I was first introduced to the term “Core Values” in the Navy with Honor, Commitment, and Courage. The concept of values was introduced to me much earlier however, as the Boy Scout Oath where a Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent (Whew! That was all 12 without Google!). While I try to live and exemplify all these things, I have discovered my own personal core values and added them to the already existing set of good, ethical principles. My core values are the things I derive value from. I have an inherent respect for individuals who share and demonstrate these qualities, thus starting a favorable relationship where none may have otherwise existed.
Ownership goes so much beyond responsibility. Ownership is taught to a Navy Reactor Operator as a watch standing and reactor safety principle: “This is your control panel, nobody touches it except you: you are responsible for everything that goes in and around the reactor. If someone wants at this thing, they have to get through you.” You learn to defend what is yours, take stock in what you have. Further, ownership is not making excuses for your position in life, owning up to the decisions you made to get here. You are not a victim of circumstance. To that end, don’t put yourself in a position where you might be a victim.
I am a continuous learner. I believe learning will provide preparedness for whatever the day has to offer. I have built quite a skillset over the years. I have worked with every kind of material: been a metalworker, machining and welding; woodworker, small carpentry to framing a house. I’ve worked everything from the small electrical component and soldering to 3-phase AC. I’ve been a programmer, web designer, network engineer, and IT manager. Dabbled as an economist, business owner, and negotiated contracts. I’ve been called scientist and engineer. When we talk about mastering a given context, we are not shy about learning what we have to so we can master a given situation. If you intend to sit on the couch, say “I don’t know,” are not willing to put in some effort and learn what you don’t know, this value is not for you.
I am a doer. I am a practitioner. As much as I enjoy waxing lyrical about theory, the background minutia, and how we came to be, you’d better be putting that knowledge into motion to get respect from me. To this end, I take a great deal of satisfaction from accomplishment, the efficient execution of a task, and almost anything that provides an improvement. I do not take joy in prolonged bureaucratic processing of red tape.
All of these values go a long way to describing my work ethics. Take ownership of what you have, what you’ve done, always find a way to improve, master the context, and execute efficiently.