they did them, he looked at those of us sitting in the meeting and said “this is who we are, if you are looking for a church that is doing something different, believes something different, or is not headed in this direction please let me know.” He then picked up a phone book and concluded by saying “because I would love to help you find a church that will be a better fit for you.”
Southwest Airlines believed that sending a form letter with a free drink coupon to the lady who complained would completely compromise who they are as a company and what they are trying to be. The church in Atlanta knew that doing something solely to make people happy would be the death of their vision… the very reason they existed.
What is so core to YOUR church that YOU are willing to be punished for it?