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Built on Values

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Built on Values

Creating an Enviable Culture that Outperforms the Competition


15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Build a better, longer-lasting organization with worker and customer-centric values.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Insider's Take


This essential, step-by-step guide to creating a values-based corporate culture remains as relevant and valuable today as when it first appeared in 2011. Ann Rhoades – a respected HR leader – provides insights from her experience in the executive suites and boardrooms of JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Doubletree Hotels. Rhoades provides an insider’s blueprint for building and sustaining a values-based culture. Every leader, in HR or otherwise, should read and heed her advice. 


Organizations differ and so must their cultures, but every great culture rests on values.

Leaders should help fashion the right culture for their firms. Culture depends on values, which reflect how you want employees to behave and how you want to shape perceptions of your firm. Your corporate values will attract or discourage new talent and customers.

Workplace cultures and subcultures manifest whether leaders influence them intentionally or not. A culture derives from integrating appropriate values into every decision and into the mechanisms through which the company recognizes and rewards achievement.

Your culture may need repair if you have fallen behind your competitors, have high attrition, have employee or customer survey results that dropped significantly, have trust issues, or are successful but want to improve. Southwest and JetBlue, for example, built their outstanding cultures deliberately from the inception of their companies. Others, such as Loma Linda University Medical Center and Doubletree Hotels, rebuilt existing cultures around new values and gained performance improvements.

Don’t adopt another...

About the Author

Ann Rhoades, the founder and president of People Inkheld executive level positions at Southwest Airlines, the Promus Hotel Company and JetBlue. Nancy Shepherdson is an author and journalist who writes about business, finance and self-improvement.

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