By – Ari Nitikman
Flashback to 2016. I know you’re thinking that the world was a more understandable place back then.
While in some respects our lives have turned upside down one thing that doesn’t change are our core values. Humans usually abide by a few core values that dictate their behaviour in most situations.
In 2016, Danie and Ari, that’s us, had just started Elevate Ultimate. We were the CEOs, bookkeepers, head coaches, and volunteers. Whatever we needed done that day, we’d do ourselves, following our own instructions with ease.
As most small business owners can understand, our values became the company’s values. It seemed to be working too; our business doubled every year.
So we decided it was time to share our vision and expand our business.
Fast forward to 2020 and we have a staff of 40+ coaches in three different cities and a management team of 10. For some strange reason, our system of valuing random and different attitudes and behaviours each week wasn’t working for our staff, nor was our leadership style of micromanaging every action of every person.
We figured out why this might be–we were not aligned on values. Every person was acting upon their own personal values. While this may not be a bad thing, it can cause friction in executing tasks.
Ergo, it was time to create a shared set of values.
And this time, these values belonged to more than us. They belonged to the team. So we included them in the conversation.
While each member had shared their own list, we grouped these into overarching values or synonyms.
Hundreds of virtual sticky notes later, we arrived on five core values.
True to our love for wordplay, we turned this acronym into a sugary sweet drink.
Okay let’s get real.
Whether you love or hate Starbucks, I’m pretty sure everyone loves an icy cold, sugar-filled, whipped-cream topped, Frappuccino. Want to know what’s even better than that, though?
The Elevate FRAPI-ccino.
Yes, Elevate has made a drink…made out of our core values. It’s low in calories but high in return 😉
Let’s show you its ingredients, who’s drinking it, and why they’re important.
The Elevate FRAPI-ccino
FUN / Positive Mindset: If all else fails, we are the one place that kids, coaches, and managers can be to have fun and enjoy life.
Respect: We treat others how we want to be treated.
Accountable: We act as though our every action affects the team. Because it does.
Purpose Driven: Our “why” fuels our focus and drives our actions.
Inclusive: All fun, accountable, inclusive, and respectful people (or working towards) are welcomed and celebrated at Elevate.
Alright, but who cares? Aren’t values just some mandatory exercise organizations have to do because the textbooks say so?
Not at Elevate.
This FRAPI-ccino is for the Founders, Directors, Managers, Coaches, Volunteers, Parents, and Athletes. These values are our beacon of light when making decisions, whether it’s how we run management meetings, choosing which coaches to hire, or creating new curriculum and programs for our athletes.
We live and breathe these. I promise you if you asked any of our team members to recite these in their sleep, they could!
For example, there’s a reason why you’ll rarely see a standard “high knees and butt kicks” warm up at an Elevate program: It’s not FUN! This same value then gets transferred to the management culture, where you’ll catch our whole staff playing charades or virtual Connect 4 every Wednesday.
So why are we telling you all of this? Why does this matter to you? Well, in line with our third value, we want your help in keeping us accountable.
Values are empty words if not accompanied by actions. But we can’t see what’s right under our noses sometimes!
Are you noticing that our programs are slowly turning into a high-performance, win-at-all costs environment? Tell us.
Are you unclear of the purpose and mission of Elevate? Ask us.
Are you not feeling included or respected at camp? Tell us, PLEASE!
Elevate exists to serve you and your kids, and to make the world a better place to live in. Now that you know our values, we are even more committed to upholding them.
Now it’s your turn: What do you value? How do you want your child to feel when they stop onto the ultimate or disc golf field? Email us or comment below! We look forward to hearing from you.